1978 Winter Carnival parade passes Alice's Restaurant, Historic Saranac Lake Collection.Adirondack Daily Enterprise, April 21, 1952, Historic Saranac Lake Collection.  Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 9, 2001, Historic Saranac Lake Collection.  Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 27, 1975, Historic Saranac Lake Collection.  Winter Carnival parade passes Betty's Restaurant (undated) Historic Saranac Lake Collection. 

Bernie Wilson's Restaurant was located at 4 Broadway. It operated from the 1940s (when it sponsored a bowling team) through at least 1962 (when it suffered a night time break in).

It was Betty's Restaurant from 1965 until February 28, 1975, when proprietor Betty Sayles retired; it was taken over by her assistant, Alice Eleanor Carter, and her daughter, Beryl Laramee and operated as Alice's Restaurant until 1991, when it closed.

In 2000, the building was in such bad shape that there was talk of tearing it down to make a parking lot, or park. 1 Because of oil leaks, the building incurred such heavy fines from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation that it was abandoned by its owners. The Village of Saranac Lake took title and the fines were forgiven. It was sold to a new private owner, who renovated the whole building. The storefront reopened as Pink, a women's clothing store, which it remains in 2011.

From Phil Gallos' piece on the McIntyre Block

Bernie Wilson's was a classic example of the malt shop and the workingman's restaurant. It was most especially the formers and, for nearly thirty years, high school students crowded the counter and jammed the booths of Bernie Wilson's. There were pinball machines in an alcove where the action was always fast and noisy. Disputes were settled out back under the exhaust fans where, it has been said, one could eat an order of french fries simply by inhaling.

Bernie Wilson died in the late 1960s. For some years the place was called Betty's, and then Alice's.

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On the HSL Facebook page, Gail Hoyt Metz writes: "My mom, Pauline Hoyt, worked there in the early 50's as did Ruth Ryan, Ruby Trushaw, Conrad Baker, Stella Jarvis. I probably missed someone. Ruby was a wonderful cook & her daughter later owned Alice's. The high school students all congregated there after school. It was the teenage hangout. Remember french fries with GRAVY - oh, the calories. Such good memories."

And Kathy Munn writes that her mom, Sara Griffin, worked there too.


1. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 19, 2000