Black Bear Restaurant & Bar to celebrate 60th year

On Sunday, Aug. 8, the week-long celebration kicks off with an Elvis tribute artist show and prime rib dinner, an event which is sold out.

On Wednesday, Aug. 11, a free performance of Bernie's Bluegrass Boys, begins at 4 p.m. in the Black Bear's back room, and it's open to all at no cover charge.

Friday evening, Aug. 13, the weekly "Adirondack Idol" karaoke competition takes to the stage. In addition to the local vocal wannabes, talented aspiring professional singers from the Seagle Colony and a local Shakespeare fest often compete, not singing opera or the classics, but contemporary rock and popular tunes. As in years past, the winner of the 2010 contest is to receive $1,000 and a golden microphone.

All week long during the anniversary celebration, retro-priced specials will be available for breakfast and lunch in the restaurant - selections taken directly off historic Black Bear menus.

Customer favorites on the current menu include the ever-popular roast turkey - whether its a cold or hot sandwich, or a dinner plate with all the fixings - and chicken wings which Patti Stetson calls "the best in the North Country."

The restaurant is open from 6:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with home cooking and daily specials. Soups, pies and fixin's are all homemade. The tavern closes at midnight or later on weekdays, and somewhere between 2 to 4 a.m. on weekends.

Black Bear grew through the years

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Black Bear was merely an ice cream and hot dog stand with gas pumps.

Then in 1950, Bill and Delva Stetson acquired it, turning it into a restaurant, while operating it as a major bus stop on the Greyhound route through the Adirondacks. In the mid-1950s, the bar was added.

In 1970, Butch Stetson took over, continuing to expand the building and the business. During the 1970s, the back room and stage were added, and live bands were featured weekends up through the early 1990s or so. Since then deejays have ruled. Now, Phil Downey of Pottersville, known as Totally Tuned deejay, provides entertainment.

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