For nearly 80 years, the White Eagle Association of Worcester has made its home on Green Street. In just the past few months, the organization’s new board of directors has done a major overhaul to increase the public customer base and foot traffic.
“The Polish nationality and the Polish culture is to survive and not close the place down. We’ve been here for so long and we just try to be part of the community,” new club president Marian “Mario” Jachimczyk said.
Although the club is under new leadership, Jachimczyk readily admits that he, like many other members, doesn’t want much change to the appearance of the club building because of all the history that can be found within it.
The White Eagle building was built in 1888 and is the former home of an Irish temperance organization. According to Jachimczyk, everything in the building, including the walls and ceilings, is original, and the woodwork is all handmade and authentic.
In fact, the building is registered with the Worcester Historical Society, and any changes made at the club have to be approved by that organization.
The club is owned by its members, with Jachimczyk and the new board of directors overseeing the club’s bar and functions operations.
An overhaul of the club’s public appearance — including a summer-long closing to renovate and retrench — and battling the perception that it’s a “rough place,” are also very important to Jachimczyk and the new board of directors.
Andy Rogalski, a White Eagle member, said, “The new board of directors have done a great job. The club was going in a different direction than what we wanted to go into. And it really wasn’t serving the members.
“With the new board and leadership, they want to bring the club back to mainstream, not only to serve the Polish community, but also serve the greater Worcester community too.”
The club’s officers and board consist of (besides president Jachimczyk); Julie Sargentelli, vice president; Edward Tietrewicz, treasurer; Wanda Milecki, financial secretary; Diane DeCicco, recording secretary; and directors Steve Moniak, Louis Jachimczyk, Craig Polewaczyk, Joseph Renzoni, Richard Trembowicz, Edward Bauer, Stanley Rogalski, Robert Kusz, Jerry Wojcicki and Michael Jachimczyk.
Under the new board of directors, the club’s bar area received a complete face lift with a new granite bar top, new televisions throughout, and reasonably priced drinks. The board has also been actively promoting the 600-person capacity function hall that sits on the second floor of the building, and the smaller hall on the first floor.
The larger hall has been used for several weddings recently, and over the holiday season the smaller hall has hosted private holiday parties all month long. They are available starting at $500 and $300, respectively, according to the club.
Rogalski said, “The halls have been doing very well. We’ve been renting both facilities and generating some nice income from them.”
On Friday and Saturday nights, thanks to its spacious bar area, inexpensive drinks, and music provided by DJ Bobby J, the club has slowly but surely increased its younger clientele and college crowd.
Rogalski said, “We’re still trying to figure out where we want to go as a club and organization. We want to get our steady customers that have been here in the past back, and we obviously want to expand into the college scene and get a younger clientele.”
Now that college students are home on Christmas break, the club hopes that they come and check out all of the improvements.
“This is a great place to meet and reconnect, have a couple drinks and catch up on old times,” Rogalski said.
“It’s a nice, comfortable appearance. As a customer, as a person that wants to go into a bar or a restaurant, you want to feel comfortable. And now it’s comfortable here.”
The White Eagle is at 116-120 Green St. in Worcester. The bar is open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.