GIFT| Joe SLU pint serves memories of the Hoot

SLU PintThe one and only Dan-o presented this pint glass to me when I was last in Canton.

Last month, on our trip to the north for the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, there was the requisite visit to what you might call our church, the Hoot Owl Express. As I mentioned in my report of the trip, Dan Fay, the oracle of oracles, gifted Maxie and I with these swell Joe SLU pint glasses. We were understandably flattered — he went down to the basement to get them and insisted we use them right away — and were a bit confused as to why we were given them. Sure, it’s nice to be remembered and sure, Maxie and I have both dropped thousands into the place over the years, but still. When you get a gift from Dan-o, it’s a big deal., the bar’s new Web site is taking off and the store, where you can purchase this glass and other Scarlet and Brown paraphernalia, is live. You do have to register, but it only takes a few minutes.

They’re relatively affordable at $8 each $6.25 each in a set of four or more.

SCENE| A Laurentian wedding in a Laurentian setting

Amanda_DougThe bride and groom dance the night away in Eben Holden Hall.

We spent last weekend in Canton for the much-anticipated wedding of our Laurentian friends, Amanda Church and Doug Smith. Amanda’s in Mrs. F’s class and they were sisters at Kappa Delta Sigma, the University’s lone local sorority.

The service, held in Gunnison Memorial Chapel, the gorgeous Gothic edifice that anchors the core of St. Lawrence’s old campus, was short, sweet and beautiful.

Cate Doucette, another 2004 alumna, was the maid of honor and made a toast everyone agreed was one of the best they’d heard at a wedding. Funny, honest and to the point, it was very well-played.

As always, we enjoyed the company of our recently-engaged and very dear friends Kristin Sadue and Max Eaton. Max, a noted children’s author, asked for Kristin’s hand last week at his family’s cabin near Lake Champlain. Congratulations to them. It was great, too, to see the lovely Meagan O’Connell, another of Mrs. F’s classmates who was a bridesmaid, and, of course, Liz Baker, our representative from Maine. Liz had not realized I was wasting time on this blog and I hope she’s enjoying it.

And, given that we were in Canton, a trip to the Hoot Owl and a stop at Sergi’s were involved. While at the Hoot, Dan-o gifted Maxie and I with new Joe SLU pint glasses, which we proudly consumed from for the rest of the night. Some time later, it seemed like a good idea to travel downtown to Sergi’s to procure Mikey’s Specials and Pizza Rolls. My stomach later informed me that this was not a good idea.

Here are a very shots from the weekend I thought you’d all enjoy:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

From left, the bride, Kristin Sadue, Liz Baker, Meg O’Connell and Mrs. F.

K and M
The future Mr. and Mrs. Eaton. Sadue, are you hyphenating?

The team, later in the evening.

Sadue and Mrs. F.

The bride, surrounded by a gaggle of Laurentians

GIN MILLS| The Cottage marks 33 years on the lakeside

CottageThe Cottage, seen in winter lights, is the Mirror Lake Inn’s lakeside bar in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The Cottage, the iconic watering hole on the shores of Mirror Lake, turned 33 this week. This is worth mention because, every day, I pray that life in the hereafter will be resemble a Tuesday night at the Cottage.

Known simply as “the bar” to 12946 insiders and appreciated around the globe as an indispensable apres-ski, the Cottage really is a little slice of heaven.

Where else can you get snapped at by elected officials about supporting the other side in a contentious race for district attorney while whacking back Dewars? Where else can you find Al talking about drinking all night at the Roosevelt Hotel’s old Rough Rider Room before taking the New York Central Train north to Northwood? Where else can you even conceive of a character like Linda “Freelover”, who can hardly wait to tell you some old tale about the Olympics/Northwood/The Club/Tennis, etc.? Where else will you encounter the Dog, nursing a pint of rum before going out into the parking lot with Shubert to whack another dizzy bat? Where else will you find bartenders like Jen, Brigitte and Amy who will consistently take such good care of you?

Nowhere. And I hope it stays that way.

Tip: If you go to the bar in the afternoon, and I hope you do, start off with a Bloody Mary. The effort is one of the best anywhere and is remarkable for its heavy reliance on lemon juice and horseradish.

COCKTAIL| Scofflaw revisits prohibition

Scofflaw The Scofflaw, invented in 1924 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, is a classic prohibition cocktail.

A whiskey-based drink, its ruby-red complexion is deceiving. While the Scofflaw might do stunt work for Cosmopolitans, it’s decidedly more complex. The whisky, preferably V.O., works with vermouth and citrus flavors to create a very unusual cocktail.

In a bit of irony, the Scofflaw’s history is directly tied to the temperance movement.

In 1923, Delcevare King, a member of the Anti-Saloon League, a leading proponent of prohibition, held a national contest to determine a word “which best expresses the idea of lawless drinker, menace, scoffer, bad citizen, or whatnot, with the biting power of ’scab’ or slacker.”

