Well Dressed Food will run new cafe at Adirondack Experience

TUPPER LAKE — In addition to the new name and a new permanent exhibition, the Adirondack Experience, formerly Adirondack Museum, will also unveil a new cafe when it opens for the season on May 26.

Tupper Lake’s Well Dressed Food will be the force behind the cafe, offering a menu inspired by seasonal local products similar to what it offers in its flagship storefront on Park Street here in Tupper Lake.

Well Dressed Food will also run a coffee lounge and “grab-and-go” kiosk within the museum.

“Over the past year or so, we began looking for alternatives to our running the Lake View Cafe on our own,” Adirondack Experience Executive Director David Kahn said in an email. “Many, if not most, food services at museums operate at a loss and are offered as a visitor amenity. In our case, we actually have always made profit on the cafe. That said, our primary interest was on improving the offerings.”

David Tomberlin, co-founder of Well Dressed Food, sees his offerings as a step up.

“It’s a major upgrade from what they did have. A lot of it was hot dogs — basically things that didn’t need to be cooked on site,” he said. “For the most part, everything will be handmade here on site.”

In addition to redoing the cafe’s kitchen to orient it toward cooking rather than simply heating up food, the dining room is also getting a facelift.

“The museum has done a fantastic job,” Tomberlin said. “The cafe overlooking the lake — those gorgeous views — it’s being totally redone.”

Angie Gullen Interior Design, which undertook the redesign of Well Dressed Food’s Park Street location, also oversaw the cafe’s new look.

“She did the design for the kiosks, cafe, and lounge,” Tomberlin said. “All new furnishings, brass lighting. I don’t want to say rustic, but we kind of tried to minimize what you’re distracted with so you can look at the views of the mountains and lakes.”

Similarly, Tomberlin hopes to focus visitors’ attention on regional fare.

“Most of the beer selection is North County local, and same thing with the drinks — it’s not just fountain soda,” he said. “We’re trying to do everything as local as we can.” From Birch Boys chaga tea, based in Tupper Lake, to meat from Kilcoyne Farms in Brasher Falls, the food will reflect the area.

After reaching out to a number of possible collaborators, Kahn said what impressed him most with Well Dressed Food was its responsiveness and enthusiasm. As opening day approaches, Tomberlin’s perseverance is also on display.

“I have no hair anyway, and this will be pulling out the last three, but we’re ready,” he said. “We’re really excited.”