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Mars Bar Forced to Close - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


Mars Bar Forced to Close


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Mars Bar ClosingJoshua Davis Workers removed beer and other beverage from Mars Bar, which was apparently closed by the authorities earlier today.

Update | 6:14 p.m. Health Department officials have confirmed that they ordered the closure of Mars Bar today because of a litany of health code violations. The department said that inspectors observed about 850 fruit flies in various areas of the restaurant and in a bottle of alcohol; the department also cited “conditions conducive to a pest infestation including standing water on a floor near an ice machine, water logged wooden flooring and bottles in a box with fluid in them.”

Update | 5:26 p.m. With the wrecking ball already hanging over its head, Mars Bar was apparently forced to close by the authorities earlier today. EV Grieve posted rumors that the bar had been closed by the Department of Health, but it was unclear whether the closure was temporary or permanent.

A reporter from The Local saw a yellow sign bearing the words “Closed by Order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene” affixed to the front door of the bar around 4 this afternoon. Within a half hour, the sign had been covered and a worker hurled expletives at reporters as they took photographs of the scene.

Grieve called the bar, as did The Local. A man answered the phone and asked about the closure said: “The Mars Bar just closed down now.” He refused to answer any more questions and hung up. Late this afternoon, a handwritten, cardboard sign attached to the store read simply “closed” and beer was being carted out on to the sidewalk.

Owner Hank Penza was at his usual station outside the bar, but patrons and staff at the bar declined to comment to The Local.

In an interview with the Village Voice’s Runnin’ Scared blog, Mr. Penza denied that the Health Department was involved in the bar’s closure.

The Local is continuing to report this story and we will provide more details as they become available.


Khristopher J. Brooks, Joshua Davis, Ian Duncan and Todd Olmstead contributed reporting to this post.

IMG_0387Khristopher J. Brooks The scene outside Mars Bar earlier today.