Posts Tagged ‘Warren County’

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Judd’s Tavern, Lake George

Judd’s Tavern, located on Canada Street in the heart of Lake George Village, beckons to the casual passerby as an ideal place to take a break from browsing the surrounding gift shops and arcades, duck in for a cool respite from the beach, or catch up on the day’s sporting events. A standard sports bar for locals and tourists, strategically-placed TV’s (12 in all) broadcast just about every contest that’s being televised at the moment.

The dark burgundy walls subdue the natural light spilling in through the large streetside windows. Commercial-grade carpeting and a suspended ceiling help keep this small space from being too noisy. Games and activities include foosball, a pool table and a jukebox. Judd’s Tavern isn’t large, but is of sufficient size to make it a comfortable place to meet others. Some sports bars are so big that patrons could spend hours and not speak to anyone outside their social sphere. The bar seats 16 and additional tables can accommodate another 20 patrons. This bar is more intimate and conducive to meeting and interacting with people.

Although Judd’s wasn’t very busy when we arrived, the bartenders seemed to be prepping for a busy night, stocking coolers and checking inventories. One bartender, Zack, was friendly and attentive, answering questions as he catered to the growing crowd. Pam’s first question was already answered by a sign on the wall advertising a Birthday Cake martini, a Jelly Ring Martini, the Veggie Mary and the Spicy Mary. For local-themed drinks, try a Twisted Tourist or a Sandy Bay Slammer. Other mouth-watering cocktails include the Gentleman Jack, Bazooka Joe, Orange Creamsicle and the Berry Patch shot. Pam chose the Jelly Ring Martini special, consisting of Stoli Chocolat Razberi vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur and a splash of cream and tasted remarkably like the real thing!

Draft beer choices are abundant. Several craft ales and IPA’s including Southern Tier’s 2XIPA, make an impressive line-up. Eight or so domestic bottled beers round out the beer menu. Kim decided on Purple Haze, a light, fruity wheat beer produced by Abita Brewing Company in Louisiana. A hazy, golden color with just a blush of raspberry pink, the aroma was of fruit, though the raspberry didn’t carry over much to the flavor.

Judd’s Tavern has been in business for seven years and is open from noon to 4 a.m. in the summer months, noon to midnight during the off-season, with no black out dates. The best time to visit is during the summer and on Sundays during football season. With NFL Sunday Ticket, you will find every NFL game being televised. Happy Hour drink specials are featured Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. While not a full-service restaurant, they serve food and are notorious for their wings (which, of course, are the best in town), offering 13 varieties including Wings of Fury (for which you will have to sign a waiver) and Caribbean Jerk wings, and also claim that their quesadillas are equally enticing. Musical entertainment is featured sporadically. With accommodations available all over Lake George, Judd’s caters to foot traffic in summer and in winter during the annual Winter Carnival. The clientele tends to be mostly local, but visitors are encouraged and welcome.

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.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wrap Up Summer With Jazz in Lake George

Adirondack summers end with a bang—or in this case, a biddle-de-bop. You have one more weekend to enjoy the biggest event of the Lake George Arts Project’s free summer concert series: Jazz at the Lake — two full days and a night of hot sounds by the lakeshore.

Head to Shepard’s Park (Canada Street) on Saturday, Sept 17th for a set of hot Cuban jazz infused with African rhythms with the Osmany Paredes Quartet, starting at 1PM. Stick around for some jazz saxophone with John Ellis, backed by the New Orleans sounds of Double Wide. And rounding up the afternoon is the Grace Kelly Quintet, featuring the brilliantly nuanced vocals and sultry saxophone of the 19-year-old Grace, who has been hailed by Wynton Marsalis as a “first-class jazz musician.” The day performances end at 6PM, leaving you time for dinner and a little fun in Lake George Village (at the arcades, mini-golf, or shopping) before returning for the evening set at 7:30PM.

And do return for the Don Byron New Gospel Quintet, a marvelous mix of different genres from r&b to classical with a jazz undertone. Don Byron plays clarinet and sax to his own compositions and arrangements, which have garnered raves from audiences around the world.

The Sunday (Sept 18th) program opens again at 1PM (closing at 6PM) with the classic jazz stylings of prodigy pianist Charles Cornell with his quartet. There’s more jazz sax to follow with Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green, and wrapping out the weekend is Kyle Eastwood (eldest son of Clint) whose many original compositions include the scores to his father’s films, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Grand Torino, among others.

