Mermaid Slips Back to the Sea~
“Mermaid is the Mermaid. There is no other Mermaid around,” Mary M. quote.
Seagulls cry out and I look up, following their flight through the foggy morning sky. I open the green screen door to go into the Cafe Mermaids. My senses are immediately delighted by walls rich with colorful drawings of .. why mermaids, of course! Mermaids look down on me no matter which table I take. Their liquid blue eyes are calming, as is the sound of boat lines clanging against masts. The Cafe is tiny and narrow, with a low ceiling and an uneven cement floor. But, the counter is liberally strewn with newspapers left for the next reader who comes along.
This place says to me that it’s been here a long time, a favorite for locals in the harbor area of Marina del Rey, boaters, old-timers.. the place exudes a relaxed air. Time slows down. There are no trendy posers here at this coffee shop, and no folks rushing off when lunch break is over. For those who prefer the sea air, there is more seating out front, under a plastic awning that creates its own outdoor room. From there you have a front row seat to watch people come and go off the docks, or pass by with their dogs. On this day as I write this, there are girls in the water doing yoga on paddle boards!
Jenny is the owner of the Cafe, a sweetheart with a talent for baking the most amazing muffins! As a matter of fact, the smell of chocolate chip cookies in the oven will keep you there at the Cafe waiting for them to come out & cool. Jenny is the second owner of the cafe. Its history goes way back, and I’ve yet to determine just how far!
At the moment the thing is: Cafe Mermaids is going away! It has a lease in the building where LA Fitness (formerly Marina Fitness) is located. The gym has just given notice to its landlord that it is leaving Marina del Rey and moving to Playa del Rey, at Lincoln & Jefferson Blvds. While this doesn’t seem very far and the new facility will be state of the art, many locals who were members for 10-25 years, when the gym was the Marina del Rey Fitness, do not look forward to having to get in their cars and drive to their gym. There are always a good number of bikes parked outside the Cafe Mermaids, and many members jog there as part of their workout routine.
Endings and Beginnings. I just discovered this scene this summer, when the heat of August drew me to the Beach. But already Mermaid’s Magic has washed over me.. and I know it to be a special place, that will be missed by many.
For me finding Mermaid was a beginning, a new friendly community to hang out in. Now it is ending, just as I was settling in. No matter, I move on, more easily than the locals here.
Seasons change: Summer comes to an end as Mermaid closes her doors on autumn.