Mermaid Tavern

The Mermaid Tavern was a notable tavern during the Elizabethan era.

Mermaid Tavern was located in Cheapside, to the east of St. Paul’s Cathedral. It had entrances from both Friday Street and Bread Street. The tavern’s sign, not surprisingly, bore a mermaid.

It was the site of the so-called "Fraternity of Sireniacal Gentlemen", a drinking club that met on the first Friday of every month that included some of the Elizabethan era’s leading literary figures, among them Ben Jonson, John Donne, John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont, Thomas Coryat, John Selden, Robert Bruce Cotton, Richard Carew, Richard Martin, and William Strachey.

A popular tradition has grown up that the group included William Shakespeare, although most scholars think that was improbable.

The tavern, the location of which today corresponds to the corner of Bread and Cannon Streets, burned down in the Great Fire of London.

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