In sad end-of-times news (an end to a certain kind of “old days” of the East Village, anyway), permits were filed this week to demolish Mars Bar, the iconic dive on Second Avenue and East 1st. As EV Grieve points out, this goes hand-in-depressing-hand with the demolition of 35 Cooper Square and the temporary closure by the DOH of Ray’s Candy Store. While the actual day-of-wrecking-ball is unknown, Patrick Hedlund of DNA Info reports that an employee answering the phone asked, “Is it the 31st yet?” which seems to indicate an end-of-month demise.
The redevelopment project, which includes the construction of a new 12-story building, requires Mars Bar to close for at least two years, with the option of reopening in a space as much as four times its current size at the same location, the builders’ representatives said.
Bar owner Hank Penza, who has not said much publicly about the closing, came out in favor of the project when it was presented to him. He said Thursday his diminutive dive would shutter for good five days after he receives official paperwork from the city.