Wednesday, December 12, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Think Local. Drink Local.

We’re hearing it more and more. Don’t just shop local, eat and drink local too. A prevailing theme in the Adirondacks is, “We need snow. If we don’t get any this winter, we might not be here next year!” With so many bars and restaurants supported by tourism in summer and winter, we need to help them stay afloat in between. Think of the number of times you’ve passed a restaurant or store and thought I really have to check that place out, only to find it closed for business on your last drive by.

Grace’s Restaurant in Warrensburg is one of the places we wish we had frequented more often, but we were too busy reviewing bars for Happy Hour in the High Peaks everywhere else in the Adirondack Park!

Before you head to the shopping malls and department stores, think about the independent restaurants and stores in your area. Here in Warrensburg alone, we have Oscar’s Smokehouse with its well-known meats and cheeses or gift certificates to please most anyone on our list. The Riverside Gallery on Elm Street has hundreds of unique gifts including handmade jewelry, decorative vases and handbags, a large selection of prints, as well as custom framing services. Adirondack Rustic Interiors on Main Street is a perfect place to find one-of-a-kind gifts for any budget. For the collector of Adirondack region books, antiques or locally made crafts, Miller Art and Frame has the right gift for someone. A dog grooming gift certificate to K-9 Komfort on River Street might be just the thing. Drop the dog in for grooming and dine at Lizzie Keays Restaurant while you wait.

If you live in an urban area, visit the city’s downtown stores. Have a memorable breakfast or lunch at an independently owned restaurant before or while you shop downtown. Stop in a local brewery or tavern for a glass of beer or wine when the shopping is complete. A trip to Lake George Winery, or your local winery, might help you find the right wine to bring to holiday hosts, and you can treat yourself to a little wine tasting too.

There are so many interesting restaurants in the Adirondacks. If you’ve been to one you’ve always liked, consider a gift certificate for friends or family to share the experience. If it’s too far away, call and have the gift mailed to yourself or the intended recipient. Dinner at the Essex Inn is going to be remembered a lot longer than dinner at Applebee’s.

After the holidays, if you notice a lack of snow, book a weekend at the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake, enjoy the drive to the Melody Lodge in Speculator for a nice dinner, or check out the ice sculptures in Saranac Lake and warm up at Captain Cook’s afterwards. Consider moving your Friday Happy Hour to a corner pub rather than meeting at one of the popular chain restaurants. Get started on next year’s Christmas shopping in Lake Placid or Old Forge. If you travel far enough into the Adirondack Park, you may even get to see snow.

Kim and Pam Ladd

Sisters Kim and Pam Ladd recently 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 also conduct research for their next project, Happy Hour at the 19th Hole. With the lofty goal of becoming the Adirondack Park’s “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 husband and daughter live in Warrensburg. Kim is a freelance photographer whose sports images regularly appear in the Adirondack Journal. She has a degree in Advertising Design and lives in Thurman with her family.

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