Crescent’s Coffee & Tea is located at 920 New York Ave in Historic downtown St Cloud. The café sits on a corner just a block from the beautiful St Cloud City Hall. Customers are greeted at the door by a friendly hello, coming either from behind the counter or from staff member sitting on one of the couches or chairs chatting with guests. The place has the feel of a local bar except they’re serving up coffee and local art instead of spirits and pool tables.
The coffee was fresh and served with a small tin of cream on the side. It was $2.14 for a regular coffee. Not the best price you’ll find, but certainly not the worst. The espresso drinks were only slightly more higher in price though, many of them an inexpensive $2.50. They serve fresh baked goods as well as sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. While there is a menu, several guests ordered their sandwiches by just naming off what kind of bread they wanted followed by their choice of fillings and toppings and the staff was more than willing to oblige.
There isn’t a decorative theme as much as a hodgepodge of local art of all types clinging to the fire engine red walls. From sketches and paintings to photographs and metal works, the art is as varied is it is captivating. Two standouts are the custom designer guitars that hang next to one another along the longest wall of the café. There’s also outside seating for those great sunny Florida afternoons with a great view of the downtown area.
The comparison to a local watering hole derives itself mostly from the way the staff and customers interact with one another. The exchanging of light verbal barbs between the employees and guests, and conversations ranging from baseball and local business to the economy made it feel like one was sitting in the coffee house version of the show cheers. There are even a couple of stools along the side of the counter where guests can belly up the “bar” and enjoy their cappuccino and a Panini. Crescent’s closes at 4pm on Monday through Thursdays, but in keeping with its artistic theme Friday is open mic night and on Saturday you can enjoy live music.
While the coffee and food items were fresh and served by an eager friendly staff, the real attraction is the local art and conversation. It’s the kind of place that if you sit and listen, you may just learn something about the local community, or perhaps or just about life in general.