The performances will all be held rain or shine—the designated setting is Shepard Park Pavillion, but in case of rain, it moves to Lake George High School, both on Canada Street in LG Village.

Lake George Jazz Weekend is a free outdoor concert program offered through the generous support the New York State Council on the Arts, the town and village of Lake George, and Kenneth and Susan Gruskin. The LG Jazz Weekend has been a hit every year since it first started in 1984. This program is the biggest and best of the summer season, and is sure to leave you pining for next year—all you have to do is show up!

And to keep this wonderful series alive for future years, you might consider becoming a member of the Lake George Arts Project


Friday, September 9, 2011

Adirondackers Go To War: 1861-1865

Understanding and appreciating the events of the Civil War will come alive the weekend of September 9-11 in North Creek as the Johnsburg Historical Society commemorates the 150th anniversary of the start of that war in 1861.

Saturday, September 10th at 7:30 pm and on Sunday, September 11th at 2:00 pm local author Glenn L. Pearsall will present “Johnsburg Goes to War: 1861-1865” in the auditorium of the Tannery Pond Community Center. During this special two hour “one man show” with extras, Glenn will share his two years worth of research on the 125 men from Johnsburg who went off to war.

Pearsall’s talk will feature over 100 historic photographs including some pictures of those men from Johnsburg and the places they fought as they look today. Re-enactors in uniform will read from the diaries and journals that Pearsall has discovered to give a real sense of what the war meant to small Adirondack hamlets like Johnsburg in 1861. His talk will cover army life in the 22nd, 93rd, 96th and 118th NY Regiments who recruited men from Warren, Washington, Clinton and Essex Counties here in the Adirondacks.

From August 26 to September 21st the Widlund Gallery of Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek will feature a display of pictures of some of the men from Johnsburg who went off to war including historical photographs, period flags and a display on Mathew Brady, noted Civil War photographer born in Johnsburg.

On September 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on September 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. a dramatic living history re-enactment will take place at the town Ski Bowl on NYS Rt 28. (The re-enactors will not be open for business Friday). Several professional re-enactment groups will represent the lives of men in the 118th NY, the 123rd NY, 95th NY and 76th NY. The park’s ideal location offers spacious grounds, fresh water, restrooms, and ample parking.

Jim Hunt, contact for the re-enactors, indicates that “The camp setup will be a living history. All items used are authentic reproductions. We will camp in canvas tents, cook over an open fire and dress in period correct attire. We will converse with the public and answer questions about life 150 years ago. We will have display items for people to look at and touch. We will conduct ourselves in camp as they would have done. We will do firing demonstrations all day long so people can see and hear what a musket sounds like. The public will be able to hold the muskets but not fire them. We will conduct a military drill and manual of arms (probably at 1:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) and we will be having a Civil War wedding. This will be an actual wedding of two of our members. The camp will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sunday.”

For more information or to reserve a ticket for Glenn Pearsall’s program on either Saturday at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday at 2 p.m., call 518-251-5788 and leave a message. Tickets must be picked up by ten minutes before the programs. Adult tickets are $10 and children’s tickets are $6 for the benefit of the Johnsburg Historical Society. This entire Civil War commemoration is made possible by the Rivendell Foundation, Stewart’s Shops and friends of the Johnsburg Historical Society.

Photo: Monument to the War Dead of the Town of Queensbury, Warren County, New York. Located at the intersection of Glen, Bay and South Streets in Glens Falls, New York.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Duffy’s, Lake George

Soon after the departure of Hurricane Irene, having taken her toll on Lake George Village, we felt that another trip to Lake George at the close of the village’s summer season was in order. Duffy’s Tavern was first on our short list. We had been there briefly on Memorial Day weekend as heavy rains were washing out numerous roads in the Town of Thurman, where Kim lives, and found it fitting that this fine summer had been sandwiched in between disasters.

Duffy’s sits in the heart of Lake George Village, not quite lakeside, between the Boardwalk Restaurant and Bella’s Deli. The exterior is a crazy jumble of multiple add-ons and materials; the upstairs deck appearing the most recent. Music was coming from above, so up the stairs we went. Duffy’s Tavern is a great venue for entertainment outdoors. The upper deck is more like a wrap-around porch than a deck. One of three bars is located on the upper deck and seats ten but mainly serves the needs of the friendly waitstaff. A bar on the ground level was moderately busy. The interior bar upstairs was closed, and people seemed to come and go at the outdoor bar on the deck.

