Jan 172018
 

Hard to believe that such a simple idea 16 years ago, to have a gathering in Salem in the cold of winter that would warm the hearts of residents, friends, and local merchants, has blossomed into a major North Shore event. It is with a happy heart that Salem Main Streets, along with the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Destination Salem, and local businesses invite you to attend the 16th annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival, Feb. 9-11, 2018.

It is indeed a decadent tradition of delectable chocolate, sparkling ice sculptures, and Valentine’s Day shopping… you won’t want to miss Salem’s sweetest event of the year! It is a great date option!

The Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival officially kicks off with a Chocolate and Wine Tasting, on Friday, February 9th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, at Colonial Hall at Rockafellas, 231 Essex Street.

Did you know that:

  • Americans consume 8 billion pounds of chocolate each year, or over 11 pounds per person. (FranchiseHelp.com)
  • The United States drinks more wine than any other nation on earth. Americans consumed 329 million cases in 2013 (Impact Databank)

Our luscious tasting event features wine and chocolate samplings from premier Salem restaurants, stores, and sweet shops.  Music by local favorite Molly Pinto Madigan will set a sweet mood. This event is the highlight of the season and sells out quickly!

(Tickets are $30 a person and can now be purchased over the phone by calling 978-744-0004, online at www.salemsosweet.com, or in person at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street, Suite 101.)

Starting the morning of Saturday, February 10th, ice sculptures will begin appearing all around downtown Salem. It has become a tradition that some locals will run around the downtown district to be the first to post sculpture pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Last year, we had a record-breaking 25 beautiful ice sculptures, including the Queen of Hearts, Cinderella’s Carriage, a goat named Bella, and more – including actual ice bars at Rockafellas’ and the Regatta Pub. Be sure to make pre-Valentine Day plans for a special evening stroll on Saturday, Feb. 10, when the sculptures will be illuminated by Retonica! More information about this year’s sculptures will be available online at www.salemsosweet.com as we get closer to the event.

The Salem Trolley will offer trolley rides around the festival route (weather permitting) on February 10 & 11 from 12 pm to 4 pm for only $2 an adult (free for children).

Many downtown businesses will offer chocolate samplings and sweet discounts all weekend in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Check to see who is participating in the “Golden Ticket” – make a full-price purchase at one participating downtown business and get 10% off your purchase at the next participating business!  Offer is good Feb. 10 and 11 only, some restrictions may apply. In addition, many of Salem’s finest restaurants and retailers will be offering their own luscious chocolate and love-inspired specials and events.

Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival is organized by Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and supported by Creative Salem, Destination Salem, Retonica, Scarlet Letter Press, and Rockafellas. Visit our website for more events and details as they become available – www.salemsosweet.com – or follow our Facebook page for all the latest updates – https://www.facebook.com/salemsosweet.

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Dec 142017
 

Looking for that “last gift” or stocking stuffer? Something really unusual? May we suggest you check out Salem Ma this Friday and Saturday for your holiday shopping needs?

Festive Fridays is an on-going December promotion designed to make shopping fit your schedule; many Salem merchants will be keeping their businesses open later on Friday night. Why drive all the way to a crowded mall, only to fight for a parking space? Everything in Salem is within walking distance, and there is abundant parking.

You may have browsed some of our stores during October’s Haunted Happenings and thought “I’d like to come back and check this store out when I had more time and not so many party-goers around.” Well, now’s your chance.

Then on Saturday, a wide range of local vendors will be present at The Salem Winter Market. Patrons can expect to fill their shopping bags with an assortment of foods and artisan crafts including seasonal produce, pasture-raised poultry, locally-caught lobster, baked goods, wreaths, handmade soaps, honey, pickles, gourmet ravioli, and artisan chocolates.

The Salem Winter Market takes place from 1-5pm at the Witch City Mall (formerly the Museum Place Mall, 1 Church Street) for your shopping convenience.

“The Winter Market is a fantastic opportunity to support local farms and artisans through the holiday season, and is a chance to find some truly unique holiday gifts,” states Kylie Sullivan, executive director of Salem Main Streets and organizer of the market.

For further information regarding current vendors and Winter Market updates, refer to the Market’s website, Facebook, and Twitter pages, or contact Kylie Sullivan directly at 978/744-0004 x115.

Happy Shopping!

