Sahara Club is still scrawled across the front of the building at 135 Washington Avenue on Munjoy Hill. But a sign on the front door of the Club says that as of September 1, 2017, meetings will be held at the organization’s new location at 57 Ashmont Street, off Forest Avenue.
The new location at 57 Ashmont Street is the former location of the Jewish Community Center – it has a new facility that was scheduled to open today on outer Congress Street.
A large crowd of those in recovery or recovered from addictions gathered for the second time this morning at the new Ashmont Street location – in the middle of an attractive residential community – as signs on the walls say “to provide a place where recovering alcoholics may participate in activities in an alcohol free environment.”
The large space was packed this morning for the hour long meeting. Three individuals spoke of the challenges they faced and overcame during their recovery from alcohol addiction. One speaker said: “I’ve finally learned that I can get through this experience without drinking or drugging.” The 75 or so attending provided additional proof as members have long asserted, that the Club was looking for a larger space to relocate to. In fact, it is maybe four times as large as the space the Club formerly occupied on Munjoy Hill. The Club had been located at 135 Washington Avenue for over 20 years.
Parking at the new site is an issue, but the Club is working to rectify the situation. It’s located close to several buses – # 2 and # 4 – that run nearby for those needing public transportation.
According to sources familiar with the situation Jon Edwards purchased 135 Washington Avenue last year for around $700,000. One source referred to Edwards as the “King of the Block” as he owns much of the property in the area. He owns the Photography Gallery directly across Washington Avenue, the A&C Grocery building next to the former Sahara Club and property behind the Club – on which Edwards is in the process of building a condominium; at the corner of Walnut and Sheridan Streets. He has appeared before the planning board on the matter.
Several sources familiar with the situation said that current plans call for a “nitro” coffee shop to be installed in the building. But with the city’s notoriously slow inspections department at the helm, that will happen later rather than sooner. Some say the city’s department is running three months behind schedule, despite well-publicized efforts by Mike Russell to streamline the process.
Please see previous post herein dated July 14, 2016 on the subject.