After a a few short months -- from concept to inception -- Sticks and Stones has finally opened its doors to the hungry masses of the North Country. The early reviews are in and they are very good. We'll be sampling the goodies from that brand, spanking new wood fired pizza oven soon enough, but in the meantime we were given a tour of the magnificent space where Sticks and Stones will temp your palette. Our guides last weekend were owners Steve Holmes and Gary Tromblee.
Outside, a new outdoor dining area, atop a slate deck -- each piece laid by Gary -- seems to be the perfect place for a margarita or two.
"I hand laid each and everyone of these," Gary told me.
There's a fire pit in the front of the restaurant for smokers -- and cool sumer nights. Across the way, Steve hopes a newly planted herb garden with produce a small bounty for the kitchen, overseen by chef Tony.
But it's once you enter the restaurant, with its soaring ceilings, that you realize why the joint is called Sticks and Stones. There is the high end remodeling left over from when Barry Gregson used it as his showroom for his award winning wood furniture. Then there's so many new touches, the place is almost unrecognizable from its retail store days.
But the centerpiece of the building - then and now -- is the magnificent stone fireplace, the work of the late and legendary Lance Gregson.
New tables and chairs sit on the gleaming birch floors. There are dining booths that feature carved bears by another craftsman, Frank Cavoli.
Then there are those custom made barstools, that are so inviting its hard not to sit down and order a cold one from the well stocked bar. The bar itself is a thing of beauty. No detail has been left off -- there's power outlets discreetly under the bar for device recharging.
The libations are centered around a giant digital print of the Adirondacks behind the bar, from the camera of artist Carl Heilman.
We were there the day after two back to back soft openings. Gary and Steve looked tired -- and relieved.
"Last night was the first good night sleep we've gotten in a while," Steve said. Gary says there is still a lot to do -- ironing out the kinks of a new restaurant, getting a rhythm going and training staff. And from a first glance -- it sure looks like they are off to a flying start.
739 US Route 9, Schroon Lake, NY, 12870. (518) 532-9663