Party to celebrate Park Street comeback
TUPPER LAKE — There are five days, 18 hours, 48 minutes and 11 seconds until the Party on Park Street.
That’s according to the timer Birch Boys founder and event coordinator Garrett Kopp put on the event’s website.
The Party on Park is a street fair on Saturday celebrating the arrival of many new, and formerly existing, businesses into formerly vacant storefronts in Tupper Lake’s uptown business district, Park Street.
“This year has been a milestone … for a lot of small businesses similar to mine on Park Street,” Kopp said. “There’s been a collective hustle, too, over the winter. We’ve all kind of been getting ready to open up our stores. I noticed this spring was kind of a culmination of a lot of us working hard for a long time.”
In the past year a variety of locally started and owned businesses and organizations have opened or moved to Park Street. All these businesses, and more from around town, will line the business district portion of Park Street when it is closed off Saturday. Each business will get its own parking spot.
Kopp’s chaga tea business started further east on Park Street before moving to its current location in the building that once housed Ginsburg’s department store.
The Row, a clothing store owned by Tupper Laker Emilee Davis, moved from Demars Boulevard to the former Birch Boys storefront.
Next door, European natives Ricki Lee Shorthose, who goes by just Ricki Lee professionally, and his wife Hanna Kaleta broadcast Lake FM on the 102.1 frequency.
On the other side, recently relocated Stacked Graphics, owned by Patrick Bedore and Andrew McClelland, prints off shirts, signs and souvenirs for Spruce and Hemlock, owned by Faith McClelland, which also moved a block from Lake Street to Park Street.
Across the street, Tupper Arts has been a gallery and creative space for Tupper Lakers since it opened in August 2018. It will showcase the work of 25 Adirondack woodworkers the day of the Party on Park Street.
Further down again, Hi Hat Haircuts, the second location of Lake Placid’s S and S Hair Design, has been styling men’s and women’s hair since it opened two months ago.
Well Dressed Foods, owned by David Tomberlin and Russ Cronin, is adding a bar.
And at the opposite end of the street, the Smokehouse Tex Mex Grille, owned by Pat Lawrence and Bill Patterson, is serving up hot meals.
Birch Boys has moved into the Ginsburg building along with the Tupper Lake location of the Adirondack Store, based in Lake Placid and co-owned by Stephen Dori Shin and Christopher English. Both Birch Boys and Adirondack Store will officially open that day.
“We’re all having big moments all at the same time,” Kopp said. “I think that’s cool.”
Josh Mclean, who used to be a Birch Boys employee, will be Adirondack Store’s manager, overseeing the sale of furniture, trinkets and, yes, mushroom art. Kopp said it is hard to tell where one business ends and the other begins.
The connection started last fall when Kopp helped the Adirondack Store change its point-of-sale system to use bar codes instead of manual typing. While the Adirondack Store and Birch Boys’ chaga tea bar will be on the main floor, the tea manufacturing goes on below shoppers’ feet in the basement.
“This building is a lot more conducive to manufacturing,” Kopp said. “We have a lot more space. We have room to grow.”
He said he has plans for more beverages, mushroom-related and not, including a birch beer, chaga hot chocolate and a CBD-infused matcha tea. These will all be served at the tea bar Kopp has been building since February.
Behind the bar is a large, hulking mass of metal and wires. It’s an old bagging machine that broke down.
“It’s probably the worst financial mistake I’ve ever made, so I keep it right here to remind me every day,” Kopp said.
The majority of the store space will be a furniture showroom, art space and gift shop with a wide price range, according to Mclean. He and Kopp said the Adirondack Store also does interior design, so English and Shin like to build impressive showrooms to show off their skills.
Inside on Saturday, the Adirondack Store will hold a raffle and Kopp will lead a mushroom-growing workshop.
Kopp said everyone has a lot left to do before the party and that’s why he installed the timer.
“Really, it’s more for me than anyone else,” he said. “Time is like water leaking through my hands.”