February 7, 2013
Mars 2112: An Interplanetary Space Tragedy
Rayshell Clapper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
If you were going to open a space-themed restaurant, what planet would you choose to focus the place around? Well in 1999, one group thought Mars would be the best space object for a themed restaurant, so they opened Mars 2112. And why not? If Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and a slew of others can write about Mars, why not create a restaurant tourist trap in none other than New York paying homage to Earth´s favorite sister planet?
The 600-seat place focused its decorations and menu on Mars, and it even had an arcade with games and activities all about the red planet. The menu had items like Nebulla Chili Nachos, Quasar Quesadilla and Sub-Space Samplers all from the “First Contact” portion of the menu (otherwise known as “appetizers”). For the Galactic Greens (yep, you guessed it — these were the salads) they had Meteor Mahi Mahi, Martian House Salad and the Pavonis Mons Chinese Chicken Salad, just to name a few.
The Mars 2112 menu also offered Boosters (side dishes), Cosmic Combos (sandwiches), Primary Orbits (entrees), Healthy Choices and Sweet Planets (desserts). Interstellar eating never knew it had it so good.
For Mars lovers around the world, this New York restaurant added something to a visit. It was, most definitely, appealing mainly to tourists. Perhaps New York City simply didn´t offer enough culture and experience, so Mars 2112 brought a galactic feel to the city and its tourists.
According to the website am New York, Mars 2112 made headlines when it turned out Shaq for not being dressed nicely enough. A tourist could come in with just jeans and t-shirt, but not Shaq! The famed basketballer replied simply, “Are you serious?” and then sought out a different eatery for his meal.
But alas, Mars 2112 did not even make it through 2012. In January of 2012, the restaurant closed, allegedly for remodeling. However, the famous auctioneer Michael Amodeo held two massive auctions in early January of 2012. These included more than 100 amusements and arcade games such as Smack N Alien Redemption (which sounds remarkably like a Mars game if ever there was one) and contents of a 600-seat restaurant that included space-themed dining rooms and space figures. Now, a year later, we know for sure that Mars 2112 died in January 2012, and said remodeling never took place.
For the many Martian lovers, they will never experience the Mars 2112 atmosphere. They will barely be able to read about it as even a year later, Mars 2112 is fading into a distant galaxy.
It is probably a good thing the place closed its doors for good. In its short life, Mars 2112 experienced two bankruptcies — one in 2002 and again in 2007. Apparently tapping into the galactic market was not enough to keep this starship afloat.
Perhaps we are witnessing the end of most themed-restaurants. Or perhaps new orbiters will figure out a different planet and open a new kitschy, space-themed place. Only time will tell.