As change swirled through the city’s gleaming Pier Avenue during the last half century, the Mermaid has remained a constant, with good drinks and great people, he said. “I just can’t believe they’re going to do this,” the 73-year-old said. “It’ll break my heart.” Thelen bought the bar in 1954 – an era still reflected in the establishment’s vintage decor. And in more than 50 years of business, the two-time Hermosa Beach mayor closed the tavern just twice, Albergate said: once when President Kennedy was shot, and again in 1992 during the Los Angeles riots. But today the 7,000-square-foot ocean-front property – also housing Good Stuff restaurant and the Poop Deck bar – is all but a sitting duck for a developer eyeing built-out Hermosa Beach. The property is currently zoned for light commercial, and City Councilman Sam Edgerton, a longtime Mermaid regular, said a builder has several choices for development, including a similar business or a hotel. Either way, the Mermaid’s void will create sweeping changes in Pier Plaza’s landscape, he said. “The Mermaid was and is the last place you can go to in any of the beach cities where you can get a great table with an ocean view and sit beside people of all generations and everyone is totally comfortable,” Edgerton said. But Mermaid lovers are holding out hope the landmark bar would stay. “There have been some interested (buyers), but also I think the citizens of Hermosa would like to see it stay,” Albergate said. “It’s the heart and soul of the plaza.” Good Stuff owner Cris Bennett had a laid-back attitude toward the possible sale of his restaurant’s land. “It’s just sad to think that this all might be coming to an end,” he said. “We’re just going to keep doing business as usual. I think we’re just going to sit tight and see what happens.” Spirits were also good at the Mermaid during an unusually crowded afternoon last week. “Mermaid Realty. This is Kenny,” bartender Tom Slater answered the shrilling telephone in his best game show host voice. Having suffered through the closings of other bars where he worked, Slater didn’t seem too worried about the Mermaid’s fate. “My wife is looking for another two jobs so I can have a little retirement,” he joked. Albergate figured her late father wouldn’t be pleased about the bar’s sale. Thelen loved the place, and after he took ill about five years ago, his family kept the Mermaid open to “keep Dad running,” she said. “This is `Cheers’ on the beach,” Albergate said. firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The Strand-front property housing the landmark bar in Hermosa Beach has hit the market for $27 million, nearly three months after longtime owner Quentin “Boots” Thelen died, said his stepdaughter, Diana Albergate. Thelen’s six heirs, including Albergate, didn’t struggle with their decision to sell – with the estate tax man knocking, they didn’t have a choice, she said. “We hate to have to do this, but the federal government demands its unfair share,” Albergate said. Also for sale is an adjacent 6,900-square-foot building that faces Pier Plaza and houses four businesses – Mexican restaurant Cantina Real, Lappert’s Ice Cream, Avanti Jewelers and Pier Surf. The family is asking $6.5 million for the property. Sipping a vodka tonic at his favorite drinking spot, Tom Barnett said he was stunned to hear the Mermaid’s land was for sale. By Andrea Woodhouse STAFF WRITER The regulars at the Mermaid, the iconic, wood-paneled, Naugahyde- upholstered watering hole in Hermosa Beach, must be be crying in their beers.