By CAROL O'NEILL
Pocono Record Writer
August 12, 2012
Crescent Lodge is a great getaway in Paradise Twp.
What began as a family retreat has grown into a Pocono getaway
When Bob Dunlop was just 10 years old and growing up in Long Island, N.Y., his father, Jack, thought he'd like to own a place in the country where he could spend weekends in the summer.
It was 1947 when Jack and his wife, Minerva Dunlop, traveled to the Pocono Mountains and found the perfect spot — a nine-bedroom former boarding house on 28 acres along Route 191 in Paradise Valley.
"His goal was to have a place in the country to invite his friends," Bob Dunlop said. "He bought this place and had people come as guests."
An old photograph of the original house shows a large front porch for rocking chairs and a tiny kitchen around back.
The family came on weekends in the summer, and Bob and his brother, Bruce, would help doing chores while Minerva cooked and cleaned up after guests.
Eventually, catering to family friends and Jack's co-workers at AT&T got to be too much for Minerva, and the couple decided to charge for room and board.
"Nobody minded. People still came," Bob said.
left, and his son Wayne own and run Crescent Lodge in Paradise
As the business began, the Dunlops added three more bedrooms to the inn, closed in the porch, added a larger kitchen and dining rooms. The family obtained a liquor license by the mid-1960s and added a bar.
"It took off after that," Bob said.
Around the same time, Camelback Ski Resort opened.
"When skiing came in, then we opened for the winter and added heat," said Bob, who was involved with the early development of Camelback and taught skiing there.
As a young man, Bob studied architecture and worked in construction before coming onboard to work with his parents full time at Crescent Lodge in the 1960s.
His background equipped him to design the cottages that were built to accommodate skiers.
"We started off being a winter ski resort. Now we get a lot of people who just want to get away," Bob said.
Today the Crescent Lodge property features about a dozen private cottages, a tennis court, shuffle board, an outdoor pool, fitness trails and a gift shop stocked with jewelry and other items popular with overnight guests.
'I pick their brains'
All cottages have stone fireplaces and decks with lounge chairs. Four have full kitchens, and the rest are equipped with dorm-size refrigerators.
"I designed everything," Bob said. "I listen to what the guests want. I pick their brains."
The main building includes one small and two large dining rooms with windows overlooking the scenic acreage.
While the dining areas feature tables set elegantly with white tablecloths, dinner guests nowadays dress casually.
Bob's son, Wayne Dunlop, serves as head chef and dining room manager.
The menu includes appetizers and small salad plates starting at $8.
Crisp calamari is served with a tomato basil sauce. Escargot is simmered in burgundy garlic butter and served with garlic croutons and shaved Parmesan.
In addition to the soup du jour, diners might try the roasted five onion French onion soup au gratin.
Larger plates include lamb chops, roast duckling in Grand Marnier sauce, grilled chicken, seafood, steak, veal chops and pork dishes. Prices start at $16.
Wayne said the most popular menu item is roast duckling.
Adding to the ambiance, Michael Fossa provides blues/jazz piano music on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Wednesday is Italian Night at Crescent Lodge. From 5:30 to 7 p.m. Italian dinner specials cost $10.95 and are served with garlic bread. Side salads and side orders of meatballs are additional. Half-price drinks are also available.
Thursday is AWSOM night, with 10 percent of receipts being donated to the Animal Welfare Society Of Monroe.
Bob Dunlop decided to help the pet rescue organization after Bentley showed up on the Crescent Lodge property several years ago. The small dog, which had obviously been abused and abandoned, worked his way into Dunlop's heart. Now Bentley visits the Crescent Lodge lobby on Thursdays to make his AWSOM pitch for support.
"So many people give extra donations," Bob said.
"Everything is delicious and service is impeccable!!"