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Dec 032017
 

No more compelling reason to come to Salem Ma in December than the opportunity to dine in any of 17 restaurants offering special prices during  Salem Fall Restaurant Week, Dec. 3-7.

From steak to seafood, American to ethnic, there will be something for everyone as Salem offers not just numerous restaurants but different ethnic and styles of food. All within walking distance of each other. It’s been said you could eat at a different location each night and discover new tasty delights each night.

This Salem Chamber of Commerce project encourages participating Salem restaurants to offer specially priced menus for Salem Fall Restaurant Week during a 5-day span. It is hoped this enticement will encourage not only Salem residents but visitors from along the North Shore to sample the dynamic dining options our creative chefs create.

Participating Restaurants

List is correct as of posting time, but subject to change.

Adriatic Restaurant and Bar click here for menu
155 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (978) 594-1832
Click here to make a reservation.
Offering 3 courses for $30

A warm interior and excellent cuisine– a winning combination that defines the Adriatic Restaurant & Bar. The brick oven pizzas are always a hit, and imaginative libations make customers come back time and again. Excellent market-fresh fish dishes inspired by regions surrounding the Adriatic Sea give this Mediterranean eatery something to boast about. A lengthy wine list featuring imported varietals and blends bring every meal’s flavors to fore and make patrons hunger for more.

Aurora Restaurant Vietnamese Cuisine & Wine Bar
140 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (617) 510-6116
Click here to make a reservation.

Offering the best Vietnamese cuisine around, Aurora believes in featuring regional Asian dishes with fresh, high-quality vegetables, meats, traditional spices, and herbs and is renowned for their seafood phos. If you are looking for healthy dishes and authentic Vietnamese fare, Aurora Restaurant and Wine Bar is the place to go. Great for lunch or dinner, or simply enjoy their wine bar and sample authentic appetizers with your friends.

Bella Verona – click here for menu
107 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 825-9911
Offering 3 courses for $30

Chef-owner Giorgio Manzana hails from Lake Garda, Italy in the Provence of Verona and has a hotel-restaurant background that goes back over 35 years. Bella Verona enjoys catering to their clients, creating new dishes and continuing the simple good and authentic home-style cooking of Manzana’s region as well as other parts of Italy. As an Italian restaurant in the heart of Salem, they will bring you back to Verona, the home of Romeo and Juliet, to lose yourselves in the atmosphere and excellent food. In keeping to their traditional roots, they offer creative options with homemade pastas, and great daily specials.

BonChon click here for menu
299 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 594-8256
Offering 3 courses for $20

“Bonchon” means “my hometown” in Korean. True to their original roots, Bonchon Downtown Salem is a family friendly establishment, offering an affordable casual dining experience along with lively atmosphere.  Enjoy the flavorful chicken wings that are their signature dish and then wash that down with a local Notch brew.

Finz Seafood & Grill click here for menu
76 Wharf Street, Salem, MA – (978) 744-0000
Click here to make a reservation.
Offering 3 courses for $30

Innovative and inspired menus, fresh raw bar, and a carefully chosen wine list all lead to an extraordinary dining experience at Finz. Their menu emphasizes creatively prepared fresh seasonal seafood. Raw bar offers the freshest local oysters, clams, chilled lobster, colossal crab and jumbo shrimp. With indoor and outdoor waterfront dining, Finz is a great place to relax and enjoy outstanding food and drinks. Zagat’s rated Finz Seafood & Grill one of the Top 10 Waterfront restaurants in New England.

Ledger Restaurant – click here for menu
125 Washington Street Salem, MA – (978) 594-1908
Click here to make reservations on Open Table.
Offering 3 courses for $30

Ledger, located in the former Salem Savings Bank building (circa 1818), opened just this year by chef-owner Matt O’Neil and is already being touted by Zagat as one of the six sexiest new restaurants in Boston! Ledger is known for its progressive New England concept of traditional 19th-century dishes, cocktails, and techniques that are elevated with 21st-century resources. This is high-style cuisine, whether it’s the artful plating of each colorful dish or the creative take on wood-fired dishes, house-made charcuterie, and raw bar items.

Longboards Restaurant & Bar – click here for menu
72 Wharf St, Salem, MA – (978) 745-6659
Offering 3 courses for $20 and 3 courses for $30 (lunch or dinner)

Located on Pickering Wharf, Longboards Restaurant & Bar serves up award-winning sandwiches, lobster rolls and their new signature flatbreads, all with the promise that you won’t leave hungry. Longboards is your staple neighborhood bar with a full bar and a great list of local beers – check them out during your favorite game, or come grab a drink and dinner with some friends!

