Two days of Happy Hour indulgence began with the first bar we encountered as we walked from our hotel down Main Street in Lake Placid. Somewhat amused by the bobsled parked on the sidewalk, we entered Zig Zags without hesitation.
As we approached the bar in Zig Zags Pub, Kim commented that there were no women in the bar. The bar itself was fairly full, but she was correct in her observation. The bartender approached, and Pam, once again, couldn’t resist. Sometimes she has no filter between thinking and speaking. “Do you serve women?” she asked him, a fleeting deadpan look on her face, then she flashed her ‘I just can’t help myself’ smile. He came right back with something like, “When they’re available. On a plate,” etc. Ice broken and raucous greetings ensued…
A pool table waited in the center of the room and Pam’s competitive streak was kept in check due only to our time constraints. Darts (traditional and electronic), foosball and a few video games are placed around the room. An area near the entrance is occupied by several pub tables looking out onto Main Street. ZigZags is named for curves 13 and 14 on the bobsled run, and numerous posters, photos, signs and memorabilia support predominant theme.
We ordered our drinks and soon launched into describing our purpose. Conversations started to fly, left, right, up, down, zigzagging, about Zig Zags. Suggestions about where else we needed to go came from other patrons. We were introduced to Rob Kane, the owner of The Great Adirondack Brewing Company, who gave us the bartender’s name there. That would be our next stop, but we had work to do here. We met Lisa Randall from The Cottage Bar and Restaurant on Mirror Lake. A few women had slipped in unnoticed. Our bartender and owner of Zig Zags, Brett, was kept busy by his patrons and with exchanging insults with the regulars at the end of the bar. Lisa helped Pam with questions about Zigzags, then continued by answering questions about The Cottage. We promised her that The Cottage was on our list for the next day.
While Pam conducted interviews, Kim snapped some photos of the bar, declined a marriage proposal (being already spoken for), and made some new friends, including Wayne, Adirondack Guide and owner of Middle Earth Expeditions whitewater rafting adventures, and Tony, who offered to take us to some “real” bars not on the map. We’d have to get there by four-wheeler or snowmobile, and it all sounded just a bit sketchy. Ladies, Wayne claims that “If you’re looking for a man, come here,” listing his qualifications as hardworking, can hunt deer, build a log cabin and skin a bear.
Zig Zags, the only true “bar” in Lake Placid, is open daily throughout the year from 3 p.m. until 3 a.m. Lisa claims the best time to visit is between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m., but we know otherwise – anytime is a good time. They have been in business for 10 years, have Happy Hour Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. with varying specials daily, and feature live music on Friday and Saturday nights. With plenty of draft and bottled beers and a standard liquor selection, Zig Zags has a come-as-you-are, I am what I am, laid back and fun personality. We talked to almost everyone in the bar, who seemed both accustomed to and tolerant of tourists, which is not always the case. The impression was one of a locals’ hangout that likes to have company.
Regretfully, we left Zig Zags, hopeful that our subsequent stops would be as rewarding. In the coming weeks we’ll review several of the bars on the Lake Placid leg of the summer tour. Next week we review the second bar on our Lake Placid tour, the Great Adirondack Brewery. Workaholics that we are, we’ll be continuing the summer tour in Old Forge this weekend. Suggestions are encouraged! Cheers and bottoms up!
Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog.