Tuesday, March 18, 2014

$5 Million Lake George Redevelopment Announced

Adirondack Brewery DistilleryAdirondack Pub and Brewery owner John Carr has announced that he is purchasing the four-acre lot on Route 9 owned by the Off-Track Betting Corporation for $1.25 million.  Carr’s immediate plans for the property include expanding Adirondack’s brewing and bottling operations and building the first whiskey distillery in Lake George.   OTB will continue to operate a betting parlor at the site until it secures a new location, according to Carr.

With the construction of a new plant on the property, Carr expects his brewing and bottling capacities to triple. “We look forward to seeing our Adirondack beers being sold in every county of the state,” he said.  Once the expansion is complete, Adirondack Brewery is expected to produce 35,000 barrels of beer a year.   Carr said the project will take five years to complete and cost approximately $5 million.

According to Carr, the four-acre parcel includes a pedestrian corridor that will connect it with Sewell Street and the Adirondack Pub and Brewery. That will allow the Brew Pub to shift most of its parking space to the OTB lot, landscape its grounds and expand outdoor restaurant seating, he said. “We’ll have more café tables and chairs which, with the construction of a large natural fireplace, can be used in the fall and winter as well as the summer.”

Carr said of all the improvements he plans for the property, he is most excited about the distillery, which will be called High Peaks and produce whiskeys and rye under the brand name Cloudsplitter.

Carr, who transformed a vacant neighborhood market into the Adirondack-themed pub and brewery, will renovate the 8,000-square-foot OTB building and install the distillery operation behind a glass wall facing Route 9.

Carr expects the distillery, like the brewery, will become an attraction in itself. In addition to tours, the distillery will host a tasting room and a retail outlet.

He said he has been planning a distillery for the past eight years, working with the makers of local spirits, exchanging information and collaborating on projects such as the aging of beer in oak bourbon barrels

At the same time, Carr has been active in the effort of small, locally-owned wineries, cider houses, breweries and distillers to win support  from state government to reduce regulatory burdens , preserve tax benefits and win licenses that permit  them to open retail shops, tasting rooms and restaurants.

Carr will be among the first business owners in New York State to operate a restaurant, brewery and distillery at one location.

“Without the recognition by Governor Cuomo and the state legislature that beverage producers help create jobs and boost the State’s agricultural and tourism industries, our growth would not have been possible,” he said. Carr expects the distillery to produce 5,000 cases of sprits a year, and once remodeled, will also include space for catered events.

“The space will be able to accommodate fifty to three hundred people at a time,” said Carr. “We expect that it will be used for everything from rehearsal dinners to Oktoberfests and concerts. It will complement events at the festival space, which is just across the street, helping to make this part of Lake George a dynamic, new area for visitors.”

Carr continued, “With the addition of the festival space, the completion of the Conservation Park and the planning for the Gateway project, the approach to Lake George is being transformed. We’re happy to be a part of it. We’ll bring new business to the area while, at the same time, contributing to its visual appeal.”

“This is exactly the kind of development we need if Lake George is to move forward,” said Lake George Village Mayor Bob Blais.

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Anthony F. Hall is the editor and publisher of the Lake George Mirror.

Anthony grew up in Warrensburg and after an education that included studying with beat poet Gregory Corso on an island in the Aegean, crewing a schooner in Hawaii, traveling through Greece and Turkey studying Byzantine art and archeology, and a stint at Lehman Brothers, he returned to the Adirondacks and took a job with legendary state senator Ron Stafford.

In 1998, Anthony and his wife Lisa acquired the Lake George Mirror, once part of a chain of weekly newspapers owned by his father Rob Hall.

Established in the 1880s, the Mirror is America’s oldest resort newspaper.

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