Nat’s at the Hawthorne Hotelclick here for menu
18 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (978) 825-4300
Click here to make reservations on Yelp.
Offering 3 courses for $30

For an unforgettable fine dining experience in Salem, enjoy the ambiance, warmth and hospitality of award-winning seasonal cuisine from Nathaniel’s restaurant. The menu features contemporary dining in a historic setting, while offering a carefully crafted wine menu and scrumptious desserts that will complete any night out or special occasion.

Opus  – click here for menu
87 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (978) 744-9600
Offering 2 courses for $20

With what can only be described as a maverick kitchen, Opus’ cuisine boasts unexpected flavor combinations that simply taste amazing. The restaurant’s dynamic sushi team draws on both east and western influences to create sushi rolls that are truly unique. The upstairs dining room is centered around an oversized, glowing glass bar where guests can meet for a drink or enjoy a three-course meal. Downstairs, in Opus Underground, guests can enjoy nightly entertainment in a Moroccan-inspired space filled with cozy seating and thought-out details. Opus is a go-to destination for live music, dinner, and cocktails seven days a week.

Regatta Pub at the Waterfront Hotel – click here for menu
225 Derby Street, Salem, MA –  (978) 740-8788
Offering 2 courses for $20; or 3 courses for $30

The Regatta offers casual dining with flair. Try their signature “Regatta Blue” martini with your favorite burger or fresh seafood with a glass of chilled wine. The Regatta Pub offers an eclectic choice of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees in a relaxed and nautical inspired atmosphere, or chose to dine outside on their patio, weather permitting.

Rockafellas
231 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 745-2411

Rockafellas established a new tradition in dining in the center of historic Salem in 2003. As the most delicious occupant of the renowned Daniel Low Building, Rockafellas restaurant follows several other institutions of reputation including a department store, a bank (the vault now stores wines) and one of the first churches in America. Their menu features fresh seafood and Black Angus steaks and offers everything from burgers and salads and tapas to gourmet presentations. The wait staff assures a relaxed atmosphere where everyone feels at home.

Salem Beer Works – click here for menu
278 Derby Street, Salem, MA – (978) 745-2337
Offering 2 courses for $20

Located in Historic Downtown Salem since 1996, Salem Beer Works has something for everyone. With 15 freshly brewed beers on tap each day, guests enjoy the seasonal patio (weather permitting) and proximity to the Salem waterfront.   Whether you’re visiting from out of town, or live in the area, Salem Beer Works is the place to go for good food, good beer and good times.

Sea Level Oyster Bar – click here for menu
94 Wharf Street, Salem, MA – (978) 741-0555
Click here to make reservations on Yelp.
Offering 3 courses for $30

Located on Pickering Wharf, Sea Level Oyster Bar boasts two floors of fun while offering comfortable dining and great waterfront views. Sea Level also features a sit down raw bar packed with the freshest shellfish around. With an extensive beer list and creative cocktails that will quench your thirst while the kitchen cooks up fabulous seafood, gourmet pizzas and more, you are guaranteed to leave satisfied! Don’t forget to try their scrumptious desserts stamped in approval.

Smokin’ Betty’s BBQ + Bar – click here for menu
94 Lafayette St. Salem, MA – (978) 594-1132
Offering 2 courses for $20

Owner and restaurateur Steve Feldmann and chef Todd Bekesha have brought good ‘ol southern food to Salem’s thriving restaurant scene. Smokin’ Betty’s BBQ + Bar opened just this year in what was known as the Klondike Club and is already recognized for its fun, rockabilly-roadhouse vibe with colorful murals, communal tables where you can get to know the locals, and a circa-1950s bowling-shuffleboard lane. Choose from plenty of Southern-inspired eats, craft beers and tasty ‘cue accompanied by a half-dozen regional sauces, ranging from mayo-based Alabama style to mustard-and-vinegar South Carolina sauce!

Thai Place – click here for menu
Museum Place Mall, Salem, MA – (978) 741-8008
Offering 2 courses for $20, or 3 courses for $30

Thai Place Restaurant has been open since 1990. Being the first Thai Restaurant in the North Shore area of Massachusetts, they are proud to be one of the first establishments to present the unique taste, culture and sincerity of Thailand. Thai Place’s dedication to prepare the finest Thai food comes with experience, care for their customers and careful selection of the freshest ingredients.

