Looking on to Gulu Gulu's Bar in Salem, Massachusetts Photo Credit: Suzy Guese
As Salem, Massachusetts becomes inundated with the Halloween crowd, the witch hat sporting may get an itch for more than just steaming cauldrons throughout all of the themed activities. A stop at the Gulu-Gulu Café in the heart of downtown Salem might not shock or scare, but does offer a good place for lunch on one of Salem’s October days.
With a more interesting history than most corner cafes, the Gulu-Gulu Café shares European ties. The original Café Gulu Gulu opened in Prague, Czech Republic in the early 90s, aiming at being a hang out spot during the day and hot spot at night.
The owners of Salem’s Gulu-Gulu Café Steve Feldmann and Marie Vaskova romantically became acquainted with each other at the Prague Café. However, the Café in Prague eventually was closed due to a lost lease in 1999. Feldmann and Vaskova would not let their love café go, and decided to mirror the idea of the café by bringing its likeness to Salem.
Gulu-Gulu’s menu lays out typical café cuisine, with wraps, crepes and panini for lunch. The prices are very reasonable, with most dishes in the $6-$8 range. The menu exemplifies one where it would be hard to not find at least one thing to order. The plates are massive in size, and most dishes are served with crunchy kettle chips on the side.
The chalkboard menus above the bar area note the ongoing events at Gulu’s for the week and also their wide selection of unusual beers. The restaurant’s name translates from the French for “Glug, Glug”. Clearly the owners know that getting the beer selections down just right maintain the credibility of the café's name. With open mic nights and bands on occasion, Gulu-Gulu seems to achieve being a hot spot in Salem at night. It is also apparent the owners might like their dogs a little more than the average dog owner, as drawings of their two dogs are featured on menus and all around the restaurant.
The setting of Gulu-Gulu feels more like a neighborhood hang out than a tourist stop with a brick focal wall, couches, and even a mailbox to drop comments in on your experience, making the Café a nice respite from the Halloween craziness outside its doors.
For more information, visit the Gulu Gulu Café’s website for menu details and lists of upcoming events.
For more on Salem, read Salem, Massachusetts spooks visitors for Halloween but for historically creepy circumstances and The House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts gabs about its gables and guests.