Approximately 15 tables are available outside, with comfortable bar height seating at each. Neal McHugh of the River Rats Band played solo acoustic music at just the right volume for a busy Labor Day weekend: classic Neil Young, James Taylor, Tom Petty and lots of other great stuff people our age like to listen to. A back corner of the upper deck is designated for smokers, allowing them to participate and not offend.

Seating ourselves, we took out our notes. Before we could even get started, we were approached by a man who had seen us come in, following us to our table. Apparently, Kim bears a striking resemblance to someone named Lori from Brookfield Connecticut. Introducing himself as Frank, he seemed amazed at the resemblance and soon his companions, Kevin and Jen, came over to comment. Photos were taken like Kim was some celebrity, making her feel a little awkward, but not minding the attention. It wasn’t long before she seized the opportunity to plug our book and blog and hand out business cards as she shamelessly told our new acquaintances to “like” our Facebook page.

Duffy’s offers a variety of specialty drinks including a Mai Tai, the Lake George Iced Tea, Planter’s Punch and the Passionate Screw. The Duffle Bag appears to be a concoction of their own design, a rich and sensuous blend of vodka, peach schnapps, Southern Comfort and orange juice. Pam started with the Passionate Screw, ate all of the fruit garnishes, and moved on to try the Duffle Bag. She claims the Screw was her favorite, but is partial to garnishes. At about $7 to $8 each, they are worth it in both size and quality. A modest selection of bottled domestic beers are offered in addition to LaBatt Blue, Shock Top, Yuengling, Landshark and Bear Naked drafts. Kim ordered a Landshark lager, new to her, crafted by the Margaritaville Brewing Co. in Jacksonville, Florida. It was light, crisp and quite the perfect accompaniment to a lazy afternoon on the deck.

We didn’t eat at Duffy’s, but a variety of tasty-sounding appetizers and entrees was tempting, most in the $7 to $11 range, though baby back ribs or a steak or chicken and ribs combo are priced at $12.95 for a small serving or $18.95 for a large. They also have a kids’ menu.

Accommodations are available within walking distance to Duffy’s. Lake George, Shepard Park beach and the shops, restaurants and other tourist draws are also in the immediate vicinity.

Duffy’s is open from 11 a.m. to close, all year long, with three bars and live music on a regular basis. The main bar downstairs hosts live regional bands and a younger crowd later at night. The deck usually features acoustic music in the late afternoon. It’s one of those places where it’s easy to settle in, get comfortable, and not want to leave. Which is exactly how we felt, having invited ourselves over to the table with our recent new friends from Connecticut. We said our good-byes and took more pictures, each of them sporting a new “Happy Hour in the High Peaks” hat and a smile.

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.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Serenades at Sembrich Opera House

Music and mountains seem to go together—and there are plenty of places to find it. One of the special secrets of Bolton Landing on Lake George is the Marcella Sembrich Opera House Museum, which this Saturday will be featuring a vocal recital with mezzo-soprano Lucille Beer as one event in their ongoing summer concert series. Ms. Beer will be singing various pieces from composers such as Mahler, Copeland, Brahms, and Debussy, accompanied by Michael Clement on piano.

The historic Sembrich Museum is a living tribute to the large and colorful life of opera singer Marcella Sembrich, who spent the latter part of her life in Bolton Landing, teaching voice students at the studio that is still part of the property. At twenty-five she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera, embarking on a long and successful career. Her travels took her around the world where her eye for impressionist paintings and other artworks helped her collection grow impressively. Those, along with mementos and memorabilia of a unique life form the basis of this wonderful place to visit.

But if all this isn’t enough to convince you, then you simply must go to just to step back in time and enjoy one of the finest views of Lake George available, as it must have been a hundred years ago.

Tickets for the Lucille Beer recital are $20. Other concerts rounding out the last weeks of the season include “An Evening with the Hyperion String Quartet,” on Saturday August 27th ($25), and a recital on Saturday, September 3rd by pianist Thomas Pandolfi, playing music by Liszt, Scriabin, Chopin, and Gershwin ($25).

For more information, call Faith Bouchard at 518-644-2431, or visit the Sembrich’s website.

