OUR MISSION - WE'RE PUBLISHED! Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 marked the Premier of our new book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks: An Adirondack Bar Guide. The hardcover, 160 page book can be found at bars and bookstores throughout the Adirondack Park or order online at www.happyhourinthehighpeaks.com. You'll find a list of our book signings on the Events page and where to buy the book on our Retailers page. The book contains reviews of 46 of our favorite bars in the Adirondack Park, and 46 drink recipes with an Adirondack twist. As a companion to the book, we have also published a 46er Passport so that you can follow the Happy Hour Trail to become a Happy Hour 46er and make new friends along the way. Summit Tour t-shirts will be for sale at our book signings or available online. Whether you are a native, resident, or visitor, you'll find 46 more reasons to visit the ADIRONDACK PARK!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Barking Spider Spins its Web

North Creek's close proximity to us and its lure of a number of pubs urged us to return on this pleasant Saturday afternoon. Our original plan had been to spend some time in two different bars, the first being The Barking Spider at 302 Main Street in North Creek; the second, Basil & Wicks on Route 28.

Our first visit was The Barking Spider. A tiny facade, nestled between two larger structures, the long, narrow interior of the tavern did not inhibit the sense of spaciousness yielded by the high ceilings, natural pine wainscoting, and unfinished wide-plank wood floors. Modestly decorated here and there with snowshoes, skis and art prints, it was uncluttered, lending an airy sense. The rear of the bar overlooked the North Creek train station and the Hudson River.

The draft beer selection was limited but varied and I ordered a Bear Naked Ale, crafted by the Adirondack Pub and Brewery in Lake George. I honestly don't know what bottled beers were available, but Pam had an Ultra and someone had a PBR in a can, so I assume there was something for everyone.

Tavern owner Tim McGraw's enthusiasm and willingness to share experiences and future plans for the bar were encouraging as was his humor in explaining the presence of the flag of the great state of New York, hanging in effigy overhead. (That's a story for another blog.) Terri, the bartender, was quite accommodating in her quest for a substitute for white zinfandel (Pam's drink of choice), which the Barking Spider does not stock.

A mix of patrons came and went throughout our two-and-a-half-hour visit. In fact, we were there longer than most. Representing a variety of age groups, regular visitors to the area, locals and winter sportspeople, the clientele were friendly and inquisitive, as we seemed to arouse curiosity as we scribbled observations in our notebooks. We assured them we weren't from the health department or up to no-good. We spoke with many who happily answered questions and made suggestions for other places to visit. The Bear Trap in Indian Lake was suggested a couple of times, so it looks as though we may be headed that way in the near future.

Our husbands eventually showed up (we said it was OK) and we left for dinner at Basil and Wick's. We are not restaurant reviewers, but I will say that, though the seating process was disorganized, the food was excellent. Basil and Wick's chili is the "Bands and Beans" award winner and both husbands ordered that, the plan being that the two of them would ride home together (taking their barking spiders with them). I think Basil and Wick's will be visited again when they're not so busy, so that we can properly review the bar.

It's already clear that it will be difficult to choose the top bars for our book. I predict we will find something positive and unique in every place we visit. I am pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm and well-wishes Pam and I receive when we explain what we're up to, from customers and staff alike. You meet the nicest people in the Adirondacks!


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