Mars Bar Warns 'The End is Near'

By Patrick Hedlund on May 19, 2011 3:30pm | Updated on May 20, 2011 7:25am

Mars Bar owner Hank Penza (at left) said his beloved dive must close for good five days after he is delivered notice from the city.
Mars Bar owner Hank Penza (at left) said his beloved dive must close for good five days after he is delivered notice from the city.
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DNAinfo/Patrick Hedlund

By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

EAST VILLAGE — The end is here.

Beloved dive Mars Bar is officially bracing for the wrecking ball after permits were filed this week to demolish the Second Avenue watering hole, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation noted.

The fate of the notoriously grungy bar, at the corner of East 1st Street, was sealed late last year as part of plan to redevelop the property as mixed-income housing.

A new mural featuring an image of a gleaming condo facade and proclaiming, "The End is Near" recently went up at the site, with the word "Here" scrawled over it.

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.

An employee answering the phone at the bar Thursday also wasn't sure when Mars Bar's last day is, asking only, "is it the 31st yet?"

A rendering of the forthcoming development at the corner of Second Avenue and East 1st Street.
A rendering of the forthcoming development at the corner of Second Avenue and East 1st Street.
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