By Sophia Chang
The owners of the Crazy Moose saloon at 40-05 Bell Blvd. have renamed and remade their pub into an upscale restaurant, bar and catering hall as they seek to turn over a new leaf in the life of the popular Bayside establishment. After about six weeks and $200,000 of renovations, the saloon has been completely changed in design and in philosophy, transformed from neighborhood pub to Bell Boulevard restaurant. With hi-definition televisions lining exposed brick walls and shiny copper and silver plating on the bar counters, Lucky's is looking good. It has been open for night service since late April and the kitchen will begin serving meals soon. Even the distinctive mustard yellow exterior has been painted over with a crisp nautical blue, with tall silver lettering proclaiming the name change. “We wanted to freshen up the space,” said Vincent Tancredi, who owns the restaurant along with David Gentile and Anthony Lodati. “We wanted to give the patrons a new place to party.” Tancredi, Gentile and Lodati opened the Crazy Moose in 1988, and it became a destination bar that was part of a row of watering holes in the middle of quiet Bayside. Over the past 17 years, the bar was a neighborhood institution of sorts, hosting numerous community fund-raisers. Today the restaurant will play a different role in the community. Reimagining the location's space and capacity for 250 people, the owners hope that it will become a popular catering hall in addition to its bar and restaurant duties. “Because the space is so big, we want to do a lot of catering,” Tancredi said. In addition, Lucky's, a name chosen for its happy Irish vibe, will have several tables set aside for diners. “We're going to be serving American food,” Tancredi said, focusing on burgers, wraps, pastas, steaks and appetizers. Despite the loss of a Bayside institution, Tancredi said customers have been responding well. “People have been very happy. Everybody's had nothing but positive feedback,” he said. “We have a strong base of regulars who support us.” Perhaps Baysiders haven't lost a place to drink, but gained a place to eat and hang out instead. “It's still the same concept,” Tancredi said. “We'll have bands, DJs, dancing. It's still a fun time.” Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at email@example.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.