By Ginger DeShaney
Back in the day, the South Boston Lithuanian Club was the place to be. Today, with $1 million in renovations, the Club president is hoping it will regain that status.
“The Club has been here forever,” said president Joe Austras. “But COVID shut us down.”
Renovations were already under way at the Club, also known as the South Boston Lithuanian Citizens’ Association, before the pandemic hit. Beautiful ADA-accessible bathrooms were put in on the fourth floor.
When COVID hit and shut everything down, the Club decided to expand its renovation. “We decided, let’s take advantage of being shut down.”
The main hall on the fourth floor was revamped. A permanent bar replaced a portable bar, and with input from caterers, an amazing caterer’s kitchen was put in. This large hall, which can hold 200 people, has stunning wood floors, a cool industrial look, and great views of the city. It’s perfect for weddings, parties, corporate seminars, and more.
There’s a smaller room off the main hall that’s a great fit for baby or bridal showers or possibly office rentals.
“Now the renovations are done and we have to get the people back – and that’s the toughest part,” Joe said. “We just need to get the word out that we are back.”
As a small nonprofit, the Lithuanian Club, located at 368 W. Broadway, relies on rentals to generate income.
The Club’s third floor hall has a bar and a fantastic stage for theater productions and bands. The Gold Dust Orphans, an award-winning, Vaudeville-inspired theatrical troupe, holds its performances in this hall, which they call Iron Wolf Theatre. The troupe will be back this fall, Joe said.
The third-floor space, which can accommodate 275 people, also houses a craft beer festival every year. It’s also a perfect party spot.
In all of its halls, the Club will set up tables and chairs in any configuration the renter wants.
Then there’s the Lithuanian Kitchen, which was hit especially hard by the pandemic, Joe said, noting that with the shutdown, the cook had to find another job. The Club is currently seeking a new cook for the Kitchen.
But that’s not deterring the Club. The Kitchen will be open to the public this Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. with Club members volunteering to cook a limited menu. “Just to get us going for the fall,” Joe said. ”Then we’re hoping to open up at least once a month.”
The Kitchen, which is known for its pizzas, is also available for rent. Joe said they get a lot of bridal and baby showers in the intimate setting.
The Club hosts its own events in the building, as well, but Joe wants to rent out the spaces as often as he can. He noted that 60 parking spaces are available on West First Street for events.
“I want to get the word out there that we’re available,” Joe said, “because we’ve been shut down for so long.”
Now that fall is near, “we’re going to open up and see if we can bring people back.”
To get more information or to rent a space at the South Boston Lith Club, contact manager Gint Subatis at 617-268-9058.