Hermosa Beach’s iconic dive The Mermaid had a long 60-year run before closing in September 2017. As of yesterday, Burger restaurant Slater’s 50/50 just signed a five-year lease for the location, which puts the Anaheim-based chain directly on the Hermosa Beach boardwalk.
First reported by the Daily Breeze, Scott Slater founded Slater’s 50/50 in 2009, but is now owned by Michael Nakleh’s Elite Restaurant Group of Los Angeles in 2016. Nakleh plans to open the new joint in April, which likely means the construction plans are minimal. “We’re going to have a tribute room to the old Mermaid because we know it was very popular in the area and it’s been around for a very long time,” Nakleh said. “We kind of want to give that room something, and that’s what we’ve asked the designers to give, an homage to the Mermaid.”
In 2013, the Strand Pier Holding Company bought the structure that housed the Mermaid, along with other adjacent businesses in preparation for a new hotel, shops, and restaurants. Killer Shrimp rented the space next door to the Mermaid in 2014, and then completely assumed the Mermaid shortly after. Problems emerged after realizing that the company would need invest significant amount of cash to meet local codes, along with Hermosa Beach rejecting Killer Shrimp’s application to rent the city’s parking lots for special events. And in September 2017, Killer Shrimp at the Mermaid abruptly closed citing high rent and issues with the city.
Slater’s lease is signed for five years, but there are additional questions about any long-term business hospitality plans on this slice of Hermosa. According to Nakleh, Slater’s hopes to remain a part of the ongoing development.