Norm Plonski is the retired owner of the Parkview Nite Club (Detroit Shoreway) and Major Hoople's (West Bank of the Flats). He colorfully describes how he came across the two properties and how he has been able to maintain the popularity of each business, despite the ever changing surrounding neighborhoods. For Plonski, the neighborhood bar is a place for people to get to know one another, acting as a persistent landmark that helps to ensure the survival of always-redeveloping and changing neighborhoods like Detroit Shoreway and the Flats.
Plonski, Norm (interviewee)
Nemeth, Sarah (interviewer)
"Norm Plonski interview, 17 July 2017" (2017). Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. Interview 955036.
Transcription sponsored by Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization
Sarah Nemeth [00:00:01] Hi, my name is Sarah Nemeth. I'm here today with Norm Plonski. It is July 17, 2017, and we are at Parkview Nite Club. This is for the Cleveland Regional Oral History Project. Could you please state your name for the record?
Norm Plonski [00:00:17] Norm Plonski.
Sarah Nemeth [00:00:19] And where are you born?
Norm Plonski [00:00:21] Cleveland, Ohio.
Sarah Nemeth [00:00:22] And when?
Norm Plonski [00:00:23] 1946. March 29th.
Sarah Nemeth [00:00:25] Well, happy belated birthday, kind of, by a couple of months. And what side of town did you live on?
Norm Plonski [00:00:33] Well, I lived in a Polish neighborhood between St. Clair and Superior, where St. Casimir's Church is, and it's one of the churches they closed and everybody got together and got it reopened. I lived there till I was a sophomore in high school. Then my parents moved to Rocky River, and I lived there until I got out of college, and I lived in various parts of the city. And then now I've settled in Gordon Square.
Sarah Nemeth [00:01:06] Okay. And do you have any childhood memories from living in the Polish neighborhood?
Norm Plonski [00:01:12] Believe it or not, we still... We have a reunion coming up in August of this year and have one every year, and I still see people I went to grade school with.
Sarah Nemeth [00:01:22] Really?
Norm Plonski [00:01:22] Yes.
Sarah Nemeth [00:01:23] They stayed in the neighborhood?
Norm Plonski [00:01:23] No, they scattered. [crosstalk] But we get together now. Unbelievable.
Sarah Nemeth [00:01:30] Was the church Polish?
Norm Plonski [00:01:30] Oh, yeah. St. Casimir's. It's in an area where the streets around it are Kosciuszko and Pulaski. It's stone Polish.
Sarah Nemeth [00:01:45] So it was a community feel in the neighborhood?
Norm Plonski [00:01:48] Yeah. It's back when, you know, you didn't have phones to walk around with, so you played basketball and you played baseball. You know, it didn't have to be organized. You met the guys and you went and played. Now everything has to be organized. So I think that brought us together as friends, and we all took off to different high schools maybe, but we all still came back to the neighborhood. And, you know, eventually the neighborhood changed. People got older, they moved out. But we still get together.
Sarah Nemeth [00:02:18] What is the neighborhood like now?
Norm Plonski [00:02:22] It's pretty bad. Pretty much half of it's torn down already. And it was... It happened with the white flight thing going on. And but in August, again, on the church grounds, they have a three-day festival and people come back. So... And the church... The churches, the whole thing with this group of people, because that's what they revolved around, so they tried to keep it open. It's one of most beautiful churches in the city. If you ever have a chance, check it out. I mean unbelievable. But the area around it is pretty bad. And I'm a big believer in you got to hit bottom before you can come back. And it's hit bottom. It's just that neighborhood isn't... There's no factories going anymore. Used to be White Motor Corp. Everybody worked at White Motors or this place or that place. And those things are all gone, and it's not situated near a lake or a river. So it's in this spot that's just forgotten and neglected. Although St. Clair-Superior organization, St. Clair is starting to come back. So eventually everything comes back, especially what's going on in the city. So we'll see.
Sarah Nemeth [00:03:48] Were there restaurants that people went to in the like neighborhood?
Norm Plonski [00:03:51] Oh, yeah. Everybody hung out at a bar. It was... The bar was the restaurant, you know. All the bars are now churches, the ones that are still standing. But you played softball for your bar. You played against the guys from a few streets over. They played for their bar. You know, stuff like that. That's what went on.
Sarah Nemeth [00:04:15] Cool. Where did you go to college?
Norm Plonski [00:04:16] Kent.
Sarah Nemeth [00:04:18] And what did you major in?
Norm Plonski [00:04:20] Chemistry and Botany.
Sarah Nemeth [00:04:26] And Botany!
Norm Plonski [00:04:27] Unbelievable. I was going to be a lawyer and I went into my first class, first class I ever had actually, Poli Sci 101 or whatever. The guy standing up there, a little bald-headed guy with glasses, he's standing up there holding this, I don't know, four-inch-thick book looked like, you know. He goes, all the answers have to be verbatim from this book on your things. No, general, you know, the way... So I went back. I lived with upperclassman because I was supposed to be commuting. And I says, What's going on with this Dr. Eivel? And they go, Eivel's Bibles. I says, Is this is what it is in the humanities, and they said, Yeah. And I says, well, I went over to the sciences real quick and physiology and stuff like that, because I wasn't about to write stuff, just wasn't me.
