Have you ever heard someone say there’s not much to do late at night in Salem but get wasted, eat and watch TV? Cherry City has a few gems you may not know about (or forgot about) that do not include watching TV and don’t have to include “getting wasted”. They are the standards that we all fell back on before we thought it was cool to drink, but knew it wasn’t cool to hang out with your parents around. The following is meant to generate ideas of what to do late at night in Salem for the kid-at-heart who’s stuck in a rut.
Try your hand at bowling?
Hey, “The Dude” did it, and he’s pretty cool. Same goes with your dad … probably, right? Did you know that Northgate Bowl (2380 Northgate Avenue N.E.) has a $10 Midnight Music Bowling Special on Fridays and Saturdays, and it goes until 2 a.m.? Plus, it’s only $10 per person, which includes the shoe rental. Friday nights are theme nights, but I’m not sure if they take suggestions. The Salem area has two other bowling alleys (Town & Country in Keizer and AMF Firebird Lanes in East Salem), but they are not open as late.
Hit up the arcade?
Salem has two arcades right next to each other that are open until 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends – Electric Castle’s Wunderland and Pietro’s Pizza on the southwest corner of the Hawthorne Ave and Market St. NE intersection. For $2.75 and a bag of nickels you can get quite of bit of play at Wunderland, and Pietro’s next door has miniature golf (more on that later) and laser tag (plus pizza, of course.)
Shoot some pool?
I’d say that Jake’s Bar & Grill (1686 12th St. NE) is more of a pool hall than bar, with a bunch of tables to accommodate tournaments. For a few quarters you can shoot a game or two with your best bud. Sure, lots of bars have a crappy little table, but if you’re going out to play pool, why not go to a pool hall? Jake’s is open late most nights (around 2 a.m.) but call ahead if you’re worried or if it’s earlier (because they may have a tournament): 503-362-3600. If you aren’t old enough to go to a bar or you need to be within walking distance from downtown, The Cue Ball (1262 State St. SE) has several tables including a snooker table! Did you see that David Cross show? Wait, no T.V.
Salem does have two pretty interesting miniature golf courses. Best Little Roadhouse (1145 Commercial St. NE) has a magnificently well-manicured course they adopted from previous owners (complete with waterfalls!), while Pietro’s (see arcades) has pirate blacklight miniature golf. Yep. Pirate. Blacklight. Miniature. Golf. Keep in mind that Best Little Roadhouse’s course is outside. BLR is open until 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends, but call 503-365-7225 to make sure they’re still taking golfers by the time you and your caddy plan on arriving.
What age is it when it’s not cool to dance anymore, and when does that change, and then change again? I feel like I’m either ahead or behind. Salem has several dance clubs that double as sports bars or rock venues, but FlipSide (285 Liberty St. NE, Liberty Plaza basement), and Southside Speakeasy & Dance Pub (3685 Industrial Dr. SE) are pretty much all about dancing. FlipSide is open until almost 2:30 p.m. nearly every night, and “the Speakeasy” closes around 2 p.m. Sounds better than playing Wii at home just to prove to yourself that you do use your Wii for other things than watching Netflix.
Hey, and there’s always a concert, see Live Beat!