Victoria Station is Still Operating in Salem, Mass.
Tom Blake September 19, 2007
Greta and I visited the last-operating Victoria Station a week ago Sunday. It's located on Pickering Wharf in Salem, Massachusetts, about 300 yards from The House of The Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel of the same name.
When we walked in, I was overcome by nostalgia. It took me back to those special
years we experienced in the 1970s. As many of you have stated in your emails,
the VS years were a special time in your lives. Nearly all have stated you stay in
touch with fellow employees. And how you talked about almost every topic under the sun.
Visiting there will warm you heart, especially if you are a former VS employee. General Manager Paul Schafer (right) and Assistant G.M. Ryan McCarthy (left) have maintained the feeling we used to have while working there. The interior is dotted with the British rail signs and still
has a pass-through kitchen window and Pandora's box, where prime rib used to be shelved. Paul said the health department code doesn't allow prime rib stored that way now.
However, they still serve prime rib, although I thought it amusing that Greta ordered clam chowder and fresh lobster and I a lobster roll.
The menu has expanded to include a variety of seafood including Stuffed Haddock and would you believe an appetizer called Wharf Rat Ale Battered Artichoke Hearts?
The prices and sizes of prime rib are:
Track 1, 11 ounce cut, $18.99
Track 2, 21 ounce cut, $22.99
Track 3, 32 ounce cut, $25.99
Elena, our friendly server, remembers VS San Francisco when it first opened. Her friend worked there at the time and Elena says she was known to occupy one of the bar stools while her friend pulled shifts.
The restaurant is located on the water and looks out at the old sailing schooner, Friendship of Salem, which is docked 50 yards away. The Salem-Boston ferry boat comes and goes nearby, reminding one of VS-Marin, Wood Island and Larkspur Landing.
Paul proudly led us to a display case showing memorabilia he's gathered including the book, "Prime Rib and Boxcars. Whatever Happened to Victoria Station?" which is featured front and center.
I'm sure Paul would enjoy receiving any artifacts you no longer want. Email him at VictoriaStation@comcast.net.
Several original Johnny Cash albums are mounted throughout the restaurant.
There was even an authentic Royal Exchange sign in the lounge above the fireplace. (For those unfamiliar with the Royal Exchange, it was our pub on Sacramento Street in San Francisco). The restaurant is thriving and very busy. Put it on your travel itinerary to visit. It's important to keep the VS mystique alive. The website, www.victoriastationinc.com. Telephone: 978 745-3400.