The Rusty Nail | Hi n'Dry | Backstreets

When I talk with actives and older alumni I often feel like we don't speak the same language.  Since "the nail" is referred to a lot I thought it would be a good place to start.

In 1985 the New York Legislature raised the drinking age from 19 to 21, effective December 1st.  This must have hurt business quite a bit as in 1986 the owner of The Rusty Nail re-did the bar, dividing it into two parts and renaming it the Hi n'Dry.  One part was for 21+ and the other for 18+.

That didn't last long, because in either 1986 or 87 it was re-named again and became Backstreets, the name it still has today.

What are your memories of the Nail, High n'Dry or Back Streets?

The Rusty Nail
aka The Nail

1976 The Racquette article:
Two bars that are crowded consistently four out of seven nights a week are the Rusty Nail and The Whiskey One. They are famous for their specials and a cover charge stamp which covers the hand and forearm. It always nice to show up in class the next day advertising that you paid the cover charge for last night's special because you forget to wash off the huge W-l off your hand. The "Nail" and "One" capitalize on the American Economic ideal of the most inexpensive is the beer with their 2 for 1, dollar pitchers or quarter: drafts. This is upheld ever if it means getting smashed mid-week.

31-33 Market Street
Potsdam, NY
Facebook | Twitter


  1. It was also known as the "Whiskey One" while my parents were at Clarkson. Ray Bond (Bondo's Dad) was an honorary member of Sigma Delta.

  2. Whiskey One was actually a different place. In the late 70's "The Nail" played a lot of Disco while "The One" played Rock.

    If I remember correctly, at the Whiskey One Thursday were Dollar Pitchers, Saturdays were "progressions" where drinks started at 10 cents in the afternoon and when up 10 cents each hour.

  3. George Muller - DK Spring 1981-1984October 24, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Formally called "The Rusty Nail". I think Wednesday's you could get two for one. The Whiskey One I remember dollar pitchers on Thursday night. I think the Nail had dollar pitchers Friday afternoons.

  4. I played in lots of band in Potsdam...
    Item 9, The Make, Blind Design and The Juice. I think Blind Design was only one to play at "The Nail"

  5. Wow! Great memories! I played at the Rusty Nail with the Bad Water!! Great times!!!