This week, we were so happy to chat with Dan Biddiscombe. Always a friendly face at Downtown Social, we absolutely loved hearing his fond hometown memories as well as his current favorites, and some big dreams for the future too :)
Tell us about yourself!
Greetings! My name is Dan Biddiscombe, I work as a Hospitality Executive with Downtown Hospitality Group. Currently General Manager at Downtown Social. I have an 18 year old daughter Katy, who just graduated from South Glens Falls and will be attending SUNY Adirondack in the Fall. Two older brothers that live and work locally. I have a 12 year old Chocolate Lab named Teddy (Roosevelt) who is basically my son and has no idea that he is a dog. I am lifelong Dodger fan, graduated from St. John’s University in NYC, and other than the 10 years I spent during and post graduating college living in NYC, I’ve lived in the Glens Falls area. I have been working in hospitality for over 30 years. From washing dishes at Pat Russo’s Dugout, waiting tables at Massie’s, bartending in NYC and Saratoga, to management at The Sagamore, O’Toole’s and now in Downtown Glens Falls at Social. I’ve been mentored by and have worked with some amazing people along the way. I dabble in some film stuff, local projects, and write when I have the time.
On Life in Glens Falls
I was born in Glens Falls, lived in the East End of Glens Falls on Lawrence St (my Mother’s family home for many years) then moved to SGF when I was 6. My Dad grew up in Ft. Edward and my Mom was a Glens Falls kid, a St. Mary’s grad. My journey back to Glens Falls was not my original plan – but I’m so glad it worked out that way! I couldn’t imagine raising my daughter anywhere else.
My girlfriend Kelly and I currently reside in Queensbury, just 10 minutes from Downtown Glens Falls. Our development has lots of trails for walking the dog, a beautiful horse farm, and a great view of West Mountain. We love it!
Some Glens Falls Favorites
My favorite thing about Glens Falls is the development of Downtown. The City has changed so much from when I was growing up here. Walking around Downtown wasn’t really “a thing” back then. I feel Downtown Glens Falls currently resembles a mix between the Hometown USA my parents grew up in, and Brooklyn Heights (where I lived for years) more than the city I grew up in. It’s pretty cool! As far as a hidden gem? I would say the people I work with at DT Social, DTCT – and the people I have amazing conversations with that work in hospitality, music, film, art in this area. We are blessed to have a tight community of talented, interesting people working in Downtown.
A Perfect Glens Falls Day
My ideal day in Glens Falls always begins with coffee and bagels with my daughter at Spektor. I love the Fall, so a stroll down Glen Street and around Crandall Library for sure (anyone that knows me, knows I will have headphones on and DMB playing.) For dinner, of course I’m partial to DT Social and DTCT. I really enjoy and am proud of the food at both places. I enjoy all the restaurants in Downtown, honestly. I’m excited for Craft on 9 to join the mix – Rob does a great job. Not to mention he’s a fellow Bulldog. To end the night, I would say my “go to” would be DTCT. People love the late night scene at Social! I’m usually looking for a quiet, quick IPA with my Tavern buddies before I head home.
On the Past
Some of my favorite memories are sitting on my front porch on Lawrence Street, eating a small brown bag of Swedish Fish from Marguerite’s Corner Store, watching the St. Mary’s Football team jog by, wearing all white uniforms and black cleats around their neck (any East Ender will remember that). I felt like I lived next to Penn State campus! Going to the Red Wings games for sure, and now being friends with some of those guys is pretty cool. Lou’s Pizza after the hockey games was a staple. I remember seeing my first movie, Bambie, at the old Paramount Theater. Going to Woolworth’s for ice cream sodas with my Grandmother. The Joy Store was where we all shopped, for literally everything. Seeing Aerosmith at the Civic Center was a yearly event. Lots of other stuff, I probably shouldn’t say.. Haha.
…And on the Future
If I could wave a magic wand, I would bring The Dave Matthews Band to the South High Marathon Dance, Aaron Sorkin’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird would be at The Wood, and Union Square Café would…ok.. I’ll get serious… I guess I would hurry up the South Street projects that are in the works. I’m very excited to see not only the visual, but the socio-economic impact it will have on Downtown, hopefully being a place for all to enjoy. I can’t go without mentioning my SGF peeps across the bridge needing a large Target like store, badly!!
Some More Glens Falls Favorites
I’m still in awe of how our community came together for Common Roots. I just love the Weber Family, the staff, and of course their beer. Also, I wish that everyone could be in attendance during the South High Marathon Dance closing ceremony. It’s hard to really appreciate the impact the school, kids and community have on people that truly need help, without being there. It’s emotionally overwhelming. Having been a part of it as a student, parent, and volunteer is something I’m very proud of. I’m also very proud to be a part of the ADK Film Festival Committee. Year one exceeded expectations, and continues to grow beyond our wildest dreams. It's truly amazing!
Thanks for sharing, Dan! We loved hearing your Glens Falls memories and I still remember shopping at the Joy Store (and Toys for Joy!) when I was a kid.