The Algonquin’s Hacker Craft Bar
With their new Hacker-Craft Bar, the Algonquin’s owners have affirmed the many and clear links between the restaurant and Lake George boating.
Of course, such an affirmation is hardly necessary.
The Algonquin has been the lake’s most prominent dock-and-dine dine destination for years. Those who don’t come by boat come to see the boats, and Hackers, old and new, are among the most popular attractions.
According to Keith Scott, who owns the Algonquin with Brad Irvine, the Hackers’ magnetic appeal helped inspire the new bar.
“There’s usually at least one Hacker tied up at the docks, and people love them,” said Scott. “They truly appreciate the craftsmanship.”
Like the Hackers themselves, the bar is made of varnished mahogany and includes such emblematic features as a pinstriped deck, seats upholstered in stitched green leather, steel cutwaters, hatches for access and cubbies for storage.
“The bar is more or less what you’d see floating on the lake; I’d say it’s 99% authentic,” said Scott. “Of course, we had to adapt the construction to our needs, such as coating the bartop with a protective epoxy.”
To accommodate the bar, Scott and his partner remodeled the restaurant’s second floor dining room, known as Topside.
“We’ve paneled the room with wood reclaimed from a two hundred year old barn and added stone accents. Of course, the views of Huddle Bay, Sweet Briar Island and Buck Mountain remain the room’s centerpiece,” said Scott.
Building a boat-themed bar was something Scott and his wife Kim had long contemplated.
Scott pitched the idea one evening to friends who work at Hacker. “They looked the room over and said they’d like to do it. Hacker-Craft owner George Badcock has been great throughout the process, ” said Scott.
With the help of an architect who happened to be a friend of Kim’s from high school, the Scotts “brainstormed, throwing ideas out there,” until the bar’s design was in place.
“Topside was the only part of the restaurant where there was still room for improvement, and we now have the potential to expand our business hosting special events in the shoulder seasons,” said Scott.
While the first floor dining room and bar have been open since early April, with the outdoor decks offering service shortly thereafter, Topside will open for the season in mid-June.
“It’s been a big undertaking, but it’s been worth it, because it brings a timeless classic from the water into the restaurant,” said Scott.