Franks Nu Bar | The Whiskey One | Bali Hai

55 Market Street in Potsdam has seen a few businesses over the past several decades.  It was a Bakery, then Franks Nu Bar.  Franks was expanded and changed it's name to The Whiskey One (aka The One).  Anyone know when this happened?  In 1986 The Whiskey One became The Bali Hai and in 1998 a fire resulted in more than one building condemned. After it was rebuilt a bike shop opened at 55 Market Street.

The Whiskey One
"The One" 

Jon Cohen of BT bartending at the Whiskey One, dressed as a woman
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. 
 Alumni remember:
  • Thur night $1 pitchers, and no 8:00 classes on Fridays!!
  • Punky's Barn & Grille (aka Whiskey One)
  • I don't know what happened in my kitchen after I went to bed Saturday night, but when I tried to walk across the floor Sunday morning, my shoes stuck to the floor. I had flashbacks to the Nail and the One in the early 80s!  
  • Whiskey One - light up dance floor and $ pitchers!
  • The One...worked there when it became the Bali Hai...aka The Wicker One.  
  • I was a DJ at The Whiskey One on dollar pitcher night 1978-79. Sick. If I didn't mix the right amount of Rock and Disco I would get killed. 
  • Bartended at the Whiskey and worked the door. We used to drink so much behind the bar that Ray Bond (owner) came out and said we couldn't drink till midnight. waited until we had our first drink of the night before you got yours...we all waited watching our watches.
  • Ray Bond. What a landlord. We called him Ray Bond, Double O Zero.
  • best times behind the bar were when Punky was off on a Vegas junket and he left us in charge ... Boy was that bad judgment on his part!   
  • I remember getting up on the stage to sing during Bid Night at the One.  Pledge plaque hanging at the Whiskey One...and the ceiling dripping water on the dance floor.
  • I do remember plenty of times that the women's restroom at the Whiskey One was flooded. (And it didn't stop us from using it!)
From the November 3, 1977 Racquette:
Donna Fiaccabrino, a student at State is pleasant and friendly as she answered my questions concerning the Whiskey One. "The history of the One goes back several years. It used to be Franks and before that, a bakery. Donna said, that students compose the majority of their customers. If it's a band night, it's insanity, but a definite good time."

As we proceeded to a corner of the bar where a fireplace is located. Donna said, "On slow nights we light the fireplace and people sit around and just talk.  A fireplace may be a unique feature, as probably no other bar in town has one. As we walked back to the bar I noticed a large glass square area on the floor near the bandstand. Paul  "R.B." Lounsbury, a regular patron and part time bartender explained that it is actually plexiglass. "Strobe lights beneath the plexiglass flash in time with the mu- sic. It's all electronic," he said. I asked Donna about the specials. She said, "Tuesday night is $.10 drafts from 8 to 10 and $.25 drafts from 10 on. Thursday night is dollar pitcher night and Friday is First Lady's Speed rack night."  "First Ladys what night?" I asked. She pointed to something behind the bar. Leaning over the bar I saw a tray of vodka, rum, gin, scotch, rye etc. Smiling she said, "The first lady to come in gets a free drink." The Whiskey One features bands at least one night a weekend. Donna says that they like to have well rounded bands such as Strombecker Lighthouse and Tightly Knit. With its live entertainment and specials, the Whiskey One should please just about anyone looking for a good time."
Bali Hai
1986 - 1998 

Alumni remember:
  • Owner was Ray "Punky" Bond. Remember the lit dance floor and the boat!?
  • My favorite place to sit? On the boat of course!!
  • 3 for 1 drinks on Fridays!
  • I played the pool table there many nights. We lived over Ray's Liquors a few doors away my senior yr before the fire.
  • I DJ'ed there during the summer of '80 when it was the Whiskey One. Dancers liked the floor lights, overhead lights, and strobe.
  • Loved the Whiskey One... Bali Hai, not so much. Spent a lot of time there and the Rusty Nail. Good times.    
The Fire
September 1998

From the September 26, 1998 Racquette:
Early Sunday morning, a fire swept through apartments in downtown Potsdam leaving nine SUNY Potsdam students and one staff member in search of shelter....According to Rick Magale, resident at 59 Market Street, the fire began in the third floor apartment above Boutique Florist. The fire then spread south, devouring apartment after apartment, including those above Bali Hai, Master Sam Kim's Tae Kwon Do, and Electrolux. The blaze left buildings officially condemned by the Village of Potsdam.
Today 55 Market Street is the home of The Treadmill bike shop.


  1. Frank's and the Whiskey One were across the street from each other.

    1. Having destroyed a few brain cells in each, I agree the "original" Frank's and the Whiskey One were not on the same side of the street! However, this article refer's to "Frank's Nu Bar" which was (perhaps) in the the old Whiskey One location?