Photo: Marcella Sembrich in the 1880s.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

LGLC Honors Margaret Darrin At ‘Peggy’s Point’

The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) held a dedication ceremony recently in honor of Mrs. Margaret A. Darrin for the newly named Peggy’s Point in Hague. The dedication of Peggy’s Point was made in recognition of Mrs. Darrin’s contributions to the Lake George Land Conservancy, including her donation of the 1.9-acre park in 2005.

Nearly 100 people came to witness the celebration of Darrin at the Hague Community Center, including Peggy’s three sons and their wives, and six grandchildren. Among those who spoke during the ceremony were Hague Town Supervisor Dan Belden, historian Judy Shultz, LGLC Board President John Macionis, LGLC Executive Director Nancy Williams, and Peggy’s sons Drake and David and granddaughter, Hannah Darrin.

“Peggy is a great inspiration,” said Macionis, adding “I hope we can all follow her lead to find our own ways in which we as individuals can contribute to the protection of the lake.”

Drake Darrin read from a prepared speech of fond personal memories he shared with his mother, including the many swimming lessons from their dock. “Your love of the lake over the years is contagious.”

Williams spoke to the group of the park’s Friendship Garden, of which she said, “the rules of the garden are simple. It is here for you.” To Peggy, she added a personal thank you, sharing that the garden project was responsible for reconnecting her with her brother, to whom she hadn’t spoken in 30 years.

Williams also took several minutes to go through the many names of individuals and businesses that contributed to the park and its Friendship Garden, in materials, time or monetary donations. Among them were Dan Belden, the Town of Hague and staff, David and Joanne DeFranco and team at DeFranco Landscaping, Judy Shultz and the Hague Historical Society, the entire Darrin family, Julia Beaty, Mary Lou Doulin, Peter Foster, Doug Langdon, Rich Morgan, Ray Murray, Scott and Alice Patchett, Betty Hans Rettig and the Carillon Garden Club, Nancy Scarzello, CL Williams, and the LGLC Stewardship Assistants who worked for weeks to the fence, path and garden, Mike Cerasaro and Jack Willis. In addition, plants for the garden were provided by Emily DeBolt of Fiddlehead Creek Native Plant Nursery and Mark Perry of Sweet Pea Farm Perennials and Art Gallery.

The ceremony ended with a champaign toast and cake, after which those in attendance then visited the property and contributed plants to the Friendship Garden.

The public is invited to add to the Friendship Garden; it is intended to provide a location for local residents and other Lake George visitors to memorialize or honor a loved family member, friend, memory or event with the planting of a perennial or small shrub. Plants may also be marked with small identifying plaques. For more information see www.lglc.org/naturepreserves/peggyspoint or call Sarah at 518-644-9673.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities’ Diane Chase: Lake George Fun

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities™

Fireworks and BBQs are on the roster this weekend as our nation steps up to celebration its Independence Day. Around the Adirondack Park, there will be plenty to do this 4th of July, but in Lake George there’s a whole week’s worth of family activities.

Some activities are for a fee, like the tubing in Lake Luzerne. At Adirondack Tubing Adventures you can tube for $21.95 for adults and $18.95 for children (12 and under) “The Lazy Linx Float” is a guided tubing, rafting, or canoe trip. There are also options for a two-person inflatable kayak or the single person hard bottom kayak. There are three trips a day (10:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m) so reservations are recommended by calling 518-696-6133.

Adirondack Tubing Adventures is open seven days a week so don’t despair; there are plenty of opportunities to get onto the water.

Dane Morton, owner of Adirondack Tubing Adventures, says, “This is our third summer of operations. All the trips are guided but vary in distance. We take all ages from adults to young kids (one and up) accompanied by a parent.”

For a discount to Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom call 518-681-7452. If you prefer adventure, then try one of the ropes courses at Adirondack Extreme Adventure or perhaps a pleasant ice cream cruise on Lake George is more your speed where children 11 and under are free.

There are also FREE activities such as Lego Building and Sand Castle Building Contests.

Of course there are other activities around Lake George such as hiking Prospect Mountain, taking a scenic drive or just enjoying the beautiful Adirondack view!


content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Tavern 16 Stony Creek

A diamond in the rough? Set back from the road, porch covered in vines, (which we later learned were hops); the dirt parking area and picnic tables are deceiving. Step onto the porch and the entrance inspires curiosity. Round tables with sprawling chairs invoke a shady retreat. No sign that we noticed, just a simple number 16, embellished with scroll work, over the front entrance-way of Tavern 16.

