in the spring of 1897, the pale blue sky shone above the citizens of Plattsburgh as they strolled downtown on cobbled streets to do their shopping at Woolworth or the five and dime shop. The high-pitched whistle of the nearby train station, along with a steady hum radiating from the steamboats floating around Lake Champlain added to the daily morning noises. The electric street car line advanced steadily, transporting people to stores, restaurants, and factories to pick up necessary supplies. Philip J. Blair, clad in business attire, headed to his job as owner of a restaurant he recently bought: the café located on Protection Avenue. Philip J. Blair, a bartender from Worcester, Massachusetts, purchased this restaurant, from E.R. Burton on April 2, 1897. In 1898, the place was reopened along with its new name, the Monopole café. According to the pamphlet, "The Monopole Legacy: A Continuing Tradition of Elegance," the name may have come from Champs Elysee, Paris, but is it uncertain. Nearby was the Delmonico Hotel and Restaurant, Bernard St. Louis Lunchroom, and several other eateries that have since faded away.