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Recession Proof

People reluctant to cut out alcohol during downturn

September 14, 2008
By RICHARD NILSEN, The Leader-Herald

When times are tough, some expenditures have to be cut, but according to local tavern owners, customers are reluctant include alcohol among the items to go.

Doc Anadio at Doc's Remedy Inn on Bleecker Street in Gloversville said things have been pretty steady at his place of business. With more than half the barstools filled Wednesday afternoon, he seemed to have justification for th at opinion.

"Down economic times hurt different businesses differently," he said. "People still seem to have the money to entertain."

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Richard Nilsen

Doc Anadio pulls a draft for a customer at Doc’s Remedy Inn on Bleecker Street in Gloversville Wednesday.

Anadio said he hasn't seen a correlation between difficult economic times and his bar business.

"I've seen no direct effect economically" he said. "There's more effect seasonally."

Anadio said summer time could be slower and holiday business tended to increase.

"I built this business up from nothing," he said. "The place had been closed for 10 or 12 years."

Anadio said he completely refurbished the interior and added a deck to the business with pizza and wings available daily.

At Lil Laker Joe's in Caroga, Larry Eckler, owner of the Pinnacle restaurant and Motel was talking to Colleen Graves, co-owner of Joe's. Although they felt summer tourist business may have fallen this summer, they said bar business was steady.

Eckler has owned the Pinnacle 18 years while Graves has four years experience at Joe's.

"There have been fewer summer people," Eckler said. "But both the dining and motel business was strong this year."

Eckler said he believed high gas prices cut back on the number of visits some made to the area, but he was able to re-coup business by working events people had near local lakes.

"You have to harvest events," Eckler said. "This weekend there is a gold outing out of New York City. I will get motel business, Vrooman's will get some bar business and of course the town gold course gets the golf business."

Graves said local businesses team up with events like the Northeast Chapter of the Motorcycle Coalition.

"We had over 160 people here," she said. "They were here for their annual meeting."

Eckler said it was important to be available to people coming from an event.

In Northville, Vic Marshall is the owner of Vic's Tavern as well as the president of the Fulton County chapter of the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association. He said business at his place has been very strong and he'd had good reports from around the area.

"We've had a good summer and bar business seems to be steady," he said.

Marshall said business always fell off after Labor Day, but it was still good.

"I had the best Memorial Day weekend ever this year," Marshall said.

He said he thought high gas prices may have helped business by keeping people closer to home.

"High fuel prices may have actually helped us," he said. "And weather is always a factor. Except for a couple of weeks of rain we've had a good summer weather-wise."

Marshall said he had some expectations the local bar business would be hurt by the economic downturn, but it hasn't been the case.

"I'd say business hasn't changed drastically," he said.

Graves said she thought to some extent higher fuel prices hurt everyone, because transportation cost added to the cost of food as well as drink offered at her restaurant.

"In the past, prices could be set at the beginning of summer and they would stay the same through the season," she said. "That isn't true any more."

In spite of food price fluctuations, Graves said bar business hadn't been hurt.

"It's been steady," she said.

Marshall said worse than fuel and food price increases was the effect of the New York State Liquor Authority.

Richard Nilsen is a general assignment reporter and can be reached at



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