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Return to Topside

Return to Topside July 10, 2024
Topside Grille and Hacker Bar occupies the second story of the Algonquin restaurant in Bolton Landing and offers expansive views of Lake George.
Topside Grille and Hacker Bar occupies the second story of the Algonquin restaurant in Bolton Landing and offers expansive views of Lake George.

After an absence of five years, the Algonquin restaurant’s Topside Grille has returned.

One of the few high-end, fine dining establishments on Lake George with expansive views of the lake itself, Topside Grille, and its Hacker Bar, is open Thursday through Sunday, 5 to 8 pm.

Unlike the informal, family-friendly Algonquin, where seating is first come, first served, reservations are not only accepted at Topside Grille, the managers encourage them.

Why restore fine dining to Lake George’s busy waterfront, where casual dining is the norm? Because it’s time, said owner Keith Scott.

“Things are a lot different on Lake George than they were twenty years ago,” said Scott. “Of course, it’s still a vacation destination. But now, there are many more people looking for an elevated dining experience, and we’re confident that we can offer that to them, to the people who now come to Lake George in greater numbers – as resort guests, as first-time renters, as the new owners of lakefront homes.”

As Scott notes, Lake George’s resort economy is cyclical.

“The mansions were replaced by motels and cabin colonies. Now the motels are being replaced by mansions. Properties are reverting to what they once were. You see that happening up and down Lake Shore Drive,” he said.

The menu is among the things that distinguishes Topside Grille from the Algonquin.

“Our steaks are prime cuts. We offer a great Cioppino, a pork ossobuco – entrees such as those,” said Scott.

The ambience will also be different from the sometimes hectic patios, decks and ground floor bar and dining room. 

“If you’re coming off the boat and you have kids with you and you happen to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Algonquin, that will always be available. But if you’re looking for a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere, that will be found at Topside Grille,” said Scott.

To maintain that atmosphere, adults will be discouraged from taking children to Topside, which, unlike the Algonquin, will not offer a children’s menu, and the number of reservations accepted on any given evening will be limited.

“You’re going to be able to enjoy the lake, to enjoy your dinner and to finish your wine without being rushed.  We’re not trying to see how fast we can turn over tables here,” said Scott.

That slower pace means the staff will be less harried, Scott said.

“We have staff who have been with us for decades, and Topside Grille is precisely where they want to work,” said Scott. “They want to have a conversation with you. They want to enhance the experience.”

In fact, staff who took a hiatus after Topside Grille have returned, precisely because the restaurant has returned.

“One of the things I’m truly excited about is the fact that the front of the house staff is coming back. One person came in, then another, and my response was, ‘hey, are we getting the band back together?’” Scott said.

What unites the two restaurants? Shared dock space. You can boat to Topside Grille just as easily as you can to the A.

The Topside Grille at the Algonquin is located at 4770 Lake Shore Drive, Bolton Landing. For reservations, visit or

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