Homegrown Hammond: The Crescent Bar
In an old town like Hammond, families have been brought up into their local area and representing this community for many years. They have continued the deep roots and twining culture of Hammond by serving us with a smile at each of their welcoming businesses. The Hammond DDD would like to introduce the business owners that were born, raised and grew up to own a business in our historic Downtown. We call this special segment Homegrown Hammond to show appreciation for all our natives that have staked Hammond as their home for so many years.
The Crescent Bar
The Crescent Bar was established in 1938. Rickie Brocato is the third generation to operate the well-known bar and packaged liquor store. Rickie’s great-uncle Tommy, who is the brother of his grandfather Vincent, started the business. The two elder brothers became partners during World War II when Tommy went to War in Europe.
After the war, Dick Brocato, Rickie’s father, joined the business and eventually owned it himself after Tommy and Vincent retired in 1972. In the late 80s Rickie and his brother Dickie became the third generation to own the establishment. Dickie retired in 2010. Now Rickie is the sole owner. With long time employee Claude Hooks and a small staff, Rickie runs the operation. Rickie continues to keep the tradition going by having his son, Tommy, who is named after Rickie’s great grandfather that opened the Crescent, help out the family businesses when he can. Tommy is currently studying electrical engineering and running track at LSU.
The Crescent was originally located on the east side of the railroad tracks. In 1973 the Brocato family moved The Crescent to it’s current location. They closed the bar on Saturday evening, switched locations on Sunday and opened the doors on Monday morning. “We carried the bar down Main Street, right in the middle of Downtown on Sunday, in those days there wasn’t a lot of traffic,” says Rickie. That bar was original to the Crescent and still serves many visitors it’s table top today.
The Brocato family continues to be active in the community and assists charitable events as often as they can. They participate in all the Downtown events as well including Hot August Night and Starry November Night where Mr. Rickie, along with Todd Delaune of Red, White and Brew, hand pick the wines that everyone enjoys for the wine tastings. The Brocato’s and The Crescent Bar have donated services and products to events such as Fan Fare, Richard Murphy Hospice Foundation, Chef’s Evening, The Hammond Chamber of Commerce, and many other local charities. The Brocato’s are also active members of Holy Ghost Catholic Church.
Located in Downtown Hammond, The Crescent Bar is a local landmark. Recently, the famous bar hosted a film crew for the upcoming movie, Shock and Awe. The crew came in for 3 days shooting for the film. They transformed the Crescent into a non-recognizable establishment and then placed everything back exactly the way locals are used too. “If you didn’t come into the bar in those 3 days, you wouldn’t have known anything ever happened,” says owner Rickie Brocato. The movie is set to release in late 2017.
Although the Crescent is primarily a bar, it also carries a wide selection of packaged liquor, domestic and imported wines, champagne and fine spirits. Also found at this historical bar are cheeses and choice steaks to purchase. The Crescent offers a full catering operation including services for weddings, parties, corporate and private gatherings.
After 78 years, the Crescent is still the place to be and remains a favorite gathering place for business people, politicians, locals and guests. Rickie follows the philosophy handed down from the past generations that you should provide good service and a good atmosphere to your customers. Now hosting a third generation of customers, Rickie believes “We have a good business because we run it right; but you have to keep in mind that we have the most loyal and sought after customers in the world. Without them none of this would be possible.” The Crescent is located at 110 W. Thomas St. If you haven’t had the pleasure of grabbing a cold one at this fine establishment, you’re missing out!