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Mars Bar Closes for Good

By Patrick Hedlund | July 18, 2011 7:28pm | Updated on July 18, 2011 8:25pm
Mars Bar owner Hank Penza (at left) in front of the beloved dive bar.
Mars Bar owner Hank Penza (at left) in front of the beloved dive bar.
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DNAinfo/Patrick Hedlund

MANHATTAN — The fat lady has finally sung for Mars Bar.

The beloved Second Avenue saloon, slated for demolition next month under a plan to construct a new condo building at the site, was shuttered by the Department of Health Monday.

The DOH closed the notoriously grungy saloon after finding hundreds of fruit flies in various parts of the bar and conditions conducive to infestation, including standing water on the floor and water-logged wooden flooring, a spokespeson said.

The Health Department also cited the bar for having a cracked and chipped wall, unsecured gas cylinders and not having proper test kits for sanitizing dishware.

A person answering the phone at Mars Bar, located at the corner of East First Street, confirmed the news Monday night.

“This location is closed,” said the man, adding that the bar would not reopen before the wrecking ball arrives.

Local blog EV Grieve first reported the news Monday afternoon.

Redevelopment of the site, which includes 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.