Tuesday, February 9, 2010
You may have noticed the enticing and artful exterior of the Mermaid Bar on 6745 Germantown Avenue, and if you stop in for a pint, you'll meet one of the most experienced bar owners in Mount Airy.
Michael Rosenberg became the owner of the bar in 1962 when he was twenty-one years old. This month marks fifty-four years since his father, Jules, opened in February of 1956.
"My father ran the business and my mother also worked here from time-to-time. I know this business like the back of my hand," Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg grew up in West Oak Lane and graduated from Germantown High School in 1958. He says he has witnessed the area improve with the times.
"It was nice growing up here," Rosenberg said, "there were a lot of kids, Stenton Avenue had a diner and a bowling alley, it was fun. This area is getting nicer all the time."
A key part in the area's improvements have been through Mt. Airy USA, a community improvement group who works with businesses like the Mermaid Bar to enhance their potential and outside appeal in the community.
"A Mt. Airy USA rep came around and asked me if I was interested in having my property re-done, and I was happy to have them do it," said Rosenberg, "they replaced the cracked window and gave us new lights, a new awning-sign and a whole new front wall."
The recent influx of February snowstorms hasn't stopped Rosenberg from opening his doors. For the big 2010 Nor'easter he slept at the bar in order to open on Saturday.
"I brought a blanket and a pillow and slept on one of the booths - it wasn't too bad," said Rosenberg, "The only day we close is Sunday to respect the churches."
Rosenberg prides himself on knowing his costumers and being a part of the community. "I have a ninety-five year old customer who has been coming here for years and we used to have a former NFL player living across the street who would stop in. Everyone gets along for the most part, and it's a nice place to be. I know mostly everyone in the neighborhood."
If you're wondering where the name comes from, Rosenberg doesn't quite understand it either. "It was named that when my father bought it. It was actually a jazz bar, but all we have now is a jukebox."
Rosenberg says the most played song on the recently updated 2007 jukebox is Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come."
By Meg Frankowski and Joshua Middleton
Team 24 Germantown and Mount Airy
Posted by Meg Frankowski at 12:50 AM