Monday, July 11, 2011

UPDATED: What's the story with the VFW?

The VFW hall on Derby Street now has a for sale sign on it. One would think that with the location next to the new Salem Wharf that this could be a prime retail or dining spot. But what about the VFW post?

A friend, who is also a neighbor of the Post, as well as an associate member, told me a month or two ago that the VFW was buying the Ward 2 Social Club and moving over there. As of now, it doesn't appear that any sale of that property, 1 East Collins Street, has been recorded. I tried to call the Ward 2 club, but only got a robot-voiced answering machine. I tried to find info on this back when he mentioned it, but could find none. I recall the Ward 2 club having a Facebook page at the time, with no mention of any upcoming changes, and now I can't find that. So is the Ward 2 club going? Gone? It's interesting that a few years ago there were several news stories celebrating their 60th anniversary, and touting what a financial and membership turnaround they'd experienced. It would be a shame if they're gone. The appearance of the for sale sign on the VFW reminded me to look back into this.

I get why the VFW would be interested in the Ward 2 property. It has much more parking, was renovated more recently, appears to be bigger, and has a waterfront deck. Does anyone know what the story with the Ward 2 club is? Any thoughts on potential uses of the VFW hall?

UPDATE 7/12: Ask and you shall receive, indirectly. From the Salem News police log this morning: "A discussion on Collins Street regarding the sale of the Ward 2 Social Club got so heated that one member told police at 9:07 a.m. that he was a victim of assault at the hands of another. Police advised him to pursue any actions at District Court." And from the Patch Police Log: "At 9:07 a.m. Monday, police said a man reported he was at a meeting on East Collins Street for the members of the Ward II Social Club about the club's possible sale. The man reported the meeting "got heated and he was assaulted by a man."


  1. Last year, I was on the committee for (now defunct) Salem Senior Recognition Days and the Sosnowskis were on the committee with me.

    We used the kitchen at the Ward 2 club, and during our long discussions about catering, which were amongst our most sensitive, Pat Sosnowski had mentioned offhand that the club may be closing so we were not certain to have the facilities that year. (This discussion was circa May 2010.)

    I wonder if Mike was involved with the discussions that made the police log?

  2. The Ward 2 is indeed closed indefinitely. While the current management did indeed clean up the place and make it an enjoyable location to grab a drink, it seems that a large sum of taxes have gone unpaid over the years, or "overlooked" as they said.
    The meeting on Sunday was for the members to vote whether to go ahead with the sale of the property to the VFW. But why hasn't the sale of the property gone public? There are no other offers? Hmmm. Seems like there are still many questions to be answered. Not all members frequent the club daily. Some were heated because many were not aware of the financial stress the club was under, or did not understand how it could've gotten to this point. Many are suspicious of mis-management.
    One member raised suspicions over why 90% of the Ward 2's board is all part of 1 family. A husband of one of the board members then jumped up and attacked him. It was quickly broken up and the meeting continued. The vote has been postponed for another month.

  3. The member who was attacked is trying to keep the club going. He was not only physically attacked but verbally also. Were people upset because he is trying to save the club and not sell it? He did not put anybody down until he was told that he should not be on the board by one of the board members and that is when he said that the board should not be all family members. Well that is the facts about the attack, hopefully it helps clear up anybodies questions.

  4. I was told that Hawthorne Marina is very interested in the VFW.

  5. I was told they want to turn that in to their club house,bar or function hall. I would much rather a different restaurant or business there but I'll be happy as long as the city doesnt try and gobble it up or the marina isnt storing boats there.

  6. Just a fyi update! The management finally resigned along with entire family. The club will have a entire new board of people in control and they will try to work out a deal with the DOR and get the doors back open to a historic club! Best wishes to the new management and I hope to see the club open asap!!


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