Tucked amid a small group of Main Street storefronts in Schroon Lake, Flanagan's quietly sits. Its hand-painted signs promising a family restaurant atmosphere, we accepted its invitation. One of only two bars in a small community just stirring from its winter sleep, we arrived with modest expectations and hearty appetites, noting their boast of famous wings.
Entry to the bar involves passing through the front of the restaurant, gleaming wide-plank pine floors beneath our feet; mine so boldly clad in sandals on this warm, sunny day. With only front and rear windows in the long, narrow building, it was surprisingly well-lit. (We were not.) We had heard about Flanagan's complicated seating hierarchy and headed toward the back, near the jukebox and small collection of arcade games, in order to assume a proper location. Finding all those seats occupied, we moved closer to the front (locals) section. We're not tourists or flatlanders (clearly not) or weekenders, summer residents, nor even just passing through. But we're definitely NOT locals (I think that was made silently but abundantly clear), but we sat there anyway, sensing (or imagining) sidelong glances from those patrons rightfully classified as such.
The bartender, reluctant to share his identity, muttering something about witness protection, took our orders. We later learned, through the process of elimination, that his name was Josh. I ordered a Long Trail Seasonal (Harvest), a dark wheat from Flanagan's well-selected draft choices: Coors Light, Yuengling, Guinness, Lake Placid Ubu, Long Trail Seasonal and Davidson Brothers IPA and Brown. The Long Trail was delightful. Lightly flavored, subtly sweet for a dark beer, the color of a cola and nearly as bubbly, somewhat thin and clear without being watery. I would buy a six-pack of this if I came across it. Pam ordered her usual fallback: vodka and grapefruit. I think she needs to perfect it with perhaps a vodka preference.
I'm sure Pam will discuss the barstools - Amish-made natural oak seats with rustic stick legs and padded backs. They were gorgeous. The dining room also had the same matching chairs. I tried to do the math at probably a couple of hundred per chair, but thought better of it. I was especially appreciative of the heater that ran the length of the bar and served as the footrest. I despise the cold and, despite the warm day, my exposed toes were chilly.
Some thought had obviously gone into this place, though I don't know if it was recent (the chairs were, we were told) or all at once, or an evolving process since we had never been there before.
I ordered a buffalo chicken wrap with bleu cheese, medium hot, from the standard but varied menu. If the deliciousness of the buffalo chicken in the wrap was any indication of the quality of their wings, then I can probably safely assume Flanagan's claim to famous wings is accurate. Delicately crisp and tender, the tangy, spicy sauce wafting into my nostrils, filled my sinuses with flavor that continued on my taste buds. The bleu cheese gave the chicken a creamy complement, all rolled into the fresh wrap. Pam's heaping plate of supreme nachos (with chili) was impressive, fresh and quite tasty. The prices were pretty reasonable with most items $7 to $10. Drink pricess were pretty standard.
I'm curious whether the locals disappear during the summer months when most of the clientele are visitors, or are just absorbed. With the homey comforts of Flanagan's in their backyard, I doubt they can stay away.
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!