Dancing Bears Bar and Restaurant, located at The High Peaks Resort in the Village of Lake Placid. Although the day was dreary, the room was well lit as natural daylight spilled through the floor-to-ceiling windows. High ceilings, pale-colored walls and tapered oak columns open the space and a cozy stone fireplace rests in a far wall. The restaurant surrounds the bar on all sides and amply spaced dining and pub tables offer views from any angle in the daytime. Three wide screen TV’s are visible without being a distraction. Fishing tries to be the predominant theme. Framed photographs and fishing gear adorn the walls in aesthetic arrangement but are interrupted here and there with the seemingly requisite memorabilia hanging in tribute to Olympics past. Of course, dancing bears are everywhere starting with a huge mural of the scene and other various renditions of this now iconic Adirondack image painted by William Beard. The work has undergone a metamorphosis in the last century. Originally titled The Wall Street Jubilee, the image depicts the bears of Wall Street celebrating a drop in the stock market. It seems now to symbolize a more rustic, whimsical portrayal of fun and frolic, a commune with nature. The Dancing Bears’ most celebrated feature is a beautiful outdoor seating area on the upper level. Due to the weather, we were not able to take advantage of the deck, which overlooks Mirror Lake and features a fire pit.
As the bartender greeted us we seated ourselves at the bar. The leather bar stools were beautiful and comfortable. On this evening, Darren was the lone bartender supporting the bar and restaurant patrons. He was very busy, but tried to accommodate our questions when he could. Pam's first question was whether they had any drinks unique to their establishment. He handed her a menu and pointed to a list of about six summer specialties featuring mostly fruity flavored cocktails. Pam reviewed them then turned the page only to discover a drink special list entitled "46 High Peaks"! A wise guy! Forty-six drink specials unique to their establishment, at least in name. Mostly remakes or variations of popular drinks, each one is named for one of the high peaks and range in price from $5.00 to $8.00. According to the Libations menu, you can win a prize for trying all 46 drinks. We don't think it's intended to be done in one day or night, nor do we recommend trying.
The beer selection includes something for every taste with common domestics and a modest collection of imports in bottles, some of New York’s finest in cans, and (mostly commercial) drafts. The Dancing Bears claims to serve the coldest beer in Lake Placid. Stella, Blue Moon, Yuengling, Coors Light, Saranac Pale Ale and Davidson Brothers Oatmeal Stout are dispensed through taps encased in blocks of ice. The “Freeze Your Glass Off” special is offered daily from 4 to 7 p.m. featuring ice cold pints for a cool 2 bucks!
We still have reviews to finish for The Cottage and Lisa G's which we hope to finish up this weekend. The Old Forge pub crawl reviews will begin with the Moose Lake Inn and will first be posted on the Adirondack Almanack. Tonight we're taking a little trip up to Au Sable Forks to "peak" 20 Main. Do try to keep up.
Cheers & Bottoms Up!
Kim & Pam
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!