On Friday, May 29, I had the opportunity to see what is possibly the last Mermaid Show at the Sheraton Yankee Clipper Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I, my wife Colleen, and Captain Steve set sail for (ok, we drove to) Fort Lauderdale Beach just to see the show.
The hotel, famous for being built in the shape of a cruise ship, is scheduled for a total “gutting” and renovation this summer, along with the world-famous Wreck Bar and its Mermaid show. It’s unclear if the Wreck Bar will survive the transformation, and if it does, whether the Mermaids will be back.
The Wreck Bar was featured in the movies Where the Boys Are and Analyze This, with the beautiful swimming mermaids visible through the glass windows to the swimming pool. Hopefully the corporate bobble-heads that run the Sheraton will realize they have a responsibility to preserving, at least in some capacity, one of the landmarks that made Fort Lauderdale worth visiting to begin with.
The Mermaid show was packed…we couldn’t get near the windows, or even get a seat. Surprisingly there were lots of kids there to watch the pretty mermaids. (Yes, kids in a bar. But their parents were spending money, Sheraton!) The ladies performed for about an hour, and then without any ceremony simply waved goodbye and swam away.
The bar itself was nothing like it looked in old photos. Apparently a lot of the old decor has been removed, possibly by employees taking souvenirs of the bar before the wrecking crew…wrecks…the Wreck Bar.
Here are some photos from the Wreck Bar. I tried to get more but there were just too many people in front of me! It’s sad to think that something so very kool that survived 50 years of changing trends might disappear to be replaced by a common chain restaurant or “trendy” martini bar. Sheraton people, if you’re reading this…we have enough of that junk. Keep the Wreck Bar, retro is in, baby!
(Click on each photo to enlarge)