King’s promise of a $200 prize drew more than 25,000 entries by January 1924. Miss Kate L. Butler of Dorchester House, Dorchester, Mass. won the contest with “scofflaw.”

Mockery of the contest and its goals began almost instantly. Scofflaw entered the vernacular as a term of jest. Today, it’s sometimes used to describe people who avoid paying parking fines.

Weeks after King’s contest ended, in their own stroke of humor, the bartenders at Harry’s in Paris concocted the Scofflaw cocktail, which is anything but dry.

1/4 ounce lemon juice
dash grenadine
1 ounce dry vermouth
1 ounce Canadian whiskey
dash orange bitters

Combine all elements over ice in a shaker or mixing glass, shake or stir, and serve with lemon rinds as optional garnish.

BRIEFING| Two-Buck Chuck, bars and betting

Here’s a quick reading list for this stunning Tuesday:

• This week’s New Yorker arrived today and in it — I find printed publications so much easier to navigate the Web sites — is a wonderful profile of wine magnate Fred Franzia, the genius behind Charles Shaw Wines, better known as Two-Buck Chuck.

• David Brooks writes in his Times column today about a group of Harvard men, including Ben Bradlee and President Kennedy, who were the subjects of a fascinating 70-year longitudinal study known as both the Grant Study and the Harvard Study of Adult Development. Brooks’ column complements an essay on the same subject, published today at The Atlantic, titled “What Makes Us Happy?” The study, which has tracked 238 men since 1937, has found that, all other variables aside, love makes us happy.

• Esquire, with its annual guide to the best bars in this country, arrived this week. With that compendium came a series of delightful little essays with advice on drinking, including pieces on how to drink with one’s wife and dog and an endorsement of the Old Fashioned, a cocktail the magazine’s editors believe every man should know how to make.

• It’s Triple Crown season and Esquire fiction editor Tom Chiarella (St. Lawrence ‘84) writes about betting at the track.

Media news
• Geffen wants to bailout the Times? And so too does Larry Page of Google? More in Fortune.

• Dean Singleton’s MediaNews moves to charge for online content, Romenesko reports.

BULLETIN| Hoot Owl unveils new Web site

Cartoon by John Daly, courtesy of, Web site of the Hoot Owl Express.

The Hoot Owl Express, the iconic bar housed in the old New York Central station in Canton, N.Y., has unveiled a new Web site,

Chock full of professional and amateur photos of life in one of America’s finest college bars, the site is a beg step forward. Cartoonist John Daly’s Joe Slu character, featured above, is a riot. He’s even got camp mocassins!

The site features new on drink specials, forums for alumni networking and a special area for Laurentians who married Laurentians.

Here’s another piece of art from the new site:


Hilarious. Knock back some Lime Rickeys or some BLs tonight — it is, after all, Tuesday.

GIN MILLS| Bar and Books

Bar and Books, Lexington Avenue and East 73rd Street, New York.

Furnary and I ducked into this little smoke-easy — cigars are permitted — the other night for pre-dinner cocktails. Founded in 1990, Bar and Books boast three New York locations: The Lexington anchor, and outposts on Hudson Street and Beekman Place. There are also two locations in Prague.

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Mory’s shuttered

Among the other bad news of the day — the Dow plunged, Gannett, to avoid more layoffs, is putting most of its 31,000 employees at 85 newspapers across the land on mandatory, unpaid, one-week furloughs — was this story from NPR.

Mory’s, the storied club that’s played a huge part in the culture of Yale, is mired in debt and won’t be opening at the start of the spring term.

Lime Rickeys


As you know, we’ve had the Hoot Owl on our minds. So it seemed appropriate last night to try our hands at Lime Rickeys.

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I took a trip to Williamsburg last night for a friend from journalism school’s birthday gathering at Barcade on Union Avenue near Ainslie Street.

Located deep in hipster territory, Barcade offers a diverse selection of gourmet beers — I was particularly delighted to find Yuengling porter, a family favorite, on tap at $5 a pint — alongside the video games of our youth. All our old friends lined the walls, but, oddly, no one was playing them. The red-felted pool table seemed more popular.

Furnishings at Barcade are spare. Outside, there were stumps in use as stools alongside a giant wall finished in bottlecaps. Inside, simple benches filled out a rear nook which we claimed as our own. The concrete-topped bar was surrounded by vintage stools of all kinds. Musically, the offerings ranged from Hall and Oates to the Supremes to electronica I’d never heard. Despite the beer and video game gimics, this seemed like a neighborhood bar where regulars all knew one another. That added to its charm.

Definitely an interesting joint and a must-stop for anyone who remains nostalgic for PacMan.

Note: I broke from photo style and shot both the front and reverse sides of the Barcade matchbook because, in a throwback gesture, the establishment includes a map that locates the bar on it. Brilliant.

388 Union Avenue
Williamsburg, New York
(718) 302-6464

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