Few Coventry residents and visitors likely know the Main Street building housing is much older than 1929, the year of the old green Chevy placed in front of the historic establishment.
But owner Scott Crowe is making great strides to connect the best of the local past to the present and make this longtime social meeting place in as popular as it was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
“It used to be just an old saloon and sit-down drinking establishment,” he explained while sitting at his distinctive wrap-around mahogany bar. “I was told they had separate entrances for men and women. And it was right off the old railroad line (on Station Street) where visitors and workers could come in after a hard day of work and just drink.”
Crowe, 28, a 2002 CHS graduate, has been a lifelong resident of the town, as his father, Bob, was before him. The pair worked hard to renovate the bar after Scott purchased the property in 2006, including designing kitchen space.
But along with the physical work Crowe has continued to tailor his tavern to “a mixed crowd.” He is working hard to make his business appeal more to families during the day while continuing to draw after-work, late night and weekend, Sunday football and young 20s crowds as well as pool players and sports teams who assemble there after games.
“We have more of an older mix now than we used to,” Crowe noted. “It is not unusual to have moms and dads come here and say hi to their sons or daughters. A lot of people just want to come in, relax after work and have a friendly conversation. We also do a lot of party and holiday events, too.”
Around his 60-foot plus wrap-around bar and at newly placed tables, popular brews are served, but Crowe carries Harpoon and IPA, among many others. The bartenders are equipped to handle all kinds of martinis, vodkas and offer other specials on ‘Ladies Night’ and for just about any occasion.
As part of the evolution, besides usual restaurant fare, customers get to have a say in designing their own pizza and hamburger or just ordering Crowe’s Signature Chicken or ordering other dishes and appetizers with an American or international flair.
For entertainment, among local acts brought into the 125-person establishment are Kim Petrarca, Slam and Lola and the Pallbearers. Piano players, "Rachel and Jack" are there on Wednesdays. Friday night and Saturday nights often consist of acoustic and small bands.
The ambiance also includes one of his passions- marine biology- expressed twice in 75-gallon and 180-gallon tank aquariums.
Soon the business is going online on the website, crowebarandtavern.com, created by Marshmallow Fox Design of Coventry (Greene). “We can then take orders for food to go on the internet and will keep our customers updated on what’s going on here.”
While Crowe is looking toward the future, one of his favorite expressions is “old school.” Hanging on the walls is a picture of an old typewriter, for example, in addition to stylistic paintings of a man and a woman in the 1920s. “I would like to get some old photos of the area," he said.
Crowe enjoys being part of the restoration of the area in which the Crowebar resides. “It’s nice to be in an area now where the town has been building and cleaning up more,” he said, mentioning Coventry Shopper’s Park and across the street and adjacent businesses as friendly neighbors. Dunkin’ Donuts and Phusion Pharmacy have been welcome additions, too, he adds. “It has become more business friendly.”
If they help you, we help them,” he said of the community, his clients and even competitors, too.
Finally, Coventry is a place where Crowe thinks his bar can exactly fit the model of a former hit TV series. “This town is special because everyone knows everybody else here,” he said. “I’d love to have this bar have a ‘Cheers’ feel to it, where even if you walk in alone, someone will know you and call out your name.”