Last week, we asked you what you'd like to see in the old .
Our readers had lots of suggestions on our site and on Facebook.
Contributor Stewart Lytle checked in with Salem's city planner to see just what could go in that space for this edition of You Ask...Patch Answers.
So, what could go in the Old Dodge Street space?
Here's what Stewart found:
At about 9:30 p.m. every night, Dodge Street Bar & Grill at 7 Dodge St. with live music that attracted local residents and music lovers. It was a mainstay of the local music scene, featuring a large stage behind the main bar, a small stage, plus two game rooms and a bar on one end of the main lounge.
Menu favorites included ribs and made-to-order buffalo wings.
But that has all gone away. Dodge Street Bar & Grill has closed. The closing has prompted some reader outrage and dismay.
Reader Maura Hopkins Allard wrote: “I didn't know it closed...how sad," on Salem Patch last week.
Since the story broke, Patch readers have been vocal about what the Dodge Street space might become.
City Planning Director Lynn Duncan, at the request of Salem Patch, researched what might be possible.
Her conclusion: Almost anything would be allowed in that space. Dodge Street is in the middle of the downtown area, and “that is our most flexible area." Aside from a few exceptions, “everything is allowed,” she said.
Readers have been quick to suggest that the space might be used as a bakery or a restaurant, including pizza, Latin, Tex-Mex food or fish. Robin Flynn wrote: “Bring back Folsom's. It was there a long time ago. Great fish chowder.”
Other suggestions include a local brewery, an art museum a “decent club” or, a very popular idea, a natural co-op grocery.
“Oh my God, that (a natural co-op grocery) would be awesome,” Carlea Shunkrawk O'Mearlaigh wrote.
Jared Robinson wrote that a market might not work in the space because of limited parking.
“A nightclub would make the most sense...Though if they could finagle some parking, a market or retail space would be great.”
Rana Jezzini suggested that it should be converted to something for teenagers to do.
“There is almost nothing for them to do in Salem. A roller skating rink, (like the roller palace Beverly has), ice skating, for God's sake even bowling. They need something to do in this city besides hanging out on the street. What would be really nice is a paintball place that both teenagers and adults can go and have fun. I know they make a lot of money,” Jezzini wrote.
The largest number of readers who responded favored keeping Dodge Street as a music club that promotes local bands. Lisa Santamaria-Capetanelis wrote: “I agree with Diane Wolf! Salem NEEDS a venue exclusively for music. Something with a bar. has been very good to Darq Salem in welcoming us into their lobster trap many times. Since Dodge Street closed we have been left without a local place to enjoy music of all genres. Decade 80s night also needs a home. I vote music venue.”
Amy Brillon agreed: “I say anyone who uses a prime bar like that for anything other than a bar and club with bands and music are missing out and losing serious money. If it was cleaned up and modernized it would be an awesome place to go!”
And Lisa Dolloff Bernardo wrote: “A bar for live music. Salem is missing Dodge. Where are new, local, independent (non-cover, or at least non-cover without a theme) bands playing now? Beverly!”
Be sure to tell us what your favorite option for Dodge Street would be.