Over the weekend, a new Hollywood cocktail bar sporting a galactic name opened with a glamorous bang. Mars is situated directly behind Mother Wolf — they are not affiliated, however — in the historic Citizen News building. The bar’s opening brings with it exclusive vibes (it has already launched a membership program), rare spirits, wine, beer, and a compelling cocktail menu.
Mars is helmed by SBE and Ten Five Hospitality veteran Giancarlo Pagani through his new company, Pagani Hospitality. Pagani wanted to create an exclusive lounge in the unused space. Mars has a curated a la carte drink menu with some rare spirits, a format that fits comfortably into Hollywood’s bottle service culture. Though Mars is Pagani’s vision, Lauren Borisoff of Borisoff Design Studio put the space together.
Lockers with members’ rare bottles line one wall, while Italian-inspired murals and mirrors anchor the others, with intricate tapestries draped throughout. Drinkers can sit on plush chairs and leather sofas in the indoor-outdoor space, which has room for about 250 people.
The cocktails range from $20 to $23 with options like the Belluci, made with Codigo tequila, Del Maguey mezcal, lime, basil, strawberry black pepper syrup, and green Tajín. The Apollo is shaken with Bacardi 8, pineapple rum, lime, Crème de Banane liqueur, and banana foam. There’s a slightly dirty martini on the menu, some beers, and wines from Sonoma and Napa, Italy, France, Armenia, and Australia. The champagne list leans on the pricey side, like a $1,100 bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal. On the spirit side, the Mars team secured a Bushmills 25 whiskey among other prominent distillers, with vodkas, agave spirits, scotch, cognac, and a Yamazaki 12.
Mars is open to the public, but its membership program ups the ante on the experience inside. Membership costs $5,000 annually and includes priority seating, access to Mars’ rare spirits inventory, invites to special events, and a personalized spirits locker embellished with the member’s name. Members are also allowed to bring outside bottles and enjoy them inside the lounge. Mars is surrounded by other nightlife hotspots including Dream Hollywood, the Hotel Cafe, and the rooftop at Grandmaster Recorders.
Mars is located at 1545 Wilcox Avenue. Hours are Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. For information, reservations, and membership details, visit www.marshollywood.com.