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall  – click here for menu
43 Church Street, Salem, MA – (978) 745-7665
Click here to make reservations on Open Table.
Offering 2 courses for $20, or 3 courses for $30

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall is an authentic New England seafood house in an iconic 1843 building with noted cultural history, complementing their family’s seafood heritage spanning four generations. This is where they prepare the catch-of-the-day becoming classic appetizers, entrees and creative daily specials. Turner’s shucks and serves the finest local and regional oysters & clams in their classic raw bar. And, their seafood market, Salem’s only, offers fresh, raw and prepared seafood to enjoy at home. It’s important to get to the docks early as good fish go fast but, the best go to Turner’s… then to you…. “dock to table” … same day!

Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse
86 Wharf Street, Salem, MA – (978) 745-3400
Overlooking Salem harbor, Victorian Station has established itself as a destination for friends and family for decades and is committed to providing lasting memories for generations to come. Offering a wide variety of fine American cuisine from succulent steaks to the freshest seafood and one of the last remaining “All you can eat” salad bars, there is something for every member of the culinary community.

There you have it. Two and three course special meals. Motivation to checkout a place you’ve driven or walked by. And no October-like crowds. Great time to sample Salem. You have to eat anyway, right? Reservations recommended and please mention Salem Fall Restaurant Week. Table for two, please.

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Nov 262017
 

Everybody has an opinion although sometimes people don’t want to hear yours. But we do when it comes to reactions, comments, criticism, and suggestions about Haunted Happenings in Salem Ma.

Gone but not forgotten, our month-long celebration of Halloween (and all things spooky) doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes a lot of planning by a lot of people, groups, merchants and attractions.

To that end, the city of Salem has scheduled an “after action” review of Halloween 2017 for this Thursday, Nov. 30 from 5-6pm at the Salem Five Community Room, 210 Essex Street.

Everyone is welcome: tourists, business owners and most especially residents! We want you to share feedback with Mayor Kim Driscoll, and city officials in the public safety, traffic & parking, and public works departments.

What did you like, what worked well, and what did not work well for you this past October? Parking? Traffic patterns? Noise?

If you are unable to attend, the Mayor’s team still wants to hear from you. Submit feedback to mayor@salem.com or write to Office of Mayor Kimberly Driscoll, Salem City Hall, 93 Washington Street, Salem Ma 01970.

Thousands of people flood our community every weekend during October. They generate a significant amount of revenue for merchants and attractions. But unintentionally visitors also impact the lives of residents. This is your chance to help Haunted Happenings continue to be an event that serves the needs of all of Salem.

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Nov 242017
 

Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the day that small businesses in Salem and all along Main Street USA really look forward to: Small Business Saturday. First observed in the United States on November 27, 2010, it is a day when communities of shoppers are urged to support the convenience of driving or even walking to their local brick & mortar businesses, instead of fighting the crowds at faraway over-crowded malls.

That kick-off Small Business Saturday was sponsored by American Express, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and Roslindale Village Main Street. Since then it has grown into a nationwide event, with an estimated 112 million consumers reported to have shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2016.

Shopping Local Is An Experience

Small Business Saturday is so great,” explains Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets, “because it’s not just about the shopping or the things – though with over 200 locally-operated storefronts in downtown Salem, there’s certainly no shortage of gifts and treats to be found! Instead it’s more about the experience of being part of a community, the feeling you get when you’re in a locally-owned business that simply can’t be replicated in a box store or online.”

You can walk into a locally-owned Salem store and actually speak to a clerk with product knowledge of items in the store. Or just as likely, you can chat with the store owner! Ever talk to the owner or even manager of a big box store (unless to complain)?

Adds Elizabeth Rutledge, EVP of Global Advertising and Media at American Express, “People across the country are aware of the benefits that small businesses can bring to the community, and the momentum that was started with the first Small Business Saturday continues to build.”

That is backed up by the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. Among U.S. consumers who went out and shopped in-store, total reported spending reached an estimated $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants in 2016.

You will be in good company.

So, a word to the wise, relax on Friday and Monday. And make Saturday your day for walking out of Salem stores with good deals for your holiday and other gift giving needs!

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