Enter and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. Upper walls on three sides are completely covered in various pieces of artwork, some originals, some prints (we’re pretty sure the VanGogh was a print), including a painting of the Sagamore Hotel, among other works by Elsie Soto, mother of owner Hank. Decorative panels beneath the bar, each one unique, are also creations of hers. The bar on the opposite wall is adorned with intricately detailed oak wood and mirrors, once bed headboards. Every glance reveals some now object of interest, painstakingly selected and collected by owners Hank and Toni. We take a seat at the bar and wonder where to purchase our tickets to this museum.

The bartender waits patiently while Pam surveys the liquor display. Oooh, pear flavored vodka, something she hasn’t tried yet. Ken suggests the pear with club soda and a splash of cranberry and Pam agrees. We are recognized by a long lost acquaintance and our story unfolds. Kim wishes she brought her wide angle lens for the photo shoot; there is so much to observe. Pam is eager to check out the bathroom and is not disappointed once she does. It’s a little gallery in there.

A pool table is nearly centered in the room, with maybe 50 trophies hanging above it and a few pool cues as well. We know the history of the family behind this tavern so we are not as surprised as some might be. Henry Soto, known as “Pop”, is a locally renowned pool shark. Reigning champions for at least the last decade, the Tavern 16 pool league, “Pop’s Pool League”, is reverently named for him. His son, Hank, has been a member of the Stony Creek Band for more than 30 years. Interestingly, neither Hank nor his father has aged much in those 30 years.

Pam begins her fact-finding dialogue with the bartender, Ken, and finds him extremely knowledgeable about the history and the everyday details of Tavern 16 – more like a curator than bartender. When she eventually learns that he was just filling in for the day, she is even more impressed. He is, in fact, more a patron than curator. In either role, Ken seems genuinely fond and proud of the establishment and its owners. The patrons, too, are quite proud of Tavern 16, its history, and the history of Stony Creek.

On a follow-up visit, it seemed everyone in the place had a story or morsel of trivia they wanted to share: “You don’t need a tattoo to fit in here.” “The jukebox has the most eclectic collection of music in the Adirondacks.” “Stony Creek has the highest number of single men per capita in Warren County.” And so on. Tavern 16 served as the Grange Hall in the 1940’s, but judging from newspapers used as insulation in the walls and dated 1865, Hank concludes that it was built in the mid-1800’s.

Ken modestly reveals that he has an interest in drink creation and shared an unnamed blend with us, which we have dubbed Ken’s Creekside Cooler until something better comes up. Jennifer, Tavern 16’s longest-standing bartender has a list of her own drink creations as well, including Sex in the Creek and the Jen-Garita, though her recipes are secret and she didn’t want to share. You’ll have to see her personally for that.

Ken’s Creekside Cooler
1 part tequila
1 part Absolut Citron
Pineapple juice

Tavern 16 is open every day, year round, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. (or later) and closes ONLY on Thanksgiving Day. Though they don’t serve food, in winter months a crockpot of something tasty and comforting is always simmering.

During the summer months, Tavern 16 hosts a cookout every Tuesday evening in conjunction with the town sponsored Stony Creek Music in the Park series of concerts. The first of this season is on July 5 at 7:00 p.m., rain or shine. They fire up the grill at about 5:30 at the Tavern 16. Food is free, but you can bring along something to share. One day a year, a Customer Appreciation Day cookout is held as well. We apparently just missed that event. Drink prices are in the low to average range, but a Saranac Pale Ale pint was a little pricier than most places we’ve reviewed. Don’t let that stop you though. Just experiencing this tavern is worth it.

Several bikers came in while we were there and Pam couldn’t resist a little friendly taunting. Yes, Pam would have to taunt the bikers! They offered some information about other bars in the Adirondacks that we must visit, gave her more insight about Sporty’s Tavern in Minerva, and eventually headed out. Probably wanted to get to a WiFi hotspot to check out our blog on their iPhones or Blackberries.

This is a “must see” tavern. Next time you are in Stony Creek, stop in, but put your transition lens glasses in your pocket for a few minutes before entering. You’ll find a warm, welcoming staff, a friendly bunch of locals who like to tell stories, and probably a visitor or two. And be sure to mention Happy Hour in the High Peaks if you run into Ken or Hank.

