The Place is the oldest pub in the City of Ogdensburg. The first proprietor of record, George E. Wall, can be traced to the early 1920’s. During that period, The George Wall Cigar Store & Saloon played host to famous and frequent visitors, including the champion boxer Jack Dempsey, the driver and trainer of champion filly Calumet Evelyn Vic Fleming, and Joe Louis’s manager and promoter, Mike Jacobs. In the tradition of the Roaring Twenties” the saloon featured flapper girls, bootleg alcohol, and game cock fighting.
In 1953 Jimmy Mills, an Ogdensburg native who had worked for Wall since the post-prohibition era in 1934 took ownership of the saloon. Jimmy, who was beloved by customers throughout the North Country, introduced the famous “Friday Sturgeon Fish Fry.” Jimmy also contributed the “Original Tom and Jerry Batter Mix” that remains the recipe for this signature North Country holiday drink. Jimmy Mills acquired the Tom & Jerry recipe in the 1950’s from Ogdensburg candy makers Dick and Joe Schneider.
Dignitaries during Jimmy Mills’s ownership included Presidential candidate John F, Kennedy who enjoyed lunch in 1959 and Ernest Mc Sorley, a native of Ogdensburg and Captain of the ill fated great lake ship Edmund Fitzgerald. Jimmy Mills dubbed his new saloon “The Place” after an out of town visitor happily remarked that the hospitality and fellowship was so great that “There is no place in Ogdensburg or the North Country quite like this place, so it must be the place to be!”
Jimmy Mills passed away in June of 1991 at 82 years of age. His wife Phil, sold The Place to William Lipinsky in 1992. Lipinsky later sold The Place to Dave Murray in 1994, who operated the establishment until it was sold to the present owners William and Maureen McNally in 2008. The current proprietors, Bill and Maureen, have maintained the rich history and traditions of this historic “Place.”
The Place played host to the Stanley Cup in 2008. Ogdensburg’s own Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red wings, family friend of the McNally’s, had a memorable night with close friends and family..
Customers can still enjoy the original Tom & Jerry recipe and the best “Irish Fish Fry” in the North Country. The menu has been updated to include contemporary dishes such as panini sandwiches, freshly made soups and daily specials.