The Mermaid is Closing…For Sure This Time


This owners of the iconic Mermaid Lounge say they will be closing on May 3rd. The property where the Mermaid is located will be part of the new Margaritaville Resort which is expected to break ground in June.

Because of the uncertainty of the Margaritaville project, due to several lawsuits filed by the owners of the Lani Kai, the Mermaid has had at least one other big closing party along the way, which, the customers of the Mermaid didn’t mind at all. “We’ve been down this road once before and were thrown a curveball and got to stay open, but this time has been borrowed time and now the end is here,” the owners posted on Facebook.

Pictured to the right are owners Kathy VanSelow (left), her husband Scott VanSelow and their daughter Valerie VanSelow (right.). Scott and Kathy purchased the bar in 1981 when their daughter was 6 years old (Thank you to Melissa Sky Wright for sharing the family photo).

When the VanSelow’s purchased the bar in 1981 it was called the Surf Club. The name was changed to the Mermaid in 2009. The VanSelow’s sold the property to TPI in 2015 for $4.5 million. They were actually planning to close in late 2018 when TPI first received its approval to build from the town. That was before the lawsuit delays. There will not be another closing party but the owners say, “we will make the final days an absolute blast so don’t miss it.” The

The Mermaid is a very popular Sunday stop for many motorcycle riders in the area.

For awhile there was chatter that the Mermaid might be located to another area and remain open on Fort Myers Beach. That plan didn’t materialize. The Mermaid has been open on Fort Myers Beach for over 40 years.


  1. 50+ years ago that building was called the Surf Club and
    the Mermaid Lounge was “almost” directly across the
    street. Good ole days of the Mermaid Lounge, The Surf
    Club, Nicks and the Spinnaker …..back when the Beach
    was a quaint village and not all concrete.

    • Hell I remember back over 60 yrs. ago when my mother was going in Mermaid Club for a 7&7. Now it is way too crowded with tourist. My generation is gone!!!

  2. Dont hold your breath, the Mermaid may close for good, but it is possible the building will be still standing long past June.

  3. Such a landmark on FMB…..change is hard when saying goodbye to places that are so FMB….even when new is coming. Cheers Mermaid Lounge, so happy I had a drink, or two there ❤️🤗🧜🏻‍♀️

  4. My favorite spot when visiting 🙂 I also have one of the prints made from the painting. I sure will miss the local watering hole!

  5. Too bad they can just move across the street to….The Surf Club, if they want to stay open.

    • Hi Chad, they don’t want to stay open. The VanSelows wanted to retire and Valerie is going to focus on Valerie’s Lounge ❤️

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