Daiker’s, located on Fourth Lake in Old Forge, has something for everyone and ample space to accommodate many. Whether entering from the large parking area or from a boat on the lake, it will take some time to take it all in, including the lake view from the expansive porch and deck.
This was our fifth bar review on that Saturday in July. We had taken a break for an early dinner, planning Old Forge Pub Crawl Part II. We decided to resume at Daiker’s and make our way back to the hamlet of Old Forge for later foot travel. Janet, our host at Village Cottages, armed us with a referral and description of owner, Tal Daiker.
“Oh, #?!*%,” Pam thought, entering the bar, “This is going to take awhile! So much to absorb.” Daiker’s is an amusement park for adults. Taking a seat at the bar, two bartenders at the ready, we began the arduous task of the visual review, but not without first reviewing the bar selections and ordering our drinks. With a well-stocked bar, six drafts, and plenty of bottled beers, there’s something for everyone.
The place is huge, with a long, long bar and another one outside on the deck. A partition separates the bar area from the dining area. Bar stools along the partition provide additional seating. Daiker’s interior is a unique interpretation of Adirondack style with both subtle and overt accents. Pine walls display wildlife art and antler chandeliers hang from a high ceiling supported by sturdy log beams. A massive stone fireplace, dormant for the summer, commands the center of the room.
In an adjoining room, musicians haul amps and equipment for the night’s entertainment. A dance floor lay empty. A pool table sits in an area near the bar; interior walls lined with a photo booth, a vending machine for snacks and another for lottery tickets.
In another section, partially partitioned, is a gaming arcade. Beer advertisements and sports memorabilia covering the most popular events adorn the walls, with televisions and Quick Draw monitors strategically placed throughout the building. An Adirondack scene in diorama is displayed high above in an alcove in the ceiling. Tucked in the wall and protected by glass is a miniature of the original Daiker’s bar. Though we didn’t get the story behind the display of bras behind the bar, we trust it’s an interesting one. Daiker’s gear is on display and available for purchase there or online.
Tal Daiker was a friendly host and happily answered our many questions about the bar and its history and gave us some insight on his family’s commitment to Daiker’s. Originally called the Fulton House, Daiker’s was once a casino and a stop for the steamboat that ran along the lake. Tal’s dad bought it in 1956 and it has been Daiker family operated since then.
In 1988 Tal took over operations, instituting changes, expansions and improvements over the years with his wife Debbie. Their sons Devin and Dane also help with the business. The restaurant and bar are open 7 days a week, serving food from noon to 9 p.m. The bar is open from noon to 2 a.m. Live entertainment, from acoustic soloists to rock bands, is provided on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in the summer. Both summer and winter are busy times at Daiker’s, with a substantial snowmobile following in winter. Tal maintains a Twitter account, Tal’s Trail Report, with regular updates on local snow conditions. They do close briefly off season, spring and fall, so be sure to check their website, before visiting off season.
On a mission with a minimum of three more bars to visit, we didn’t socialize with the patrons, but did observe the local camaraderie and diversity. Those observations led to our recognizing several of Daiker’s patrons in the next bar we visited, and the next, and much later yet, another. They, too, were on an Old Forge pub crawl?
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, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.