You’ve heard us admit to our affection for the city’s dive bars on numerous occasions, including our recent story of the shuttering of Ruby’s on the Coney Island Boardwalk. And now yet another bit of news this week that another important watering hole may dry up, if only temporarily: The punked out Mars Bar in the East Village, whose graffiti-tagged building will likely soon be renovated. Mars Bar is one of the divier of the city’s dives, staking out the corner of East First Street and Second Avenue. (Just a block from Extra Place!)
As we’ve done in the past, now is the time to share our favorite story from the space: A few years back, during a birthday party the day after New Year’s, we were friendly with a very tall skinny fellow with a head of curly hair who attracted a lot of attention when he entered most dive bars, especially when he’d had his share of whiskey. The majority of the time we’d blindly stick by his side, moving him out of the way of dive bar ruffians who wanted to do him harm. But this time we were tired, so we let him hit Mars Bar with the dregs of the party alone. Where he promptly got into a fight over the jukebox and ended up with a beer bottle broken over his head. Considering the relaxed manner of the bartender who politely asked the birthday party to leave, we suspect it happens frequently. Luckily at Mars, those bottle are pretty cheap.