Posted in music | venues on July 19, 2011

Mars Bar

Back in January, we mentioned that legendary East Village dive bar Mars Bar was set to close. Yesterday the venue reportedly closed for good....

Earlier this afternoon, word spread that Mars Bar, the beloved and soon to be leveled dive on 2nd Avenue, was closed by the Health Department and would be opening up soon. Not the case. An EV Grieve tipster just stopped by and says it's finally time to close for good. Grieve writes "George is frantically taking down art. So -- if you have stuff here, now would be a good time to stop by and collect it."

The owner Hank Penza plans on reopening the bar once the shiny, new replacement condo building project is completed. [Eater]

The above chalk drawing is one of a few pics that Slum Goddess posted from the bar's final night. RIP Mars Bar.

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Comments (72)

R.I.P. my dear friend. You will be missed.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 10:40 AM

Uggh I hope many on here "Snicker" at this loss. There are not "Mounds" of places like this left. I am going to miss the "Krackle" of sounds coming from this place! I used to go here for a "Fast Break" from reality.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 10:48 AM

one more nail

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 10:49 AM

yeah that urine odor in that place will be so missed...

Posted by me | July 19, 2011 10:49 AM

RIP Lower East Side

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 10:49 AM

RIP East Village.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 10:50 AM

RIP NYC

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 10:50 AM

Hooray!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 10:51 AM

Sorry yawl ..this is what happens in life.

Not the first time that area (village) has undergone a change ...won't be the last time either.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 10:53 AM

Gentrification is an inherent part of capitalism, either complain about capitalism or don't complain at all

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 10:57 AM

And I thought this dump was closed for a while. Next up? My guess is Welcome to the Johnson's?!

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 10:57 AM

I wouldn't call this gentrification. More like not wanting to go to a bar that smells like vomit where the bartenders are total dickheads. The bathroom made the one on the cover of Beggar's Banquet seem sanitary.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 11:13 AM

Marianne Faithful will not be happy.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 11:19 AM

If you like a bar where it smells like urine 'everywhere' ... this was it. Seriously, good riddance.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 11:20 AM

How the fuck are people affording to live in all these newfangled condos?

RIP Middle Class

New Rape City

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 11:22 AM

What has happened/is now happening to this area is more than gentrification. It is actually more like forced destruction of an entire class and way of life.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 11:34 AM

this shit hole closed? good...

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 11:36 AM

There's always Second on Second!

Posted by Alar Bean | July 19, 2011 12:01 PM


Best Jukebox in NYC

Posted by peter agoston | July 19, 2011 12:03 PM

"I wouldn't call this gentrification. More like not wanting to go to a bar that smells like vomit where the bartenders are total dickheads. The bathroom made the one on the cover of Beggar's Banquet seem sanitary."

Yeah, it even says that the health department closed it down. It doesn't have anything to do with gentrification.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 12:08 PM

One of the best jukeboxes in the city, but also a crowd that hated half of the shit on it.

IF YOU DON'T WANT ME TO PLAY "COWBOY SONG" BY THIN LIZZY, TAKE IT OFF THE FUCKING JUKEBOX.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 12:21 PM

famous for being disgusting

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 12:49 PM

I can't wait to hear what Dan Deacon and Pains of Being Pure at Heart fans have to say about the demise of one of the only true Rock and Roll bars left in Manhattan.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 1:01 PM

^you sound stupid/broke

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 1:01 PM

I hated that place, and I hated it's staff. The only downside to it's demise is that's is awful staff will be working at bars all over the city. My friends liked it but fuck them, that place sucked. That dump was good for starting fights in.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 1:13 PM

I recall this one time at Mars bar when I drank some whisky and puked behind the jukebox while "Firestarter" by Prodigy was blasting. Good times.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 1:16 PM

I recall this one time at Mars bar when some girl with a spiked choker kneed my friend in the balls because he took her bar stool.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 1:18 PM

I recall this one time at Mars bar when a roving gang of gutter punks ran up in there and started stabbing people with broken bottles of miller high life.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 1:20 PM

I recall this one time at Mars bar when a rather dandy group of French boys entered the doors and a drunken Astro walked up and dumped a can of pabst blue ribbon onto their crotches with statements of lowering the temperature.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 1:27 PM

I recall this one time at Mars Bar where someone played Dave Matthews, and in response, two dudes took a dump near the jukebox. Good times.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 1:35 PM

IT was a shithole. Cool at one point. But eventually a shithole for junkies to get high. Fuck Hank.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 1:57 PM

it smelled like the chick from tune yards in this place

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 2:14 PM

You want shit bartenders? Go to Hogs and Heifers!

