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What Could Go in the Old Dodge Street Space?

We checked with the city planner. Here's what she had to say.

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.

Jd Walker April 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM
I agree with a bar and music but why cant they put something there with alittle bit of everything kind of like Good Times in Somerville Ma. Im not sure how much space is needed for that and if there is anyway of expanding and of course parking but there are parking garages, just another something to consider :)
CarleaSkunkrawk April 29, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Food Coop, music venue, all ages venue...great ideas. The problem, however that I bet people are finding with the space is the fact that it's totally destroyed inside. My husband and I inquired about it, actually, for an all ages music venue and found that the insurance on the place is through the roof.
Andrew S Browning April 29, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Methadone Clinic?
Lisa Jean Baptiste Peterson April 29, 2012 at 02:49 PM
LOVE the Good Times idea! :)
Dick Delorey April 29, 2012 at 03:28 PM
A Gourmet food store with a quality Fish Market - Like a combination of Henry's Market and Cherry Street Fish Market.
chester suchecki April 29, 2012 at 04:27 PM
how about a 5 star hispanic island style restaurant with take out.
chester suchecki April 29, 2012 at 04:30 PM
put the methadone clinic in one of the empty stores on essex st. thats probably one that wont leave after a year
john April 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM
How about a garbage dump nice and close to chester?
john April 30, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Lynn Duncan,like all city planners, is a puppet for the mayor. I happen to know first hand that she will push the mayors agenda even if it means being untruthful. If the mayor or ANY department heads are not forced into a corner and held accontable,they will only push what the mayor tells them too.Lynn told me something on a differnt issue and then told the council the complete opposite.Only problem was that I was there and called her out. The proposal was withdrawn and she tried to personaly explain her way out of it. Mayor Driscolls administration is a shame.
Chris Cole April 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM
I beleive if the right person opened up there and focused on live music and craft beer it would be a huge success. The problem is, is that the existing liquor license has already been purchased. Unfortunately from what i understand the current holder of the license does not plan (at this time) on using it for that location. As for Salems music scene? Check out Bob Brodericks weekly column under local voices.Bob gives a complete run down of all the entertainment going down around town....and believe me....theres more happening than you think.
Don Nadeau April 30, 2012 at 01:03 PM
John's derogatory rant and vague accusations against the city officials on a question of pure zoning has no place here. I immediately suspect his agenda.
john April 30, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I have no agenda but I do a right to my opinion.I clearly stated my point was based on another situation involving Lynn Duncan so I am not even talking about zoning.You have no idea what information I am reffering to.
chester suchecki May 02, 2012 at 01:40 PM
i think a teen center is a great idea. kids need a place to go besides the streets.

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