Mars Bar isn't the only East Village institution that refuses to give up the ghost: the vegetarian restaurant Counter has been getting ready to close for ages now. But just like the legendary punk bar (any week now!) Counter's days are numbered. In fact, the restaurant now says that its last service will be July 17. So plan your next week accordingly!

In an e-mail breaking the news executive chef Elena Balletta thanked its customers for a wonderful run:

Well, the end of Counter has finally arrived. I wanted to thank you for all of your support over the past couple of years that I have been at Counter. I am proud of what myself and my team have turned this restaurant into, and will be forever grateful to [owner] Deborah [Gavito] for giving me this opportunity.

Please come out this next week and get your Counter fix for one last time!

BUT do not fret my friends... Keep your eyes and ears alert, because I plan on doing great things from here! Scott Winegard and myself are excited about bringing our supper club, Nasturtium, into the restaurant world. With hard work and the passion that we feel for the food that we create, there is only amazing-ness on the horizon!

Meanwhile, when Counter checks out the First Avenue restaurant will be replaced by a East Side edition of Alex Stupak's West Village Mexican restaurant Empellon, which just got a glowing review in the Times. But Stupak, a former pastry chef at WD-50, tells Eater that the second Empellon won't be more of the same:

At Empellon people come for tacos. This is our focus and that's not going to change, but not everything within Mexican cuisine is meant to be wrapped up in a tortilla. We need to build another kitchen that can hold a new set of ideas. I love the direction that I've chosen but I also want to embrace the way I've cooked in the past and hopefully combine the two in a completely relaxed and personal setting. None of this will be a reality until the winter.