First you have to find Gugs. It’s almost like an underground club. It’s not near any other bars in Glens Falls. There’s not a big sign outside. Other than a postage stamp size ad in the Glens Falls Chronicle that mentions the music line up, there is no advertising. It’s not a bar you would stumble upon, you have to actually go looking for it. The bar has been there for decades, with the ownership passing from one generation to the next. It started out as a store over 100 years ago and then became a restaurant in 1932. The current owner. Mike Rios has been operating the bar since 1989.
The crowd at Gugs, you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a eclectic group of mostly 20 and 30 somethings. There are a few 40 and 50 somethings that have been going there for years to see Mike. He is the perfect bar owner, friendly, remembers your name, great to talk to and he really cares about the patrons.
I think to to fully appreciate Gugs you have to fully appreciate the music scene. The music scene has a very cool vibe. There’s a open mic night on Wednesdays that packs them in. Some really talented musicians show up to entertain. Every Friday and Saturday night there is also live music. Sometimes one band, sometimes two or three. Sometimes some really well known local and national acts play there under a pseudonym. You never really know what you will hear, but you always know it will be good.
Then there’s the Sweaty Gug. It’s a shot. They make them by the pitcher, in advance, so you never are really sure what’s in a Sweaty Gug. You can’t go there and not have one. It’s an unspoken rule. It tastes pretty sweet, but it sure packs a punch. Drinks are reasonably priced and the crowd, though lively, is well mannered.
Hungry? Guys only serves one thing, the Gug’s Ham Sandwich. The ham is baked on site, hand sliced and piled on Villa Bread (another Glens Falls icon) topped with a spicy secret recipe sauce, sharp cheddar cheese and pickles. They may only serve one thing, but they do it well!!!
So where is Gugs, you ask? It’s a 18 Haskell Ave in Glens Falls. Here’s the catch though……it’s only open from the night before Thanksgiving through April 20th (4-20), every year. The reason is the other family business, The Ridge Terrace, is open from May to October. That’s a topic for another blog post.