← Gone. Not forgotten.
Johnny Tarr’s Bit of Budapest Restaurant, Parma Hts. -Closed
Did the Ballog Trio play there in the ’70s?
I don’t believe so. There was a Hungarian Group that often played, but I don’t recall the Ballog Trio.
I was the assistant cook there from 1981-84, just as Johnny Tarr was on his way out. There were 2 guys that played violin and piano on Saturday night. I sometimes wonder what happened to Andy, Norma ,Bonnie and all the other nice people that used to work there all those wonderful years ago. Frank Dudek was the best waiter ever!
I believe their names were Bela and Ernie. Remember Bobby the dishwasher, and Gramps?
I remember the place well. Sadly Johnny is gone, as is Frank and so many of the other people who were part of a magical time at the Bit of Budapest. Arguably the best Hungarian-style restaurant in Cleveland. Like you, I miss it.
I still remember Bit of Budapest from 1969. It was a place I went to anytime I was in the Cleveland area. It is sadly missed.
The guys that played there when I worked there was Alex Udvary and his band. One of the instruments they played was called the cymbalom (I think that’s the correct spelling) I actually have an old vinyl album done by Alex’s son somewhere. I started washing pots and pans there whwn I was 14 making 94 cents an hour and saved a ton of money. Frank Dudek was a clown and a great guy. He taught me more jokes than I can remember and was always goofing around with the staff. Johnny commited suicde and Norma kept up the place for a time after that. Lois Bodnar taught me more about food prep and cooking than just about anyone I can remember and I think of him often. He was a great guy. Bobby the dishwasher was one unique fellow and knew the place inside out. I wonder if he’s still around. He was quite a bit older than me and it was hard to judge his age. I think Erma was one of the waitresses there forever. That place had some of the finest food I’ve ever prepared or eaten and was rated 5 stars many times. Wow, glad I stumbled upon this site.
Thanks for sharing the memories. I still think of Johnny Tar when I go past the old restaurant. What an incredible cook. The city really needs someone like that today.,
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