Dec 072019

The holidays are here, and Salem is dressing up for the season with trees, wreaths, and ribbons. As part of the festive fun, downtown businesses decorate their windows especially for the holidays. Judges nominated by Salem Main Streets will make the rounds to vote on the best windows. Award categories typically highlight good retail design – use of store products or display of a business’ services – or types of design, like most traditional.

Windows will begin to be decorated and ready for judging by Dec. 7th. Winners will be announced by Dec. 14th. This year’s participating businesses currently include:

1 Harrison’s Comics & Pop Culture, 252 Essex St.
2 Vampfangs, 244 Essex St.
3 Gulu-Gulu Café, 247 Essex St.
4 Flying Saucer Pizza Company, 118 Washington St.
5 Turner’s Seafood, 43 Church St.
6 LightShed Photography, 79 Washington St.
7 Coon’s Card & Gift Shop, 226 Essex St.
8 J. Mode, 17 Front St.
9 Trolley Depot, 191 Essex St.
10 Modern Millie Shop, 3 Central St.
11 nAGLY, inside Witch City Mall
12 Witch Pix, 172 Essex St.
13 Salem Collective of Artists & Musicians, 179 Essex St.
14 Kakawa Chocolate House, 173, Essex St.
15 Moody Home & Goods, 131-1 Essex St.
16 Beautiful Things, 127 Essex St.
17 Remember Salem,127 Essex St.
18 SATV, 285 Derby St.
19 The Happy Sunflower, 78 Wharf St.
20 Partridge in a Bear Tree, 82 Wharf St.
21 Salemdipity, 86 Wharf St.
22 Style Snoop, 96 Wharf St.

Nov 292019

Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30, 2019) is a time to steer away from the major corporations of the world and support your local mom-and-pop shop. Salem is iconic for Halloween and maritime history, but is also increasingly known for its impressive collection of small businesses all year round. There are dozens of sweet deals you can get from our dynamic brick and mortars, and Small Business Saturday is the day to do it.

In 2010, small businesses were still suffering from the recession. In return, American Express birthed Small Business Saturday in an effort draw awareness to the diversity and necessity of healthy small businesses in the US. By 2013, more than 1,400 individuals and organizations had signed up as Neighborhood Champions, who have led the way by rallying their respective communities by hosting events and activities on Small Business Saturday. The number of Neighborhood Champions have grown annually, and by 2017, there were more than 7,200 Neighborhood Champions across all 50 states.  Small Business Saturday spending has now reached a reported estimate of $103 billion since the day began in 2010.

Why does this matter so much for Salem? Downtown Salem is made up of over 250 active storefronts. The vast majority of these storefronts (at least 90%!) are locally-owned and operated. Imagine what our downtown would look like without them. At least a third of downtown storefront businesses are microenterprises (fewer than five full-time employees) – when we say small business, we really mean small! Amex estimates that for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately 67 cents stays in the local community. So when you choose these small businesses over a larger corporation, two-thirds of your money stays here in our local economy.

Of the 30 new storefronts that have opened in downtown Salem in the last 2 years, 50% were filled by homegrown local businesses that started off as street fair or farmers market vendors, gaining community support before moving into a permanent space. Many downtown businessowners told us that they opened a business in Salem specifically because they lived here. These are not just faceless businesses – these are our neighbors, and their passion for serving their community sets them apart. Celebrate the beauty of an independent venture and keep Salem vibrant all year-round by participating in Small Business Saturday this Saturday, November 30, 2019!

Oct 082019
Photo Credit – Joey Phoenix Photography

Salem is going to the dogs (and cats and lizards and bunnies), and we couldn’t be happier about it! Salem Main Streets is very pleased to produce the fifth annual Howl-o-ween Pet Parade, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 1 pm on Derby Wharf, Salem Maritime National Historic Site (160 Derby Street).

“This started as a very casual little event, and every year we grow more and more,” says Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets. “Salem is such a pet-friendly city; it seemed like a no-brainer that we needed a community pet parade during Haunted Happenings. It’s such a special way to engage our residents, appeal to our visitors, and celebrate our local business community. We loved our move down to Derby Wharf last year, where we have more room to spread out and the great backdrop of Salem Harbor.”

The event will include an area with information about the National Park Service Bark Ranger Program, local rescues and pet-focused downtown businesses, and most importantly, a parade and costume contest with prizes. Pets of all species are welcome, but should be well-behaved and comfortable at a busy event where there are likely to be many dogs. The parade is rain or shine. Registration begins at 1 pm, with the Parade generally kicking off between 1:30 and 1:45 with a loop around Derby and Central Wharves, and ending with the costume contest.

Salem Main Streets asks all parade participants to register online in advance if possible, with a small donation of $5. All proceeds go directly to Salem Main Streets in support of special community programs all year round. Online registration is now closed, but you can still register pets onsite the day of the parade.

