I love themed restaurants. Before moving to New York City, the highlight of my visits was always an outer spaced themed restaurant called Mars 2112. Located in Times Square, this place took you to the planet Mars in the year 2112 (the year NASA predicted colonization to begin). Outer space focused stuff gets me in a frenzy, which is why Mars 2112 remains my favorite themed restaurant of all time.
Lee and I went to Mars a couple times, and it was out of this world. The place is so overwhelming that we mostly forgot to take photos. For some strange reason when we went in 2008 with Chris, we only brought curiosity and a disposable camera with us. (I really have no idea why we even had a disposable camera in 2008, but I managed to find the cd of photos for this blog post!)
To get into Mars 2112, a five-minute simulated flying saucer ride on a “transporter” at the entrance takes you to a mining colony of the Red Planet. Once you entered The Empress Grotto (main dining room), the floors, ceilings, and walls turned cavernous and dark red, just as I imagine the surface of Mars. Martian waiters! Craters! Space-themed food! An outer space arcade! Mars 2112 was my jam.
When I found out I was moving to NYC for grad school, I told everyone I knew how excited I was to go to Mars 2112 all the time. I lured people to visit, saying I would take them to my favorite restaurant in the world. I had a plan to have every happy hour at Mars 2112.
The restaurant’s story lives on in my memory as the best design concept restaurant I have ever visited.
[If you ever have questions about Mars 2112, I did a research project on it for my design history class this semester. I’m kind of an expert on it.]