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Crescent Lounge Closes After Nearly 13 Years in Astoria

 Crescent Lounge had its last night Tuesday after the owner recently sold the business.
Crescent Lounge Closes, New Gelato Cart Opens at The Falchi Building
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ASTORIA — Crescent Lounge, which had been in the neighborhood for nearly 13 years, had its last night of business this week.

The bar, which opened in December 2001 at 32-05 Crescent St., shuttered Tuesday night. Owner John Karanikas said he decided to put the watering hole up for sale last year to move on to his "next chapter."

"It's been a great run," said Karanikas. He said the small and cozy bar, where he started as a bartender, made for a friendly atmosphere that was home to many close and loyal regulars.

"It was a very close-knit, very good relationship with our customers," he said. "A lot of people say, 'It's family,' but it really has been."

Karanikas said customers have known the bar was on the market, but the actual closing date came sooner than expected. He said he's not sure what the next owners plans are for the space.

News of the Crescent Lounge's closure prompted several comments on the bar's Facebook and Yelp pages, with customers sharing memories of their time there.

"The Crescent Lounge was what finally made me feel like New York was home," one person wrote on Facebook.

"There's so much love that we've had from our customers," Karanikas said.

"I'd like to thank Astoria," he added. "It's a wonderful place to have a business."

In other local restaurant news:

►Pizzeria L'Inizio opened Thursday at 47-23 Vernon Blvd., serving up Neapolitan-style pizza by the slice, which is cooked in a brick oven and made with dough that's prepared two or three days in advance to ferment.

"It makes the dough really nice and airy and fluffy, and it brings a beautiful texture and a taste to it," said owner Tom Blaze.

Right now, the space is casual, with counter service and pizza available by the slice or by the pie. A small garden in the backyard supplements the menu's ingredients with things like fresh basil and tomatoes, Blaze said.

Over the next few months, he plans to open a cheese and charcuterie bar in the back of the eatery, which will feature homemade cheeses and a number of cured meats.

The menu will eventually include paninis, salads and appetizers, Blaze said. He hopes to serve beer and wine in the future as well. 

L’Arte del Gelato is now operating a gelato cart outside the Falchi Building's Food Box market at 31-00 47th Ave., which will be open on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the fall, according to a rep for Jamestown, which owns the building.

The cart will serve 12 flavors of gelato, with classics like chocolate, hazelnut and pistachio as well as flavors that will rotate weekly, including seasonal options like strawberry and fig.

L’Arte del Gelato is set to occupy a 6,000-square-foot space on the ground floor of the Falchi Building in October, which will be used as a production site to make gelato for its retail locations, including its main store in Chelsea Market.