Located right on The Great South Bay in the very center of Ocean Beach, dockside, waterfront dining has never met a better home. The casual, elegant culture which runs through the entire experience of sunset dining, gathering with friends and family, dancing after dinner, nightlife at the bar, or celebrating special occasions make this a landmark destination.
The Island Mermaid chefs consciously keep two promises to Fire Islanders; to bring our guests the freshest ingredients, using as many local purveyors and products that are seasonally available, as well as to create perfectly prepared and artfully presented versions of their favorite foods.
We strongly believe that each menu choice must be unique- We want every guest to be thinking, "I can't wait to come back and try so many things on the menu".
What They're Saying About Us..
"I just don't know how you could get better than this place.....We had dinner, on the water last Thursday. Could quite possibly be the best night of our week in Fire Island." - Tara F
"Go in hungry and sad because you will leave happy and content. A real fixture with potential to be historic. I always find the owner romancing tables...full of passion with desire to make his customers happy .... Gimme da Clams and craft please!
Always bring friends." - Arty H
"Always fresh, well seasoned and thought out dining with fun and accommodating service. " - Arty H
"I love, love, love it here! I plan to have my wedding here. The food is fantastic, and the service is great." - Sybil R
"Great food. Great service. Great view of the sunset. #1 restaurant in fire island for more than 20 years." - Brian A
"Simply put, the best. Amazing food, drinks, service and overall atmosphere. Highly recommend!!!!" - Andrea B
"The Mermaid is a Fire Island institution with some of the best views of the bay and sunsets, as well as excellent food and friendly, efficient, smart servers. Loved the wasabi crusted tuna!" -A.B
"Everything was fantastic, even the dessert. All of the 7 of us were blown away, we couldn't stop talking about it!" - James P
"Clearly the best restaurant on fire island. The food, the service the view, the sunsets. Love it!" - Richard W
In 1976, I moved to a new town called East Islip, right across the bay.
That year, I ventured over to Fire Island for the first time. It was very early summer and about 16 of my high school buds told me to tell my parents a lie that we were sleeping over a friends. In reality, we were going to sleep at Fire Island. "Fire island, I asked - what the heck was that ?" "Don't worry you'll love it, they shot back !" "Where will we sleep ?" "Under a house, don't worry " they said as they laughed at me.
Little did they know that this would become the start of a magical 40 year anniversary journey, climbing and clawing through the local ranks year after year , never missing one single summer work day. Once I walked into town, the first person I met was the legendary Giovanni. I was hooked. I wandered into Town Pizza and talked my way into a summer job.
Along the way , over the next 14 years, jobs in town at Town Pizza, Fellas, Mike The Greeks, The Apple Orchard, Leo's, The Ocean Beach Grill and Wally's paved the way and set the tone for me. The island had its growing, gargantuan grip on my life and might not ever let go. Working my way "up the chain "every summer during college and then through law school led to a once in a lifetime chance to roll the dice on my dream.
In 1990, four years out of law school , I was working as a lawyer all week , living in NYC yet working in the summer at Wally's (now the Island Mermaid) . I had a dream to elevate the standard for what I thought was a truly one of a kind heavenly spot on a pretty special island. Having worked for my two predecessors at this location, I saw first hand what was and wasn't working and why.
Those long days and nights spent inside and along side the community for 14 years allowed me to learn, grow, make mistakes and build a following of loyal guests. And so, at 29, I became my bosses landlord as his time grew short and I bought the bayfront shack we call home.
Over the next 33 seasons, we have continued to try to keep raising the bar and to lift up all parts of our community. This wonderful place continues to give back to my family and my next generation is there to watch it happen.
We will always strive for perfection and hope you continue along for the ride.