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‘Keep It Simple’: Crescent Inn Nears 50th Anniversary In A Changing Business

From left, Rick Elardo, 71, and his son Ricky Elardo are the owners of the Crescent Inn, a bar which has been in existence for 48 years at its location on Harrison Street. Submitted photo

As two of their nearest competitors look for new life, Lido’s Crescent Inn is nearing its fifth decade in operation.

The reason, as owner Rick Elardo puts it, is simple. Literally.

For 48 years the 141 Harrison St. bar has been serving up frosty drinks, hosting pool leagues, dart competitions and live music despite not having a “fancy gimmick.”

“We’re a simple bar,” said Elardo, owner and proprietor of the Crescent Inn. “We keep it simple. We offer pool leagues, darts, reasonably priced drinks and a nice atmosphere.”

Elardo and his son Ricky Elardo run the quasi-famous Crescent Inn.

“I remember going into the bar with my friends as a teenager, having a pop or Pepsi, shooting pool and just hanging out,” said Ricky Elardo. “I love it when people come into our bar and say” ” This is not what I was expecting”” people think because we’re a “dive” bar that we’re going to be dingy, nasty and dirty. We’re not. We don’t allow trouble in our bar, and if trouble is found – it’s put right out the front door and never welcomed back in.”

Both Elardos credit their simplistic offerings sound management style as to why they’ve been able to stand the test of time.

“I know a person could buy a case of beer and sit at home for much cheaper than what I can sell them a beer for. However, most people who come to the bar come for the social interactions, the friendship and the atmosphere,” added Ricky Elardo. “We try to run our place of business as a family bar. I’m a social drinker, I may have one or two drinks a week, but I never drink at my own bar, and I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen my father with a drink in his hand.”

However, the older Elardo had even more sage wisdom and wanted to add to why his drinking enterprise has been so successful.

“Not only do I not drink in my own bar or my own products, but I started bartending years ago when beer was maybe $1 dollar a bottle. In 1973 the owner of a bar I was in wanted to go down the street for something and asked me to man the bar. I told him I didn’t know what I was doing, and he gave me a brief five minute lesson then left. Suddenly, I got slammed, by the end of the night I was making Singapore Slings and mixed drinks. I sold $75 dollars of alcohol and the register was spot-on. He offered me a job and the rest is history. I was honest and I worked hard…I treated everyone fairly, and I still do to this day.”

While this father-son duo seems like a match made in heaven, they do have their differences of opinions and at times don’t see eye-to-eye on things.

“When my dad left for the day, I went out and bought two 50 inch TVs and a 30 inch one. He came in the next day, and I thought this was going to be a huge fight, but it wasn’t. My dad likes to keep everything the same. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. However, we’re not a sports bar, we’re not a fancy draft or IPA bar, but we do have to stay relevant and upgrade every now and then,” said Ricky Elardo. “We’re one of the only bars left where one can still smoke in New York. However, my dad is old-school and believes beer and cigarettes still go together. I’d like us to get to a point where we have one room for smoking.”

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