Seminole Heights bar and pub Mermaid Tavern has closed

Its owner cites building damage as the reason for its closure.

click to enlarge Seminole Heights bar and pub Mermaid Tavern has closed
Mermaid Tavern / Facebook
A popular, divey Tampa bar has closed  in Seminole Heights.

Earlier today, Mermaid Tavern's co-owner Lux Devoid confirmed that the bar has officially shuttered its doors at 6719 N Nebraska Ave.

Mermaid Tavern is also listed as “permanently closed” on both Google and its Facebook, although the business hasn’t updated its patrons on any social media pages yet.

Devoid took to social media to discuss Mermaid’s closure, citing the building’s “roof leaks, moisture issues and termites,” among other issues.

“To help end the speculation, Mermaid was in an on-going lease negotiation. The 70 year-old plus building needed significant repair and updating,” Devoid wrote on Facebook.  “The landlord was not only refusing repairs but increasing the rent significantly. I was not willing to throw in $75-100k to rehab a building I don’t own."

DeVoid and Becky Flanders opened their Seminole Heights bar back in 2011, which quickly gained popularity due to its vast selection of craft brews and menu of beer-friendly eats. But over the past few years the Seminole Heights hotspot found itself under the microscope.

In 2016 Mermaid was grilled in Laura Reilly's James Beard and Pulitzer-nominated "Farm To Fable" exposé that investigated local restaurants' locally-sourced claims.

Recently the concept garnered a contentious reputation among local residents, mainly stemming from the owners' political views and brazen opinions about the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2021, Tampa-based journalist Timothy Burke posted a clip from a local school board meeting where Flanders compared mask mandates to full-blown fascism, among other anti-vaxx sentiments. Last year, former CL reporter Justin Garcia reported that Mermaid Tavern hosted a fundraiser for the right-wing anti-vaxxer and Moms for Freedom co-founder Alysha "Aly Marie" Legge, who attempted to win a seat on the Hillsborough County School Board.

In addition to hosting the fundraising event, Mermaid Tavern also donated 20% of their food and drink sales to her campaign.