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 2:14 PM

I recall this one time at Mars Bar...oh wait, I've always avoided that place like the dump that it is.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 2:18 PM

In rememberance of Mars bar, I shall be preparing a special dish this evening, and I shall share the recipe with all of you.

Mars Bar Hummus:
-1 can chickpeas
-1 tablespoon tahini
-2 bags low grade heroin
-A dash of salt
-Drizzle with urine

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 2:33 PM

A bar here or there doesn't mean squat. It's been a long time since the EVill was at all cool. Just like it'd been a long time since CBGB was consistently any good.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 2:42 PM

they are tearing down irreplacable pieces of NY that took decades to make and putting big glass cookie-cutter-condo boxes, chain stores, and tacky yuppie restaurants in their place. a new mars bar will NEVER grow in the disgusting tourist/translplant breeding ground that giluiani and bloomberg have built. we must fight against these things people. developers and nyc government are in a totally unrestrained, unregulated roman handshake and their actions will destroy quality of life here for everyone but the very rich, the transplants, and the tourists. fight for the integrity of your neighborhoods and the mallification of nyc!!! whether you realize it or not, every square inch of every borough is under attack.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 2:44 PM

@Hank- please, please, please re-open this place in 2013 so we can having somewhere legit to go when 50 more good bars will have shut down by then. there is a terrible epidemic going on in nyc that we should all be conscious of and fight against!

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 2:47 PM

the best place in nyc for anyone looking for a fight. got my rocks off many times there. always did the trick. RIP NYC

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 2:50 PM

@2:33 - something is misisng from your recipe and i can't quite put my finger on it.
-blood from a fistfight?
-fruit flies?
-the tears or a drunk?

oh wait i got it - it's THE SOUL OF NYC

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 2:54 PM

2:44 how long have you been around the E. Village? Why didn't you buy anything pre-gentrification when prices where cheap still? If you did, I bet you wouldn't be complaining. Fucking losers always bitching....

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 2:55 PM

Ruh Roh! The heart and soul and very foundations of the entire NYC have been shattered. Shattered! I tell ya'! Yes, believe it! For evil exists!


All because...... *gasp*!!!

a shitty bar closed down.


because........... it was too shitty.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 3:22 PM

Started hanging out in the East Village around 1987 or so and never once set foot in this bar. The drama over some dump closing is quite pitiful, really. Me? I miss the Village Idiot and Downtown Beirut. Now thems were some quality shitholes, and right next door to each other! But someone else will say that they were crap. And so it goes. The whole neighborhood ain't what it was, and that's what's kinda sad.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 3:38 PM

Who the hell cares... the EV has been dead for years. It's been a collrge kid/rich kid playgraund since the towers fell.

Posted by dave from nyc | July 19, 2011 3:45 PM

Before the towers fell, really. Flush with cash Silicon Alley faggots are who first started the ruining, I think.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 3:51 PM

Say whatever mean things you want about the east village, but it still is loaded with good hummus shops.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 4:07 PM

Cowboy Song is one of the greatest songs ever written.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 4:26 PM

The place was a dump, good riddance.

I did my time in the EV/LES in the '90s. Good good times. NYC today is a pale comparison to its past.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 4:44 PM

"I miss the Village Idiot "

Same here. $9 pitchers of Guinness, you are sorely missed. It's successor, The Patriot, sucks.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 4:45 PM

IT'S ALL OVER. IT'S ALL GONE! CBGB/MARS BAR/DOWNTOWN BERUIT/VILLAGE IDIOT/etc etc etc

The cool dangerous edgy LES NYC is forever in the past. An unfortunately now mythical and long ago era.

To those of you who just arrived from the midwest to follow a dream of being in the city.... you missed it big time.

enjoy your hummus and your Williamsburg nonsense and your internet and your gay bands, the cool shit is over big time.

and you know what, your presence here contributed to it's demise.

suckers.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 5:22 PM

NYC was cool when only New Yorkers lived here, and the only transplants were actual artists, instead of kids outta college that wanted to live like the people they saw on tv living in NYC.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 5:34 PM

This is it. I'm officially leaving NY.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 5:49 PM

Comments here attributed as follows:

Old guy, old guy, old guy, old guy, old guy, old guy.

Shut up.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 6:39 PM

Old guy, sure, but the East Village was already on a full suck trajectory while I was still in the category of young. So suck it, 6:39, you state school midwestern fuckstick.

Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2011 6:43 PM

Right. It's ok for some Mid-Westerner transplants in Brooklyn to bash Mars Bar, but this blog wouldn't published bashing the Brooklinites who hates Mars bar. Enjoy your artisanal vegan crap and please stay in Brooklyn, self-serving, self, righteous, self-entitled, holier than thou mighty vegan fadnatic.

Posted by Anon. | July 19, 2011 7:41 PM

I remember my sister taking me here shortly after it opened (around 1987?). The walls were clean and untouched, and the jukebox was playing Prince. Last time I was there was a couple of weeks ago and it was still awesome. I heart Mars!

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 12:05 AM

Stop the "Mid-Westerner transplant" crap. The vast majority of people who live in New York, including back in the 80s and 90s, are not originally from New York. Same with L.A. Everybody knows that. And as a Mid-Westerner who has lived in NYC since 1997, the closing of places like Mars Bar sucks. Our entire social norms are becoming stale and mediocre. We're becoming a people who would rather stare at iphone screens and live in overpriced condos than experience anything real.

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 7:46 AM

But Mid-Westerner transplant crap is fun. Never mind the fact that native New Yorkers are so overwhelmingly stupid and poorly educated that the city would collapse upon itself were it not for a steady infusion of suburbanites.

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 8:01 AM

"And as a Mid-Westerner who has lived in NYC since 1997"

Hey everybody, check out the newbie that thinks he/she is now an expert.

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 9:09 AM

It's a bar. Bars close all the time. Go to Whole Foods and buy a box of wine and go cry it out. Then, suit up and get ready for the game again. ACT LIKE A MAN!

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 10:03 AM

I love how all these stereotypical trendy indie BV losers try to justify that they brought something "big" to NYC.

If by big, you mean this new wave of super-annoying snobbish, trendy, stereotypes that was more pathetic than any of the trendy shit back then in the 90's and 80's, than yeah, your justification is probably valid.

Enjoy life!

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 10:19 AM

2:44 here yes i AM a homeowner in the east village and i have been around here almost 10 yrs, i am 32, native NY'er from queens, and i am UP on my investment. but you know what? property "value" means to different things to different "people."

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 2:32 PM

in the east village, the hummus doth still abound, however that tan, mushy river now flows further underground.

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 2:41 PM

8:01, you are severely retarded.

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 2:44 PM

Wai, I confuse
Who ah heyah oadah pok an wice?
Ees $8.01
You got penny?

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 2:53 PM

"8:01, you are severely retarded."

Yeah, man. New York City's historical high school graduation rates are probably just made up. Likewise, the pitifully low admission standards at CUNYs. It's purely coincidental that most of the native New Yorkers that most professionals work with are either in the mail room, maintenance or the secretarial pool.

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 4:41 PM

NYC would be a festering anal lesion of doom without constant transplants.

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011 6:35 PM

Hhhmmm... I worked there for four years. And not one comment posted even gets close to describing the mars bar. I think ya'll should maybe get behind a bar and work before you over simply gentrification and over-romanticize the time that you got in a fight there or smelled urine or deride the staff. No one could hate the mars bar more than me, but at least that's because I lived it.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2011 5:54 AM

^^^ same could be said to apply to the average BV commentator about all things NYC. I wouldn't limit it to Mars Bar. These horrid people are actually the gentrifiers themselves, crying over their slain lover while holding the bloody knife.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2011 7:35 AM

The East Village wasn't great because of a lack of gentrification. It was great because it had already been gentrified in a uniquely dirty manner. Seriously, why even pretend that a neighborhood of working class Eastern Europeans suddenly decided to be an enclave of punks and anarchists?

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2011 10:28 AM

The Diet Coke @ Mars Bar was sometimes really good. It came in a little clear plastic baggy and on several occasions almost made me mess in my pants.

Yes I know Mars Bar is no longer in existence but the smell of coke farts, body odor and well liquor will forever remain in my nose.

To say I met a lot of interesting people at Mars Bar would be an understatement. The cast of freaks, artists, drug dealers, drunks and hoodlums was like no other and can never be duplicated..... But the one person that I wonder about most Is the guy that lived in the basement.

Yes there was a guy that lived in the basement.

I never met this man, I don't know his name and I have no idea what he looks like. But to this day every time I walk past what is now an almost complete shitty building of condos.

I think to myself...... Where does that guy who used to live in the basement live now ?

Posted by Edward Farrell | May 24, 2014 11:49 AM

11:49 Don't worry friend, he's playing bass in Perfect Pussy.

Posted by Anonymous | May 24, 2014 12:50 PM

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