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Morena Espresso

A new coffee and cultural hub for Mermaid Beach.

Oh hey Mermaid, long time no see, missed you. Seriously though, it’s been awhile since we discussed the happenings of the suburb with the prettiest name in the world (biased) but here we go.

Morena Espresso quietly opened their colourful doors last week adding to the rapidly growing creative scene Mermaid has going on.

The space, on the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Cronulla Ave (where Hula Girl Espresso once lived) is stunning, filled with locally made goodies you may purchase while patiently (haha) waiting for your cup of caffeine.

Made of two levels, there’s plenty of spots for relaxing, including a bright pink couch, a communal table set up down the centre of the space and some little tables set amongst said purchasable goodies. Brands on offer include Drift Trading Co. candles, Ecua Andino Hats, Rustic Peppermint and Kippy Skateboards to name a few local legends.

Outside, an eye-catching mural has been painted by local artists Fa Bio and Barbara Farias Lama and it’s all Spanish animals and palm trees and a pretty brunette drinking a tasty cuppa. It’s one of the prettiest on the Coast.

Morena Espresso is the kind of place you can pop in for a quick takeaway coffee or pull up a spot and spend all day working (slash making a list of all the pretty things you want to buy).

Obviously, takeaway coffee is the name of the game and the beans on offer are Byron Bay’s Marvell St.

At the moment, eats are limited to a few raw treats but in the next week there’ll be an array of tasty toasties on offer as well as smoothies, acai bowls and more raw treats. All perfect for feeding your hungry self on the go.

Not only eats and espresso, Morena will soon play host to creative workshops including song writing and salsa dancing. There’ll also be art exhibitions by local artists and all of those sounds like a very good time to us.

Pop down and say hello to the people bringing a little bit more colour, and a little bit more caffeine to your day.

What would we do without them.

LOCATION: 2550 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
HOURS: 6am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 2pm Saturday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

10 reasons locals love Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach T-Shirts The Undercurrent
Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2021 The Undercurrent)

It’s the destination we all know and love. Relaxed, a little bit retro and constantly surprising us with new places to eat and play. It’s the much-loved suburb that flies under the radar when visitors come to town but to locals, it’s pure magic.

To show our love for this beachside beauty, here are ten things we locals love about Mermaid Beach.

The North Room
Recent receivers of a very prestigious hat, The North Room is an intimate restaurant serving up some absolutely stunning contemporary dishes that you’ll want to wrap your mouth around ASAP. Bookings are essential and they open for lunch Friday and Saturday and dinner Thursday to Saturday so you’ll want to get in quick. Huge fans of this place.
Where: 1/2527 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Little Mermaid
There’s a lot to be said about infusing a space with tropical, feel-good vibes and Little Mermaid, on the highway, has done exactly that. Decked out with plenty of greenery, a laidback beachy feel, and tons of space for all your friends this is the place to be. The bar and restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which more often than not, is overflowing with folks having the time of their lives as the sun goes down. Little Mermaid has earned the love of locals for their tasty eats, creative cocktails, and generally cool aesthetic – so get there now.
Where: 2557 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

The Borrowed Nursery
Never before has a plant nursery gained such a cult-like following so quickly (or perhaps ever). The Borrowed Nursery draws plant lovers and photographers in droves due to its Instagram-worthy aesthetics and bespoke greenery. While you can certainly purchase the potted petals for your humble abode, you may also like to hire them for an event (which is quite the concept if you ask us). The stunning space also hosts workshops and yoga classes amongst the leafy greens but if that’s not your jam at least pop in for some healthy retail therapy and an Insta-snap.
Where: 42-44 Cronulla Ave, Mermaid Beach

The Borrowed Nursery (image supplied)

Italian food is one of life’s greatest pleasures and particularly when it comes from Mermaid’s Lupo. Tucked away in the little complex that’s also home to Bonita Bonita, Lupo’s menu is one you’ll never forget. It’s a quiet, laidback space, low-lit & moody, and did we mention one of the very best spots for drinking incredible cocktails and filling your belly with goodness.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Zeppelin Barbers
This is one for the fellas… Zeppelin Barbers is the best on the Coast if the man in your life is looking for a fresh cut. Jase and the team are absolute weapons with the scissors and they deliver quality chat and a frosty beer while they’re at it. Good vibes always.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach Surf Club
How good are surf clubs? Mermaid’s is right on the ocean with uninterrupted views, delicious meals that will fill you right up, and of course, a sweet selection of drinks to sip on. It’s an amazing spot to watch the sun go down with the crew and always provides a quality atmosphere with a buzz of people.
Where: 172 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach

