We stopped into Mars Bar last night and you can bet talk eventually turned to the possibility that the dive will close for two years while a twelve-story apartment building is erected on top of it. The bartenders didnt seem to know more than anyone else, but for what its worth, neither of them believed owner Hank Penza would actually bother reopening the bar, given that hes almost 80 (hes owned bars on the Bowery since 1957, according to a great Observer piece from 2005 in which a patron refers to Mars Bar as the last party).
Still, Penza is now telling the Local East Village that the new version will be bigger and better, but with the same attitude. Curbed and Bowery Boogie also sat in on the Community Board 3s land use and zoning committee last night and discovered that the current space will be demolished and, if renderings are any indicator, replaced by glass storefronts that look way too luxe to hold anything resembling the original. It seems the neighbors and the buildings tenants are a-okay with that: The committee passed its approval on to the full board, which takes its final vote on December 21.
More On The 12-Story Second Avenue Housing Plan [Bowery Boogie]
Here's What Mars Bar And Its Neighbors Might Be Demolished For [Curbed NY]
Committee Approves Housing Plan [Local East Village/NYT]