Dew Drop Inn was a bar and restaurant at 36 Broadway operated by Forrest Morgan from 1947 to 1988, when it was sold. The building served as a youth center from 2004 to 2007. The neon sign is fading, but is still in place in November 2012.
The restaurant was famous for its pizza, and for Morgan's charm as a bartender. Faye Dunaway worked as a waitress at the Inn the summers of 1960 and 1961 when she was a college student. Sara I. Griffin was the cook for 25 years; she retired in the 1970s.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 15, 1987
Dew Drop Inn turns 40 today
By CHRIS MELE
SARANAC LAKE — The face of Saranac Lake has changed in numerous ways over the past 40 years, but the one building that remains an anchor in the village is the Dew Drop Inn.
In the course of those four decades, Morgan estimates he has served 1.4 million customers. "That's figuring on the low side," he added, noting he was guessing an average of 100 customers a day.
Morgan, who says he was tagged with the nickname "Dew Drop" as a kid growing up in Saranac Lake — long before he became owner of the restaurant — conceded he was "getting tired" and retirement is a "possibility."
Popular local scribe Bill McLaughlin wrote in 1975 that when Morgan first bought the restaurant on the Broadway bridge "it was hardly more than a dive at water level." But with the help of a modernization program that included a large infusion of cash, the Dew Drop Inn was elevated to its current status.
The famed eatery was prominently featured in a 1975 Esquire story that surveyed 15 restaurants throughout the nation that shared the "Dew Drop Inn" name.
Morgan is well known for his love of bobsledding (the Dew Drop Inn is the area's unofficial bobsledding headquarters) and what used to be a passionate love of the Yankees. He once took a dive in the Saranac River after the Dodgers beat his favorite team.
But that baseball love affair is over now. "I used to be a Yankee fan, but I turned on them," Morgan remarked.
The 63-year-old restaurateur operated a total of four restaurants simultaneously over the years, but none has gained him the fame and customer affection that the Saranac Lake restaurant has.
For a period of about four years "Dew Drop's" was owned by a pair from New Jersey who were eventually forced to sell it for non-payment of taxes. In 1981, Morgan bought it back.
Morgan and his wife, Sheila, had their children work in the restaurant when they were young something he says he now misses.
Even though things have changed around him, Morgan still serves home-cooked meals. "We're not in the fast craze of fast food like around here. We're not in that," he said.
Through the progression of time and the many fluctuations of the village, Dew Drop Morgan and his restaurant remain community legends.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 26, 1988
Local landmark Dew Drop Inn set for sale
By CHRIS MELE
SARANAC LAKE - The Dew Drop Inn, a local landmark for more than 40 years, is in the process of being sold to a family-run corporation from Long Island that promises to give the place a facelift.
The noted Broadway eatery and watering hole is being purchased by Morgan's Dew Drop Inn, Inc., a firm headed up by Frances Rapecis of Massapequa. Her son, Tom, his fiancee, Elizabeth Kaminski, and a friend, Kevin Bley, will manage the Dew Drop Inn and the Chinese restaurant upstairs, the Du Wok In.
The sale is set but not yet complete, pending approval of a liquor license for the new owners. Tom Rapecis said it would be another three weeks before the license is granted.
In a separate transaction, Rapecis and Bley are buying the adjoining building at 32 Broadway (the former location of Tech Office Supply) from Forrest "Dew Drop" Morgan.
Neither side would discuss the sale price of the properties.
Rapecis, 37, and Bley, 35, said several improvements would be made to the downstairs restaurant, which Morgan opened on May 15, 1947. The managers plan to install improved lighting and mirrors, paint the dining rooms and expand the bar area.
In addition, they want to place a Franklin stove in the dining area along the Saranac River so it can be heated and opened during the winter They said the menu will be expanded and a piano will be brought into the restaurant. A grand re-opening is slated for mid-October.
The managers added that they will keep up the restaurant's tradition as the unofficial bobsledding headquarters of Saranac Lake. They also expect to keep the same staff.
Rapecis has worked as a bartender and as a banker, and his mother has operated a restaurant in Long Island. Bley has worked as a contractor and for a catering hall in Far Rockaway.
Negotiations began in January. Frances Rapecis has maintained a summer home near Union Falls for almost 30 years, so the family knew the area, Tom Rapecis explained.
Morgan said he is selling the restaurant because he is getting "old and tired." He will not turn his back on the 41-year-old business altogether, however. Morgan will "carry on as an adviser" to the new owners, he explained.
Morgan, who said he was tagged with the nickname "Dew Drop" as a kid before he owned the restaurant, bought what was then known as "The Rathskeller."
The establishment was prominently featured in a 1975 "Esquire" story that surveyed 15 restaurants across the nation that shared the "Dew Drop Inn" name.
For a period of about four years, Dew Drop's was owned by a pair of businessmen from New Jersey. They were eventually forced to sell the establishment for non-payment of taxes and Morgan bought it back in 1981.