Soak Bathhouse
It only opened recently but already Soak Bathhouse has become a firm favourite amongst those who are a little bit partial to some rest and relaxation in a beautiful environment (so everyone). It’s a stunning oasis featuring a magnesium pool, massage rooms, a sauna, spas, and a cold plunge pool. Plus you can get an LED facial and just generally kick your feet up and chill – tried and tested by us and we highly recommend it.
Where: 2532 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Soak Bathhouse
Soak Bathhouse (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

The Glenelg Public House
Serving up premium steak and boutique wine (among other delicious things), The Glenelg Public House is an absolute must-visit in Mermaid Beach and just generally on the Gold Coast. If for some reason you’re not into steak, everything on the menu is top-notch and they have a selection of some of the best sides we’ve ever sampled. There are also small plate options and it’s all mind-blowing. We vouch for the gnocchi. Just. Trust. Us.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Bonita Bonita
Mexican eats at their absolute finest can be found at Bonita Bonita. Taco Thursdays are a favourite amongst the locals and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options should that be your thing. Right next door is Bon Bon Bar so you should also head in there for bulk margaritas before sampling all of the epic eats on offer.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach Bowls Club
Barefoot bowls is never not a fun time and so, there’s plenty of fun to be had at Mermaid Beach Bowls Club. Round up the crew on a Sunday afternoon for bulk beers and a little ball throwing (bowling) and then venture onto one of the many eateries (like those listed above) to round out the night.
Where: 2418 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Surely we have convinced you that Mermaid Beach is the place to be by now?

Words by Kirra Smith.

Bonita Bonita Flat Lay
Bonita Bonita (image supplied)

Little Mermaid

Out with the old and in with the new! With no trace of the old K-bar and Meze in sight, the newly renovated space, Little Mermaid brings a bright and beachy eatery to Mermaid Beach.

When the team from K-bar ripped out their coffee bean roasters, they knew this was the perfect time for a makeover. Co-owner Tobias Diamandopoulos explains that this time around they didn’t go for what was ‘on trend’, they went only with what they liked. I guess there is something to be said for going with your gut, because Little Mermaid has quickly become one of the hottest restaurants on the Gold Coast.

Although a play on words, Little Mermaid has nothing to do with Ariel (sorry Disney fans), but has been fitted in light colours and plenty of plants, giving the space a tropical vibe.

Co-owner Joe Hutchines l has used his background in design to make the most of the rectangular space. By use of partition, swings and elevations, Little Mermaid has at least six spaces with different different vibes all under 1 roof.

If there is one common thread running throughout the whole restaurant it’s the ‘as you’re ready’ theme. Although a wait staff is available, Tobias has told me they are aiming to have Little Mermaid feel like you are at home. Are you hungry? Hop up and order from the counter. Need a water? There are plenty of water stations situated around the restaurant. Booze? No problem, the friendly bartenders are ready and waiting. Nothing is forced, its a non-pretentious local hangout with delicious food and drink on offer for when you are ready. The boys at Little Mermaid aim to have locals and visitors alike flock to Little Mermaid for an experience they may not be able to get anywhere else on the coast. Not only are they hoping the laid back vibes will draw them in, they are hopeful the food will too.

Dishing up plates to please any palate, the Inside Gold Coast favourite was the Stone & Wood beer battered fish-n-chips because it has a twist, the chips are actually big delicious potato wedges! Served wrapped in butchers paper, it’s got that old school fish-shop feel that we all have come to know and love. We also had a taste of their two favourite salads pear & walnut salad and the crispy Asian salmon salad. Although each salad has a unique flavour of its own, both can be described as refreshing and tasty. An absolute must-have.

Another must have are the cocktails. There is a whole selection of tasty cocktails made with Sol cold pressed juices delivered fresh every few days. If you haven’t quite figured out what that means, it means drink all night and feel great the next day! No more sugary hangovers (however, we can’t guarantee that for the lushes)! Cocktails are available by the glass, but we bet you can’t have just one, so you might as well opt for the jug/watering canister (hey, it’s half healthy anyway!).

A new campaign they have introduced is ‘Street of the Week’. As an appreciation to their local clientele, Little Mermaid is giving away free coffee to anyone living on the ‘Street of the Week’ for an entire week! Talk about a morning pick me up!!

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week, head over and fall in love with this unique eatery like we did. We are dying to go back and try the Green Eggs and Ham, so if you try it before we do, make sure to tag us in your pic! #Inside Gold Coast

Located at 1a/2557 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

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By Marleigh Kelly

Putt Putt Mermaid Beach

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