DRINK CLUB: Mars Bar
25 E. 1st street/2nd avenue, Manhattan
When a friend suggested I review the East Village’s “diviest bar in Manhattan” for my bi-weekly dive bar review, I thought it was a good idea . . . until the moment I showed up. As soon as I am outside the front door of a building that should clearly be condemned, I am greeted by the first of many alcoholics I would encounter that evening asking me if he can buy me a drink.
When I tell him no thank you, I’m meeting a friend, he throws a limbless stuffed animal at me. I walk inside to the darkest, dirtiest, but surprisingly not smelliest, hole outside of Detroit. The only decoration, besides the graffiti and art most likely found in a dumpster, is empty cases of bud and bud light stacked 5 feet high behind the bar.
I sit down next to what looks like a disgraced 80’s hair band drummer who proceeds to scoot his chair right next to me so that we are shoulder to shoulder and asks me if we can talk. But he’s so drunk he is barely incomprehensible. When I tell him “please don’t touch me,” he asks me to draw a picture on his tattooed forearm.
I tell him I’m married. I order a bud light and the bartender gives me a dirty look.
Is that even too high brow for this place?
My friend shows up and at that point 80’s hair band guy looks like he’s going to throw up on me and is angry that I’m with a date. He has, at best, three teeth and is still being served despite his head being down on the table and the bartender asking him if he’s going to vomit.
Needless to say, the $4 bud light was overpriced, the juke box was decent but why would you want to listen to it in this dump-an atmosphere that is clearly trying too hard to be the Epcot Center of New York dive bars. The only thing authentically divey about Mars Bar is it’s location and it’s success in serving a slew of sad, unemployed alcoholics who are clearly in need of treatment and psychiatric care.