Adirondacks In Phase 3: What Does That Mean for the Lodge?
On Friday, June 12th, New York State has enabled the Adirondack North Country Region to move to Phase 3 of a 4 part plan to reopen the economy. The 10 regions in NYS are in various Phases.
What does that mean to our guests?
The Lake Clear Lodge Adirondack Alps Restaurant was mandated to close and offer only takeout and delivery with the "Pause NY" order. Our family also elected to close lodgings for March and April after local government officials asked if we would do so voluntarily due to the limited medical facilities in the Adirondacks amid the concern that a wave of visitors in addition to residents may overwhelm the hospitals.
In the beginning of May with NYS moving into with Phase 1, the Lake Clear Lodge began a soft opening of our lodgings and started a new venture: “Old World Takeout & Food Hub.”
While we have always offered informal takeout, and packages of our specialty wine and beer from the Speakeasy Hidden Cellar, the family developed a full-fledged experience to include “touchless” online ordering and curbside pick-up, along with “Great Camp Dinner Experience Kits.” For those of you who have been here before, you will know, our family has kept the tradition started by Chef Cathy Otis Fisher Hohmeyer’s family who built the Lodge in 1886 as a Great Lodge offering an experiential stay.
New For "Phase 3"
With Phase 3, we will now be able to expand our takeout offerings with onsite dining through our Adirondack Alps Restaurant, and once again be able to offer our History of Beer Workshops, cooking demos and wellness offerings.
Due to NYS regulations, we will need to offer these in different ways.
In trying to make this a fun and safe experience for everyone including you, our family and staff, we created 3 cool new experiences:
Summer Cool #1: Keeping What is Timeless
The great news is that as one of the last of the original Adirondack Great Camps open to the public, your room is our 25 acres. Built during the Pioneering and Cure Cottage days, Great Camps were designed to get you into the fresh air as much as possible and to do so in a way where elbow room was meant to show you how spacious and majestic the Adirondack Mountains were. So our lodgings are spread apart from one another and we don’t have feet on picturesque and secluded Lake Clear, we have 3 acres of lake-front.
The same applies to the dining experience. Again, while the estate revolves around our iconic 1886 Main Lodge which was a Stagecoach inn, post-office and trading post and, in the 1920s, quite the illustrious Speakeasy when Einstein visited; the idea was to offer a meandering experience where your table was once again our 25-acres. Beginning in the 1800s Post Office, now our lobby area, with a password to the hidden Speakeasy. Take your glass down the covered walkway to the Lakeview Retreat Center and from there wander down to one of not the Adirondacks, but the world’s, most incredible mountain-lake sunsets. During those Cure Cottage days which had another airborne virus that was not COVID-19, but tuberculosis, they recognized then as they do today, that you need as much exposure to the pristine air of the Adirondacks so they encouraged you as part of your dining experience to walk the open spaces.
We continue this meandering open space experience.
Chef Cathy Hohmeyer continues her family's pioneering heritage in fusion with Ernest’s Old World family of preparing each dish individually. With no deep fryer and a kitchen full of vegetable stocks, bone broths and simmering stews (did anyone mention Old World baked goods and desserts?!), we have always kept the number of our Adirondack Alps Restaurant dinner guests to under 50 where your table is yours for the evening and space and open air is as much of the decor as our family heirlooms.
Summer Cool #2: Meeting the New State Regulations in a Safe, Fun & Innovative Way
First, we have prepared a “Special Statement” of overall policies which we encourage you to look over.
In relation to our food options, we will continue to offer 3 experiences:
- Adirondack Alps Old World Takeout
You can browse the offerings on our website from simple a la carte appetizers like the Best-of-the-Wurst to our one-of-a-kind Dinner Experience Kits like our History of Beer Dinner & Tasting with accompanying special Lodge Beer Mats which explains the beers. This is highlighted by a 20 minute video with Ernest Hohmeyer interacting with beer history. Each month a different kit!
- Adirondack Food Hub
The Lodge has been selected as a site for a weekly (on Wednesday) CSA delivery and pick-up. You can order everything from vegetables to meats and even flowers! See more here.
- Great Camp Lake View Sunset & Dinner Experience
Due to the nature of the requirements for full table service, we can not currently provide this. Instead of lamenting this loss, we have turned it into an opportunity to do something new that will provide both you, and our family and staff, a safe and enjoyable experience. Learn More.
We recognize that in these circumstances, all of you will come with varying degrees of comfortableness in being in a public environment. This is why we will continue our over a half-century tradition of intimate and limited seating by reservation only.
Great Camp Lake View Sunset & Dinner Experience: How It Works
- You can enjoy the beginning of the Great Camp Dinner experience that has been a tradition for nearly 55 years and 3 generations of family. We encourage you to reserve online, but we're also more than happy to answer your call or email.
- Upon arriving, you enter the 1886 Post Office Lobby. If you did not book online, one of our family will take your dinner order (or there will be a self-service kiosk).
- Then, find the hidden door to the 1920’s Speakeasy with hidden beer (& wine) cellar with the Adirondacks largest selection of craft import beers.
- Like always, with glass in hand meander down to a transformative and inspiring mountain-lake sunset as it settles over the St. Regis Mountain Range on our beach.