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.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: George Henry’s Warrensburg

It’s difficult to review an establishment this familiar. With no first impression with which to develop a theme, a last impression will have to do.

George Henry’s in Warrensburg has come a long way from its heyday as the Warren Inn, where we were occasionally allowed to sit at the bar and have a soda with our mom when we were kids. It’s as much a restaurant as a bar now and seems to invite tourists as well as locals. Originally called the Warren Inn after an actual inn that once occupied the corner of Schroon River Road and Main Street, it changed hands some time in the 1980s and was renamed the Brew & Stew (the Brew & Stew sign now hangs inside), and finally George Henry’s, named after the current owners’ father and grandfather, George Henry McFarland.

The interior of George Henry’s dining room is spacious, with tables comfortably distanced from one another. Wide plank floors and pine walls in the dining area create a somewhat rustic, no-frills appearance. The restaurant area is sufficiently separate to drown out the noise and to protect your children from the barside banter.

The bar seats about 20 people, with ample room for standing too, with a few bar height tables for overflow. Blackboards advertising food and drink specials hang in both the dining and bar areas, and several TV’s featured a variety of programming including Jeopardy, news, and a Yankees game. The tavern area was partially filled, maybe 15 people, when we visited on a Wednesday evening. We had expected more bikers because of Warrensburg Bike Week and Americade in Lake George, but a sudden storm, preceded by high winds and an ominous yellow glow in the sky sent them scattering.

Fortunately, we missed the “All-You-Can-Eat” Wings special and believe we were too late for Happy Hour (4:30 to 6:30). We donated some money to NY State by playing Quick Draw and shared the normal portion of their crispy “All-We-Can-Eat” wings. Open seven days a week, starting at 11 a.m., except on Sunday when they open at noon, George Henry’s serves food until 9 p.m. in the summer months. The kitchen closes earlier in other seasons, and are known to close the establishment for private parties on rare occasions, but are generally open year round. George Henry’s offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights and there is a small, designated area for the band or soloist, but don’t expect to do any dancing there.

The beer selection is pretty decent with domestics from the Coors, Budweiser, and Miller brands, and good old Genny as well. Import and premium bottled beers include Corona, Heineken, Labatt, Long Trail, Guinness and Twisted Tea. Six draft beers are available, including choices from Lake Placid Brewery, Adirondack Brewery and Davidson Brothers. Specialty drinks aren’t promoted, but George Henry’s is equipped to provide the basics and sometimes more elaborate drinks when staffing permits.

George Henry’s has been under current ownership for 25 years and seems to want to expand beyond the local pub. Improvements have been made, though nothing lavish or radical, more aptly living within their means while keeping costs down to appeal to the masses. A deck on the side, for example, has yet to be seen by us in all of its intended splendor.

George Henry’s is on Main Street which is sometimes heavily traveled, so the added seclusion of low fencing on the Main Street side of the deck offers privacy and noise reduction, but still allows a nice view of the Schroon River. The deck is accented with flower boxes and beds of hostas, pansies, and petunias, which Pam deadheaded for them that evening while reviewing the surroundings. Several tables, some with umbrellas, looked inviting, were it not for the rain.

Stop at George Henry’s for dinner on your way to points further north and expect a welcoming staff and patrons and good food. When looking for a good burger in the ‘Burg, George Henry’s is the place to go. Or go on a Friday or Saturday night for live music and an even livelier crowd.

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.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities’ Diane Chase: A Blacksmithing Demonstration

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities™

The Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne will be showcasing its new pavilion and blacksmith forge this weekend with free blacksmithing demonstrations on June 18th.

The school is located at the former Town of Lake Luzerne town hall building.  Classes in traditional Adirondack arts such as basketry and twig/rustic furniture building are available as well as other folk art traditions such as weaving, ceramics, quilting and fly tying.

For families, one popular course is the “stick and hike” workshop. Parents and children can come create a walking stick and then go take their stick for a hike around the beautiful 6.8-acre Adirondack Folk School property that borders the Hudson River.

Adirondack Folk School Founder and Acting Director Jim Mandle says, “We recently had a group of high schoolers use the same techniques for the ‘stick and hike’ but instead of a walking stick created a memory stick with markings and carvings to highlight events that have influenced their lives.”

