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What's the Perfect Match for This Essex Street Storefront?

Play developer and tell us what you think should replace Michael Roberts Hair Fashions.

There's an open space in a prime location on Essex Street that's been left by Michael Roberts Hair Fashions, and we want to know what your vision is for the space.

The building, which is available through The Drumlin Group, is located adjacent to and the Crombie Street lot.

If you had the resources and the authority to decide what would go here, what would you choose?

Tell us in the comments.

John Lovejoy September 16, 2012 at 01:47 PM
would be great to see a chamber of commerce welcome center, interactive and staffed with Salem Ambassadors.
Edward September 16, 2012 at 02:02 PM
A better question would be to ask why are all these small shops closing up?
karianne boom September 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM
A bakery
Eric Wagner September 16, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Vietnamese! Unless someone knows of a great noodle bowl with spring rolls in town...
D. Bell September 16, 2012 at 06:32 PM
John, I like your suggestion better. It would be helpful for the tourists and would be in a central location.
Bill September 17, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Great, great point
chester suchecki September 17, 2012 at 02:19 PM
who cares there is nothing on that end of essex st for locals anyway except the ymca.
Aubry Bracco (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Well, Chester, if you could redesign the entire side of the street, what would you like?
KlassySalem September 17, 2012 at 05:19 PM
To complain...
john September 17, 2012 at 06:07 PM
He does complain alot.
michael beaulieu September 17, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Well John Like father and son
That Girl September 17, 2012 at 06:59 PM
This location is too far up Essex for this to work. The current visitors center, across from the PEM is in a far more central--and visible--location. The current Chamber of Commerce would be better served if it relocated to where the visitors center is on Essex Street, perhaps sharing a space with them. I like your idea of an interactive center staffed with Salem Ambassadors!
That Girl September 17, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Edward's comment above is excellent, the real issue here is WHY are these small shops all closing up? it is, I would think, partially is due to ridiculously high rents, and partially due to location. And, complain if you will, but people come to Salem for the witch shops. If those go away so will the tourist trade. If you want Salem to be like Newburyport, all upscale shopping and sans witch shops, then just go live in Newburyport. You can't have it both ways. We are a tourist town. Take away what the tourists want and they will eventually stop coming which will cause the non-witch-related shops to close as well.
john September 17, 2012 at 07:10 PM
How do you know which John I am?
SalemEats September 17, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Life Alive is a great addition to the already welcome additions of In Sape, Barking Cat and Bella Hair Studio. Eventually, somewhere in the downtown area. I'd love to see a boutique eyewear business like Brookline's Vizio Optic or Boston's Q Optical. Doesn't take a large space.
SalemEats September 17, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Lisa, it does not have to be all or nothing. There's no reason why it can't be an equitable balance between year round shops for residents and tourist attractions. Also, there are many reasons why businesses do not succeed, but the bottom line is businesses succeed when they have a product or service to offer that exceeds customers epectations time and time again. The usual norm IS NOT ACCEPTIBLE, no matter what the business is. Add to that the fact that Salem is a continually evolving city with new residents looking for offerings. I say get on board or someone else will. That end of Essex will be a different experience in 5 years.
jason wert September 18, 2012 at 02:08 AM
There was a great little cheesecake place on the wharf, must be more than 15yrs ago now. I'm not sure what the perfect fit is, but seems like over the yrs salem is losing many of those little people friendly eaterys & storefronts that I love so much. A nail salon on the wharf? Whose idea was that?!! !!
That Girl September 18, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Glenn, I agree. However, it seems that the majority of comments/commentors on all the previous "what should go in [place]'s old space" go on anti-witch shop rants and pretty much want them ALL gone, including the ones that have been on Essex Street for years. I'd love to see things like a normal bookshop (I rarely shop in the one on Essex anymore, too cramped, impossible to find things, and I'm always fearful that I'm going to make books fall), a quality cheese shop, a nice stationery store that isn't Papyrus or a Hallmark (I made this suggestion in a previous story). Quality service & quality products will make me a repeat customer. I love The Beehive, Roost, Scrub... all three, though sometimes a bit pricey, offer wonderful customer service and have items that I need and want year-round. You're very right about people needing to get on board and be open to change.

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