Wednesday, October 12, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Slickers, Old Forge

The brightly painted yellow exterior of Slickers Adirondack Tavern caught our attention as we made our way back into Old Forge. Since it was within walking distance to most of the accommodations in Old Forge, plenty of parking was available. Wearing a bright yellow coat, Slickers is perched on the edge of the Fulton Chain of Lakes, the beach and lake on view from the bar.

Slickers was the sixth of eight bars we covered on our Old Forge tour back in July, but somehow we never got around to writing the review. Since we didn’t go anywhere new over the weekend we resurrected Slickers from the “unfinished” bin.

The bar seats about 10 people, and all seats were taken with several patrons standing. The upbeat crowd steadily building on this Saturday night in July, we ordered drinks from the typical beer and booze options and found a seat along on the wall where we could rest our drinks, take notes, and keep out of the way of the wait staff passing through to the busy restaurant seating area. Additional bar seating was available in an adjacent room, but we needed to be in the mix.

Weathered in a charming, New England way, the building is summer cottage-like, of unknown age, and has to have been around long before 1984. With low ceilings, a dark pine floor, lots of wood, and decorated in a fishing theme, the most impressive feature is the Hoosier-style antique bar shelving featuring brass-trimmed roll-top coolers and glass door cabinets, crammed into the minuscule space behind the bar.

We weren’t able to get close enough to the bar for our usual question and answer session with the bartender, but a local named Bob gave us his positive opinion of Slickers and introduced us to another patron whose wife is the owner of Tony Harpers Too. The people at the bar seemed to be a blend of locals and tourists of varying ages, but everyone was getting to know each other. Bob, who says, “Every bar in the Adirondacks is wonderful!” appeared to be on a quest to meet everyone – at every bar in Old Forge. (We ran into Bob at several of the venues we visited that night.)

Established in 1984, Slickers offers entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer months. We got the impression that the restaurant would quiet down in time to allow more space for the evening bar crowd who were beginning to arrive for the entertainment. A small deck area is available just outside, but seating did seem to be limited. Offering an array of pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, and homemade soups and desserts, Slickers is a favorite of natives and visitors alike.

No matter how you travel – by boat, snowmobile, kayak, or on foot – Slickers is a must-see while in Old Forge, whether you’re just having drinks, visiting with friends, having a meal, listening to music, meeting new people or all of the above.

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.

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In 2013, sisters Kim and Pam Ladd self-published Happy Hour in the High Peaks: An Adirondack Bar Guide and a companion Happy Hour Trail Passport. As they continue to market and distribute their current book, they are back on the trail doing research for their next project – a guide to breweries, wineries and distilleries in and around the Adirondack Park.

In 2014 they created their own drinking event, a bartender competition they call “BARRED!”, which they expect will become an annual event held in the early spring in collaboration with Basil & Wick’s in North Creek.

With the lofty goal of becoming the Adirondack "Drinking Authority," Kim and Pam report on drinking-related topics and events inside the Blue Line here at the Almanack and at their own blog. You can also visit their website, follow them on Facebook, and Twitter.

The pair have spent most of their lives in Warren County. Pam has a degree in Computer Science, but her passion is mixology. She and her family live in Warrensburg. Kim is a freelance photographer with a degree in Advertising Design and lives in Thurman with her husband.





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