Lake Placid's own opera house - repurposed
Americans are obsessed with repurposing things these days. We have thrift shops, antique shops, online stores filled with crafts made from repurposed materials, and many more. There are also many repurposed buildings throughout the world.
Back to our roots
One of the oldest buildings of note in Lake Placid has been repurposed several times over the years. What is now Lisa G's Restaurant was originally known at White's Opera House. Dating to 1895, the White Opera House building has seen many iterations. Constructed by George White, this new building was considered "one of the handsomest buildings in the town, eighty-two by forty feet in dimension, three stories in height, with a hall seating five hundred persons, and is fitted with all modern improvements, including steam heat," according to the Biographical Review for Essex County.
When George White first settled in Newman in 1875 his was the only house standing. During this time the town of Newman was separate from Lake Placid. White was the first postmaster at Newman, the town supervisor, and a successful businessman. He was also a skilled sawmill operator, but branched out to many different businesses over his years of residency.
Built directly on the banks of the Chubb River, White's Opera House was located just downstream from the sawmill dam. The issue of flooding became such a problem the town finally raised the roadbed, thereby causing the first floor of the building to then be situated beneath the roadbed. If you are standing on the bridge next to the building today, you can see what was at the time the first floor of the building below.
Entertainment hub of the 1800s
The White Opera House was the entertainment hub of the area, often featuring elaborate shows and events with large audiences in attendance. Over the years, the property has been occupied by a grocery store, antique shop, a night club, as well as three different bars or restaurants operated by several different business owners. At one time, it was feared the building might be in serious structural jeopardy due to several near fatal floods. The current owner seems to have alleviated the concerns as of now.
Today's popular drinking and dining spot
Today, the building houses the very successful Lisa G's Restaurant with dining at street level and in the rear on an outside covered porch with an adjacent patio area, all right next to the river with beautiful views of the Mill Pond dam and waterfall. Serving a mix of awesome culinary delights, you're sure to find something to please your palate. With several large screen TVs and a pool table, the bar is a popular spot for viewing sporting events, but the restaurant itself is very family-friendly as well. Make sure you check it out next time you're in town!
Also make sure you visit our events page to see what's happening while you're here in Lake Placid. Summer is filled with all kinds of sporting and family events, so don't miss any of our great activities while you're visiting.
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