The rumors of the Polish Club’s immediate demise are exaggerated — but not entirely wrong.
A post on an Abington Facebook page over the weekend claimed that the long-time club would close and be replaced with residential units.
Roger Woods, one of the property’s owners, told Abington News that isn’t the case. However, he acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered many function halls and bars since mid-March, is taking a financial toll.
“Polish Club has been closed since March 17 due to COVID-19 and remains closed due to COVID-19,” Woods said in an email. “The future of the [Polish Club] remains uncertain at this time.”
More than 160,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19 over the past six months, and another nearly 5 million have tested positive. Although many Massachusetts businesses have been allowed to resume operations during the state’s phased re-opening, state health officials have kept bars and function halls closed citing an elevated risk of the virus spreading in those facilities.
Under the state’s re-opening guidelines, bars won’t be allowed to open until Phase 4; the state is currently in Phase 3. Social clubs and fraternal organizations could reopen under Phase 2 if they serve seated food prepared on site and follow the same guidelines outlined for restaurants. Function halls were allowed to open under Phase 3 but no more than 25 people are allowed inside at one time.
According to Yelp, more than half of the small businesses listed on the website have closed permanantly since the pandemic started, including four out of 10 bars.
The current club building was built in the early 50’s and served as a cultural gathering place for Abington’s sizeable Polish population for decades. The property was sold to the 55 Wales St., LLC in 2015 for $200,000. The new ownership group, of which Woods is a partner, renovated the second-floor function hall space, with a members-only lounge remaining on the first floor.
The club is located in the town’s R-20 zoning district, which allows residential uses by right.