The 2019 Howl-o-ween Pet Parade is supported by primary sponsor New England Dog Biscuit Company, Witch Pix, Scarlet Letter Press, and Noble Beasts Pet Care.

Aug 272019

Salem Main Streets is looking for local Salem enthusiasts to help greet visitors at the October Information Booth.  Volunteers will staff the booth at the start of the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall, handing out maps and sharing information about Salem’s wide variety of attractions, events, and businesses.  Last year volunteers assisted over 22,000 visitors during the weekends and holidays in October.

All volunteers are asked to be available for a minimum of two shifts for two hours each and will be required to complete a one hour orientation session.  The orientation will take place on Saturday, September 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center. Volunteers will be updated on new October events and there will be time for returning volunteers to share insights and information with those new to the program.  Sign up for the Orientation here –

Volunteers are needed for two hour shifts throughout the day each weekend in October, as well as some additional dates including October 3 (Parade night), October 14 (Columbus Day), and of course, October 31 (Halloween Night). We are also looking for multi-lingual volunteers to assist the many international visitors who come to Salem. If you have availability some of these days, enjoy helping visitors by showing them your enthusiasm for our cultured and historic city, and want to make it fun and easy for visitors to explore all of Salem’s sites and attractions, please join us! 

For more information or to become a volunteer please contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets’ Executive Director, at (978)744-0004 x115 or This program is organized by Salem Main Streets in partnership with the City of Salem, with support from Destination Salem and the National Park Service.

Jul 302019

It’s that time of year again – the Best of the North Shore‘s annual awards have been announced, and our Salem businesses and events have risen to the top again! We are especially excited for the recognition of those projects that Salem Main Streets had a direct hand in, including the Salem Farmers’ Market, the Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, and (to a certain extent) Haunted Happenings.

Check out this awesome list of Salem-based award winners, or check out North Shore Magazine’s website for a full list –

Bacon – Back Alley Bacon (Readers’ Choice)
Bakery/Bread– A&J King (Editors’ and Readers’ Choice)
Brunch – Ledger Restaurant & Bar (Readers’)
Burger – Ledger Restaurant & Bar (Editors’ Choice)
Fish & Chips – Turner’s Seafood (Readers’)
Fish Sandwich – Turner’s Seafood (Readers’)
General Excellence – Ledger Restaurant & Bar (Readers’)
Gluten Free – Life Alive (Editors’)
Indian – Passage to India (Readers’)
Mexican – Howling Wolf (Editors’)
Mussels – Finz Seafood & Grill (Editors’), Turner’s Seafood (Readers’)
New Restaurant– Stella’s Restaurant and Wine Bar (tie for Editor’s Choice), Ledger (Readers’)
Pizza – Bambolina (Editors’ tie and Readers’)
Ramen – Kokeshi (Readers’)
Seafood – Turner’s (Readers’)
Tacos – Sea Level Oyster Bar (Readers’)
Vegetarian – Life Alive (Editors’ and Readers’)

Bar – Ledger Restaurant & Bar (Editors’)
Beer Garden – Notch Brewing (Readers’)
Beer Menu – Gulu Gulu Café (Readers’)
Brewery – Notch Brewing (Runner Up)
Distillery– Deacon Giles (Readers’)
Hard Cider – Far From the Tree (Editors’ and Readers’)
Juice Bar – Life Alive (Readers’)
Taproom – Notch Brewery (Readers’)
Wine List– Stella’s Restaurant and Wine Bar (Editors’), Ledger (Readers’)
Winery– 1634 Meadery (Editors’) – Salem Farmers’ Market vendor

Candies– Ye Olde Pepper Companie (Editors’), Harbor Sweets (Readers’)
Chocolate – Harbor Sweets (Readers’)
Cookies – Goodnight Fatty (Editors’)
Dessert – Ledger (Editors’), Caramel French Patisserie (Readers’)

Farmers’ Market – Salem Farmers’ Market (Editors’)
Personal Chef Service – Fine Food + Cooking LLC by Ricardo Sanchez (Editors’)
Tailoring/Altering – Alterations by Rosa (Readers’)

Arts Festival – Salem Arts Festival (Readers’)
Charter Boat – When and If (Editors’)
Family Hangout – Peabody Essex Museum (Editors’ and Readers’)
Festival (Fall) – Haunted Happenings (Readers’)
Festival (Spring) – Salem Film Fest (Editors’)
Festival (Winter) – Salem’s So Sweet (Editors’)
Museum– Peabody Essex Museum (Editors’ and Readers’)

Cheese Shop – The Cheese Shop of Salem (Editors’ and Readers’)
Makeup Selection – Rouge Cosmetics (Editors’)
Yoga Apparel – Yoga Sakti (Editors’)

Barber Shop – Badabing Barbershop and Shave Parlor (Readers’)
Bed & Breakfast – The Merchant (Editors’)

Billiards – Village Tavern (Readers’)
Guys’ Night Out – Bit Bar (Editors’)