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See retro photos of Mars Bar before it becomes a ‘wellness center’

The infamous Lower East Side dive gets the gentrification treatment

By Dana Varinsky
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Though there are no shortage of places to drink in NYC (rooftop bars, wine bars, sports bars —you name it), the city’s dive bars are wonderfully gritty and increasingly hard to find. So when we learned in 2011 that Mars Bar would close to make room for condos, there was a collective sigh of disappointment. When it was rumored to be reopening, hope blossomed, but turns out it’ll only be the same in name alone. Mars Bar is opening its doors again next week, but as a “wellness recreation center,” with yoga, health food and skin-care services. So before we bid adieu, let’s relive the bar’s glory days through the photos below.

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Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Andrew Crump

Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/rick

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Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/NYCUrbanScape

Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Dan DeLuca

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Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Matt Karp

Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Shawn Hoke

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Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Shawn Hoke

Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Dan DeLuca

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Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/David Sierra

Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Phillip Kalantzis Cope

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Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Shawn Hoke

Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Chris Goldberg

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Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Dennis Crowley

Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Phillip Kalantzis Cope

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Mars Bar New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Shawn Hoke

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