Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Mermaid Cafe. Matala, Crete. 1970

This is the original Mermaid Cafe, a small restaurant and cafe, at Matala, Crete.

The sign of Mermaid (top picture) was a painting on the wall, made by Penelope, the sister of the owner, Stelios.

Penelope painted at first, a bare chested  mermaid, but after Bishop Timotheos termed the region as "a home of moral decay", Penelope painted a second (moral) mermaid  (see second, with the bra top).

The Mermaid Cafe, has been famous by Joni Mitchell's song, Carey...

"...Come on down to the Mermaid Cafe and I will buy you a bottle of wine

And we'll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down.."

 Mitchell has stated publicly that "Carey"
  was    a   memorable hippie, named Cary
  Raditz     (or "Carrot" Raditz), a cane-carrying
  chef with bright red hair that she met in Matala
  during her European odyssey of 1970.


  1. I was there 1970 with my guitar and portable battery operated record player. The Scratchy
    rock and roll records (in the Carey song) were mine.I remember getting free Mama sandwiches because I played Guitar and plenty of fellow hippies would turn up. We were young ,idealistic looking for something..... anyway it was fun.

    1. I wish I had a story like that to tell. Sounds like an amazing time.

  2. I had a cave up on the left side together with Benjamin Mac Anderson from California. What a time, barefoot over the rocks, no sun protection , little food, much wine. Everybody on the way to India...