Mandle explains that a true “folk school” is based on a Danish principle in which people learn for the sake of learning, not to earn course credit. Some classes are set over a specific time frame but most classes are for a day to appeal to locals as well as visitors.

“The property is located on one of the most beautiful spots on the Hudson,” says Mandle. “It is the last free-flowing spot where the Hudson is untouched. Rockwell Falls is where we hold some of our painting classes.”

“The core idea of the Adirondack Folk School is to keep the Adirondack crafts alive,” says Mandle. “We just celebrated our one year anniversary on June 5th. We have a course catalog available. In the beginning I made a list of ideas for classes and sought out those instructors. Other people have since come to us and asked if they could teach a class. I am amazed what has happened in the past year.”

Mandle encourages people to just drop by and see the new blacksmith forge and maybe even get an opportunity to become a blacksmith for the day. With the addition of the outdoor pavilion the event will happen rain or shine.

The Adirondack Folk School is located on Main Street in Lake Luzerne. Offering over a hundred classes in traditional Adirondack folk art, there is bound to be something for everyone.
Make sure to check their schedule of events for free summer events such as Saturday Evening Campfire-Sing-Along and July 2nd Anniversary Party.

photo: students participating in Adirondack Folk School blacksmithing class
photo credit: Jim Mandle, Adirondack Folk School



content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities™. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Monday, June 13, 2011

Conflict Over Snowmobile Access Threatens Bike Trail

If Warren County permits snowmobiles to use the Warren County Bikeway where it traverses land owned by the Magic Forest theme park, the trail could be barricaded, severing the trail link between Lake George and Glens Falls. That, at any rate, is one option available to Magic Forest’s owner, Jack Gillette, said Gillette’s attorney, Mike Stafford.

Whereas Warren County owns outright or by easement most of the 17-mile trail, Magic Forest owns the 350 feet of trail over the park’s land, Gillette said. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: North Creek Reader’s Theatre

The Our Town Theatre Group (OTTG) in North Creek has started a new outreach program to continue their focus to provide live performance to people around the Adirondack Park and beyond. Known as The Penny Readers, the group has chosen classic short stories for its upcoming staged reading June 11, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Chestertown Town Hall. With the exception of a chapter from the Roald Dahl children story, “The BFG,” all stories will be read in full. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

DEC Proposes Banning Some Motors on Thirteenth Lake

A proposed regulation that would limit motorized boating on Thirteenth Lake to electric motors only has been released for public comment by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Interested parties have until July 2 to provide comments on the proposed regulation.

Thirteenth Lake lies in the northeastern portion of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area in the Town of Johnsburg, Warren County. The lakeshore is predominately state-owned lands classified as wilderness. Some privately owned parcels adjoin the lake.

During the development of the Unit Management Plan for the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area, DEC received numerous comments from private homeowners on the lake and from other users requesting that motorboats be prohibited on Thirteenth Lake due to noise, air pollution and water pollution issues. In response to these concerns, the Siamese Ponds Unit Management Plan calls for limiting motorized boating on the lake to electric motors only. This regulation implements that directive.

The use of electric motors will allow anglers to troll for trout and people with mobility disabilities to access the lake and adjoining wilderness lands.

The full proposed regulation and additional information regarding the purpose of the regulation can be viewed on the DEC website.

Comments will be accepted until July 2, 2011. Comments or questions may be directed to Peter Frank, Bureau of Forest Preserve, Division of Lands & Forests, by mail at 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4254; e-mail at [email protected] or by telephone at 518-473-9518.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Shepard’s Cove Lake George

Look what we’ve been missing since our twenties! At some point during that decade we decided to avoid Lake George Village in the summer season. Too much traffic, too crowded, too expensive, what – pay for parking! When we sat at the lakeside bar at Shepard’s Cove on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, Pam took in the breeze from the open doors and windows, cast her glance out on the lake, listened to solo act Rich Ortiz playing his acoustic music and felt she had been cheating herself all those years.
Our bartender, Jonny, flattered us by insisting on seeing our ID’s. We knew immediately that he was going to be fun. We informed him of our purpose in visiting on that day, and after he and the other bartender finished ribbing us about having to “work” on Memorial Day weekend, we ordered our drinks and took in the interior scenery.

