Some sad news out of Mounds View: The iconic statue who's watched over the Mermaid bowling alley and restaurant for decades has, at the age of 54, "had to retire due to being structurally unsafe."
She swam her last strokes Tuesday morning.
Mermaid assistant GM Greg Holeman explains that -- while this is a big loss, no doubt -- there was some structural damage to the old gal that was creating an unsafe environment. In the same way any of us does as we age, a combination of time, weather, and gravity took their toll on the fair maiden, and she'd started to sag.
Unlike the rest of us, she's 60 feet tall, and her sagging meant that she was pressing into the Mermaid's ceiling.
"You gotta figure, she was up there for the last 54 years," Holeman says. "We didn't want her to deteriorate to the point of falling on someone."
Mermaid staffers shared a lovely little obituary on the restaurant's Facebook page Tuesday morning, remembering the lady as someone who lived a "very eventful life" spent listening to bands, hanging out at the nightclub, and overseeing the lanes.
If you were hoping to take home a massive mermaid for your own yard, we have some more sad news: The statue has already made her way to the dump.
"She's gone," Holeman says, and we detect at least a little wistfulness in his voice. "It's an unfortunate thing, but it's something that needed to be done."
Rest in piece, beautiful. Maybe it's time for another candlelight vigil à la the Arby's sign?
Update, February 8, 1:52 p.m.: Mermaid GM Martin Larson reached out to CP to say that the mermaid is, in fact, at a local sign shop, where they're looking at the extent of the damage to see if she can be repaired -- and perhaps reborn somewhere else on the restaurant's property. "But we need to find out what has to be done with her to get her to be safe."