, Salem, MA

August 16, 2013

A city says goodbye to a watering hole


---- — 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?

Food facts

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.

Pinto power

While driving through Juniper Point the other day — yes, a passport is still required — we were struck by the number of signs for Steve Pinto for Ward 1 councilor.

We were also struck by the lack of signs for Councilor Bob McCarthy.

Just an observation.

Tower talk

Somebody over at Salem State tweeted a photo yesterday from the 1970s of the university’s old clock tower, which was taken down around 1990.

In just a few hours, it created a lot of buzz.

The clock, by the way, never really worked, and the site was better known for sit-ins during the 1960s.

Sue Brown I and II

In what may be a “first” for the public schools, two women with the same name played prominent roles in Saltonstall’s eighth-grade graduation this summer.

Susan J. Brown was honored with the 2013 Margaret Voss Howard Teacher Recognition Award. The grade 7/8 teacher was lauded for “fierce dedication” to her students and for setting high expectations in the classroom.

At the same graduation, Sue Brown, a retired physical education teacher from Saltonstall, presented the school with a painting she had commissioned. It was a thank-you to a school she loves dearly.

Mr. Emmy

Yes, Virginia, it is possible to attend the Salem Public Schools and go on to lead a successful and happy life.

Exhibit No. 1 is Henry Arlander, who works for a San Francisco advertising agency and recently won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding New Approach for Original Daytime Program or Series.”

Henry and his team also just won three top awards at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

Henry, the son of Constance and Lance Arlander, went to Witchcraft Heights School, Collins Middle School and Salem High (Class of 2001).

If the School Department is looking for better PR, maybe somebody should compile a list of all the graduates who, just like Henry, have gone on to become big successes. Didn’t a graduate of Salem High win a MacArthur genius grant a few years ago?

Has anybody ever thought of putting together a real Salem High Hall of Fame?

Soul food

Do yourself a favor and go to the seventh-annual Salem Jazz and Soul Festival this weekend at Salem Willows.

The weather is supposed to be great tomorrow and Sunday, and this is one of the best events of the year. So, sit back and enjoy the music.

Did we mention it’s free?


If you had dinner reservations tonight at the Salem Diner, make other plans.

Salem State University bought the diner across from its central campus a few weeks ago but hasn’t been able to find anybody to run it, so it was shut down.

The diner will be preserved, but as of now, its fate is uncertain.

‘The Other Woman’

Hank Phillipi Ryan, the Boston TV investigative reporter, will be here Wednesday night to discuss her new mystery, “The Other Woman,” which won this year’s Mary Higgins Clark Award.

According to a press release, she is speaking at 7 p.m. at 115 Derby St. That’s all the release listed — just the address.

That address was a mystery to us until our crack investigative team looked it up and found out it’s The House of the Seven Gables.

Tom Dalton can be reached at