Crawford Craft re-opens in Pine Bush

By Laura Fitzgerald
Posted 4/10/19

Crawford Craft is back and ready for business.

Located at 82 Main Street in Pine Bush, the laid-back gastropub reopened in November after a six-month hiatus while owners Michael and Sindy Moroney …

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Crawford Craft re-opens in Pine Bush

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Crawford Craft is back and ready for business.

Located at 82 Main Street in Pine Bush, the laid-back gastropub reopened in November after a six-month hiatus while owners Michael and Sindy Moroney sold another restaurant in Middletown.

The trendy restaurant sells craft beer, cocktails, and elevated bar food, including burgers, appetizers, wings, tacos, sandwiches and more. The beers are a mix of local and out-of-state brews, emphasizing quality and flavor.

“We get the best craft beer we can,” Michael said.

The Moroneys described the restaurant as the perfect place for a long, casual meal or drinks shared with family and friends.

“People kind of sink into the place here,” Michael said. “Most tables, they’ll stay for a couple of hours. Even after their meal, they hang out.”

However, 82 Main Street has not always had such a family-friendly reputation. The bar was originally opened by Michael’s father as the Grasshopper Tavern in 2012.

Michael’s father also ran the Cove in Middletown, which he opened in 2009. He planned to the run the Grasshopper and sell The Cove in his retirement, but life had other plans. His father died six months after he opened the Grasshopper, leaving the place to Michael.

Michael commuted for one year from Manhattan to take care of the businesses before the couple decided to move to the area in the summer of 2013.

“If we didn’t step in the businesses would have folded,” Michael said. “It was the only way to really salvage anything from my father’s life.”

Then, a stabbing at The Cove prompted the couple to revamp the bar as Scotchtown Craft, which softened the place from its earlier rough-and-tumble personality. Business exploded.

The couple then set their sights on the Grasshopper, renovating the place themselves. By now, the bar had turned into a heavy drinking bar, causing more stress and lost sleep for the Moroneys. Crawford Craft was opened in January 2017.

“It was phenomenal; it took off,” Michael said. “They were both riding high and 2017 was a huge year for us.”

The Moroneys ran the two restaurants simultaneously, working 70 and 80 hour weeks and leaving little time for themselves or their family. Finally, the couple realized something needed to change.

“We just looked at each other and were like, ‘What the hell are we doing?’ We just decided to close it down, and business was good. It was too much for us. We got overwhelmed and we were burnt out,” Michael said.

“But it was the best decision we have made in a long time,” Sindy said.

So, the Moroneys sold Scotchtown Craft so they could focus on Crawford Craft. While the restaurant still keeps them busy, they have more time for their family and themselves.

“We enjoy it now,” Michael said.

And, with less management, oversight and stress, the couple can enjoy running the restaurant and doing what they do best: pouring good drinks and cooking quality food. Michael manages the bar while Sindy runs the kitchen.

“We’re both good at this,” Michael said. “I think it’s in our blood and we enjoy it, connecting with people. I enjoy making people a nice drink and making them a nice meal. Sindy is the same, she puts love into the food she cooks.”

Future plans include the addition of a Saturday brunch and potentially an outdoor seating area.

But right now, the couple is focusing on creating an enjoyable experience for their customers.

“People come in here and they leave happy,” Michael said.

Crawford Craft is open from 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner and until 10 p.m. at the bar Tuesday through Saturday. To learn more, call 845-524-4926 or visit Crawford Craft on Facebook.

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