- While you are enjoying the Speakeasy experience, we will be preparing you dinner and placing it in a special Great Camp Dinner Basket. Now, you will have more options than ever before. You can take the basket with you to the beach, or if you would prefer a more classic dining room experience, you can meander down the covered walkway to our Lakeview Retreat Center dining room. There you can pick any table you like, sit down on family hand-crafted furniture and immerse in great food, fine company, all the while immersing in a spectacular mountain-lake sunset. This dining room was hand-built from wood milled from the property. It is totally enclosed with a beautiful fireplace, lake view patio, 16 speaker sound system and two bathrooms. Your table there has been reserved for the evening so stay as long as you like.
- If you would like anything more, please wander back down the covered walkway to the Speakeasy. You can add additional “spirits” or a decadent Old World dessert and surprise your table with it!
And now you can experience our Great Camp Lake Sunset Dining Experience in a new way that minimizes interactions and expedites the preparation of your dinner: Order online. Not only can you make the dinner reservations on-line but you can order too!
- Pick the time of your desired arrival
- Choose your entree
- Pre-pay the dinner portion
- Upon Arrival, enjoy our dining experience as always! Begin in the Speakeasy, meander to the lake and when you are ready, pick up or we will deliver your Great Camp Dinner basket!
- Want to add-on with Speakeasy “spirits” or dessert - you can!
- This will expedite the timing of your dinner and will help us ensure to the best of our ability, social distancing between reservations. To help with that, the Lodge will only offer limited dining reservations every half-hour to spread out the number of dining guests.
- Book Online Now
Please find some answers to frequently asked questions below. We hope that everyone is staying safe, and we thank you for your patience and support as our family makes our way through this challenging time and monitors frequently updated regulations. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave a message on live chat, send us an email, or give us a call. We are more than happy to speak with you to answer questions, make reservations, or just to have a chat.
- The Hohmeyer Family: Ernest, Cathy, Yurgen, & Dieter
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are you doing related to wellness precautions?
- Please see our previous “Special Statement.”
- Built during the 1800’s Cure Cottage Days when another airborne ailment was prevalent, the experience in what became known as the “Healing Woods,” was to offer as much of an outdoor experience as possible. It was not only the air here, but it became known that the pine and balsam were also therapeutic. Our family has kept this “Great Camp” dining tradition alive for over a half-century. Your table is our 25 acres where you can meander iconic indoor spaces such as our authentic 1920’s Speakeasy where Einstein visited, to a simply spectacular beach with stunning mountain lake sunsets to a lake view Great Camp dining room.
- Again, in that Cure Cottage, Great Camp style we will continue with our limited seating of no more than 50 guests as Chef Cathy’s food, originating from her pioneering family who built the Lodge in the 1800’s and fused with Ernest’s Old World roots is brimming with vegetable stocks, bone broths, and simmering sauces (not to mention Old World desserts) necessitating a limited amount of guests.
- In addition to limited seating, reservations, another tradition for over 50 years will continue. Due to social distancing these will be spaced out throughout our restaurant hours.
- We are encouraging ordering online. This will not only be helpful in expediting your individually prepared dinner, it will also enhance the touchless aspects.
- In the lobby check-in area, we have placed one-way directional arrows with 6 foot apart standing stations.
- There are sanitizing stations in the lobby, the Speakeasy, and bathrooms.
- We are constantly re-evaluating and training our team as best as we can as a small, independent business.
2. Why did you change your table service?
- Under current state mandates for restaurants as well as varying degrees of uncomfortableness with table service, this became our only viable option.
- By offering the Great Camp Dinner Basket, we can minimize the close proximity contact between our staff and guests.
3. As a dinner guest, do I have safety requirements?
- You will need a mask to enter the 1886 Post Office Lobby and follow the one-way lane of traffic to check-in. If there are other guests in the lobby, please adhere to the 6 foot lines marked on the floor.
- Please keep your mask with you at all times, as you are currently required to wear it if you are not seated. We have continued to offer our meandering Great Camp dining experience of immersing in our iconic spaces which are spread out from one another to help with this.
- We have placed the tables, per NYS, 6 feet apart and at a table while you are seated, you can remove your mask. In the Speakeasy, seating will be limited, and again while seated you can remove your mask. In order to comply with State occupancy minimums, we may ask you to move from the Speakeasy to your choice of dining area at the Lake or the Lake View Retreat Center.
- Please sanitize your hands as often as possible.
- If you are not feeling well, please do not come for dinner. Under NYS requirements we can refuse anyone who we believe to be ill.
4. What are some of the NYS restaurant requirements?
Due to the fact that that they are constantly evolving, and are voluminous, we cannot list them all here, highlights include:
- Monitoring and ongoing training of all staff
- Occupancy and spacing requirements for number of guests.
- Sanitizing protocols
5.What if I am gluten-free or have allergies?
Please notify us in advance as we cannot guarantee the ability to provide you with a food alternative on short notice. Having said that, Chef Cathy is a wellness chef doing remarkable work in her signature Nutritional Energetics initiative. With proper notification, she can make unique gluten-free dishes and will do her best to satisfy allergies. We cannot guarantee this and it is up to the customer to have the proper safety nets in place.
6. Are you family-friendly?
Of course, we are a 3 generational family operation! Please note that due to new NYS Occupancy requirements, all children regardless of age are counted as one guest. Thus, we have enacted minimum table charge requirements.
7. Will you continue to offer Take-out?
8. Do you do anything special for groups?
Yes. Please contact us directly and we'll be happy to set something up for your group. Please note that at this time a single table is limited to a maximum of 10 guests by NYS guidelines.
9. Can we come in only for a drink?
Unfortunately, due to new NYS occupancy and distancing requirements, all restaurant guests must have dinner if they are interested in remaining onsite or using any amenities.