LOCALadk Magazine

LOCALadk Summer 2023

LOCALadk Magazine

Issue link: https://localadkmagazine.uberflip.com/i/1501551

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Page 41 of 63

LOCALadk 42 P-2's Irish Pub is one of Tupper Lake's beloved neighborhood gathering places. It's a spot filled with history and distinct rustic charm from tshe dark wood paneling, mahogany-style bartop with orange pad- ding, and green leather walls. I had the opportunity to meet with Michelle LeBlanc Blair, the current owner of P-2's, to learn more about the pub's story. The building first opened as Ivan's back in 1946. Twenty years later, Blair's father, Joseph LeBlanc, bought the pub in 1966 and named it Al's Lounge. His slogan was "Meet you at P-2's!" I asked Blair about the meaning of P-2, and she was delighted to tell the story. "When my dad was born, he was the smallest of nine children," she explained. "When our Aunt Rita met him, she called him 'my little pitou,' the petite or little one in French. Over the years, the nickname transformed into P-2; don't forget the dash; the dash was very important to him." Blair's father operated Al's Lounge for 40 years be- fore moving into assisted living. In 2006, Blair bought the bar and renamed it P-2's Irish Pub as an homage to her father. It had been her father's dream to own and operate an Irish pub, so it was serendipitous that the space already had some Irish characteristics. The floors were covered in orange and white tile, and the ceiling represented all the colors of the Irish flag: green, white, and orange. Even the booths were or- ange, so the place already had some Irish personality. When P-2 owned Al's Lounge, two sisters from Ireland visited Tupper Lake and entered the pub. They fell in love with the place because it felt like home to them. The sisters loved it so much that when they returned to Ireland, they mailed P-2 a poster of Irish pubs in Dublin–how's that for an endorsement! The floor tiles and ceilings have since been replaced, but the green leather walls and the orange padding along the bar date back to the opening of Ivan's in the 1940s. More changes came when P-2's was closed for 13 months in 2020 due to the pandemic. Upon reopening, Blair knew she wanted to make music more of a focal point. Music had always been essential to the pub, so she knew she wanted to inte- grate that. Blair remembered Rob Salamy, a man who frequently sang at open-mic nights but tragically died of pancreatic cancer. Blair told his son, Joseph Salamy, "I would love to build a bandshell in your dad's honor. He replied, "If you buy the materials, I will build it." Salamy owns a carpentry business, so this partnership was a match made in heaven. This act of kindness was fitting because the bandshell now serves as the loca- tion for ongoing charity concerts during the summer. Blair calls the philanthropic music series the "Trinity Drawing," a ticket drawing that donates money to various causes. She explained that proceeds would be divided three ways: 33% would go to the winner of the drawing, 33% to support the live music series, and P-2's Irish Pub: Where Food Meets Philanthropy This summer, come to P-2's for great food, great tunes, and great causes through "The Trinity Drawing," a philan- thropic effort by owner Michelle LeBlanc Blair to use live music performances as a means to donate to charity. By Sydney Aveson Photos provided by P-2s

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