SALEM — There are a lot of great memories from the Dodge Street Bar & Grill. While it may not have made the National Register of Historic Places, it was a popular watering hole for many years.
Renowned for live music, Dodge Street was named Bar of the Week by Narragansett Beer a few years ago. That was a great honor back then. Granted, it may have had something to do with it being one of the few places in the galaxy still serving Narragansett.
And the place, to give it its due, once had pretty good food.
Of course, there were some unfortunate low points in recent years, like the night a kitchen worker struck a customer over the head with a club and fled into the night.
Then there was that early morning machete fight outside. But we’re quibbling.
The place is boarded up today and, if developer RCG gets its way, will be torn down shortly to serve as a staging and parking area for a big hotel development next door.
Is this just one more sign of the old Salem exiting out one door as the new Salem enters through another?
If you’re searching for another sign of the changing times, look no further than Brothers Deli, a fine restaurant but not exactly a hip new dining spot.
That could change, though.
The restaurant was in front of the Salem Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday night to discuss improvements to its outside facade and — brace yourself — the introduction of outdoor dining.
Dining al fresco — that, by the way, means “in the fresh air” not “in the flesh” — is all the rage in Salem. Twenty years ago, the only people doing that were sitting on door stoops with brown bags, but today, there are more than 1,000 outdoor dining seats in the downtown.