We settled in immediately, relaxed and feeling for the first time on this quest like tourists on vacation. Shepard’s Cove, light and airy, has a distinct Caribbean beach house feel. Whitewashed pine walls trimmed in blue add a cool feel as a steady breeze finds its way through a wide opening to the spacious upper deck overlooking the lake. Another equally large deck resides on the lower level as well, with marina for those arriving by boat. Little thought seems to have gone into the decor, a confusing combination of a series of framed black-and-white celebrity photos and beer advertising giveaways; the ladies’ room pepto pink. A scattering of both high and low tables provide seating in addition to the wraparound bar, which seats approximately 25 people. A modest stage is located inside to accommodate the mostly local bands who contribute to the Lake George nightlife; an area on the deck for acoustic performers on a lazy afternoon.

Jonny answered our technical questions when time permitted. Reminiscent of a young bartender named Brian, whom Pam groomed during her former days as a regular at the Garrison, Pam plied Jonny for some of his favorite drink recipes. Her relationship with Brian had eventually culminated in a “drink of the day” game between them, and Jonny took the bait. Here are a few delicious concoctions he shared with us:

Jonny’s Raspberry
Raspberry vodka
Sour apple liqueur
fresh lemon juice
fresh lime juice
cranberry juice
1 pkt sugar
shaken over ice

Purple Rain
Grape vodka
Blue curacao
cranberry juice

We indulged in Jonny’s Purple Rain with a friendly couple from downstate celebrating a birthday – always a good excuse for a shot (if you need an excuse). The drink prices were in the average range for Lake George – around $5.00 for a beer or simple mixed drink. Kim tried a beer (of course she did!) new to her – a Magic Hat Wacko Summer Seasonal. Malty, slightly sweet, with a mild hop flavor and a gorgeous soft watermelon color, it was light and quenching and complemented Jonny’s Raspberry perfectly. Pam instructed Jonny on the proper proportions to recreate the Grape Crush from the Barking Spider.

We did not have the opportunity to sample the food, but a glance at the menu divulged an assortment of soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers and appetizers in the $6 to $10 range. Entrees include a variety of steaks, seafood, ribs and pasta ranging from $13 to $22.

We are primarily “Happy Hour” patrons and found Shepard’s Cove a perfect place to have lunch or spend an afternoon with family or friends. Our guess is that the patrons of the night are of a more youthful and energetic demographic, attesting to the versatility of Shepard’s Cove. We look forward to our rediscovery of Lake George.

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.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities’ Diane Chase: Elvis is in Lake George

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities

With an opportunity to bypass a trip to Vegas and be married by the King of Rock n’ Roll at the Lake George.com Elvis Festival, I feel it may be time to renew our wedding vows. My husband hates the idea but only slightly less than my Halloween wedding plan of dressing up as the bride and groom and being married by Beetlejuice.

In Lake George this weekend the Elvis Festival opens this Thursday, June 2 with a free tribute concert at Shepard’s Park starting at 7:30 p.m. According to Festival Director Jason Sherry the concert is family-friendly and gives a sampling of what the weekend festivities hold.

“Not only will people be able to see tributes to Elvis, James Brown, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson but also Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. The musicians are all tributes,” says Sherry. “Friday night is about Rock and Roll History, which is where all the other tribute artists come in. Saturday is Elvis all day long. Elvis will be on a boat, playing in restaurants and seen all around Lake George.”

Another activity families can look forward to is the Elvis Classic Car Parade. The parade starts at 9:00 a.m. on June 4th. The parade route starts at the high school and continues to the Lake George Forum. All the performers will be showing their stuff.

“We have set up the Forum to seat 2,100 people for our event,” says Sherry. “Some of the events are only $15 so there is a lot of variety for families. We also hold the Elvis Gospel Music Contest on June 5th. The event is free but we are asking for donations for United Way. We have always held one event for charity in the eight years that we have held this event. The past four years we have raised funds for the United Way.”

Sherry recommends people to stop by the Lake George Forum and pick up the $3.00 program which includes a complete schedule and all the free events.

With the hum of gospel music in the background you can set your own stage to be married by Elvis. Perhaps you can have your own themed wedding but I will only be able to watch from the stage as Pricilla Presley beehive hairdos fill the Lake George Forum.

Call 518-681-7452 for Elvis Festival tickets and more information.

Photo: An Elvis tribute performer courtesy LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival.


content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George.