The Reed renovation brings new eateries, shops and flair to downtown Salem

The newly renovated Reed Opera House building is close to complete with restaurants, stores and a more organized space for Salemites to enjoy.
When the owners of the Reed Opera House decided to sell the building, real estate developer Scott Chernoff saw an opportunity for a re-emergence of downtown Salem. Chernoff has led the building’s renovation since California-based investor Cumberland Holdings bought the historic opera house, rebranded as the “The Reed,” in 2018.


When Aaron Naden opened Capitol Menswear at the Reed in July, he renovated another space in the building and painted it white, planning to turn it into a shop for beard products. Then, he decided to open an apothecary instead and moved the beard products into his menswear store. Chase Emery, a salesman at Capital Apothecary, said Naden opened the store after finding that Salem didn’t have a store like it that sold essential oils and skincare. “A lot of people that come in the Reed don’t have a whole lot of time,” Emery said. “They’ll come in on their break, but they’ll come in, check it out, and then they’ll usually come back a little later.”

When James Cureton and his wife, Diana, opened Munchies Market at the Reed on July 2, he said they pushed to have the best lighting possible. They got their wish, with the wall to the right of the market made up almost entirely of windows. Cureton said he is most excited about the openness and bright lights the renovation brought to the Reed, which used to be dark and lacked activity inside the building. Now, he said, the interior is brighter and more inviting than ever before. “There’s a renewed attitude and improved outlook about the community that’s building downtown,” Cureton said. “People moving here, new and fresh businesses popping up, people are excited. You’ve seen just a lot of promise.”

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