Sarah Nemeth [00:05:27] Right. So that ended your dreams of becoming a lawyer?
Norm Plonski [00:05:31] Oh yeah. It wasn't a big dream. It was just... I was young. You know, everybody changes their majors, so.
Sarah Nemeth [00:05:37] I once wanted to be a lawyer myself. That lasted a class as well.
Norm Plonski [00:05:43] Yeah. So.
Sarah Nemeth [00:05:44] It wasn't for me.
Norm Plonski [00:05:45] I was a chemist when I got out. I was bench chemist for a pharmaceutical company. And a bench chemist is like being a bartender, mixing? If you can... Give you an analogy, you're mixing drinks but you're not talking to anybody. You're just doing that all day. I was doing tests on pills. So that wasn't me. So I moved around a few jobs and my last job, last real job I had, we got bought out and I looked at my boss and I says, Well, what are you going to do, Dick? He says, Oh, I got a job up in Pennsylvania. And I'm thinking to myself, Geez is this going to be me one day? And that's when I went into business for myself. Parkview was the second place I opened.
Sarah Nemeth [00:06:38] Right. Your first one was the Major...
Norm Plonski [00:06:41] Hoople's.
Sarah Nemeth [00:06:41] Hoople's? And that is an Irish community, right? Or was.
Norm Plonski [00:06:48] It was on Irishtown Bend. It's down on the Flats by the Columbus Road Lift Bridge, which is... Right now they're building that Canal Basin Park, and Hoople's is pretty much going to be the epicenter of that, I mean where all the Towpath trails come together and the Red Line, Green Line paths. It's crazy what's going on, you know. I was... I got to the Flats before the Flats became the Flats the first time. You're probably too young to remember the first time.
Sarah Nemeth [00:07:18] No, I don't know. I didn't remember when it came up and then I do remember when it was down though.
Norm Plonski [00:07:23] Yeah. Well it was cooking. When it came up, it was cooking. It was the party place, I mean in the country, that... Everybody knew about the Flats, and nobody owned their buildings so the landlords just kept raising rent, raising rent, raising rent. So the people that are left there that... or the bars that are left there in the Flats were the ones that owned the buildings. And that's why I'm still there. So I'm seeing it come back. But I am what I am and we are what we are. And we'll be there when they're all gone again. [laughs]
Sarah Nemeth [00:08:02] What did the building look like when you first... like, why did you choose that spot?
Norm Plonski [00:08:08] Hoople's?
Sarah Nemeth [00:08:08] Yeah.
Norm Plonski [00:08:11] It was cheap. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, but when my brother in law and I got... found it because we didn't know anything... The Flats, the early Flats, there were no lights, no nothing. I mean, you... We looked for this place. We didn't know. Nobody went down to the river. This was before the Flats became the Flats at all. Just few people. It was good time though. But I got out of the car on the driver's side and I looked up and there was the whole city, and the bar was behind me and I looked up at the bar and there was no window. [laughs] And the door was kicked in. And the lady, Molly Michney, who owned it... The guy that leased it from her stiffed her on a bunch of rent, trashed the place, and booked. So she was older and she was ready to sell the business and the building. So it was all timing because I'm a big believer in owning the building. So you know, the view... It's one of the best, constantly getting awards for one of the best view in the city. So, that sort of closed it, you know. Plus, when I got to know the area, I liked the area. I mean, the river's right there. And now in the last three years the bridge has been all reopened since they shut it down to fix it. More people walking and crossing that bridge in the previous 30 years. I mean, there's I we have a block club now. When I needed to get a Sunday liquor license, I needed to get 5, 5 or 10 percent of the people in my little precinct. That was like four signatures, registered voters. They were all sitting in the bar. [laughs].
Sarah Nemeth [00:10:04] So you just could go to up them like?
Norm Plonski [00:10:05] Sign this. You want to sit here on Sunday? Sign this. But it was pretty cool, you know. But now we've got condos. We've got more condos coming in down the street. We have a block club. Things change.
Sarah Nemeth [00:10:21] Right. So your first people that come to your bar, what were they like?
Norm Plonski [00:10:26] They were peeking in a door, wondering if they should come in. But then they did. And back then, you had Pipeline Development, which repairs oil pipelines. That's where the new Rowing Association for Kids is. Cleveland Metal. There were a lot of shops. So I got the workers. I mean, there was always parking. Even when the Flats was cooking, you could always park by Hoopples. So all the workers when they got off, boom, right to Hoopples. So we we did okay.
Sarah Nemeth [00:11:04] Yeah. So. That was the first place that you took over. How did you get... Did you serve food there at first? Or was it just...
Norm Plonski [00:11:13] Oh, when I first opened, I served food up front in the summertime on a grill and then we built a kitchen. Things evolved.
Sarah Nemeth [00:11:21] What kind of food did you...
Norm Plonski [00:11:22] Just bar food. I'm not a food person. Like my son, who runs it now, if he wanted to, he could have the best thing in the city because of the view. But he doesn't want to and I'm not... I'm retired, so I don't care.
Sarah Nemeth [00:11:40] Yeah. I've never been here before but my mom always told me about it and she used to come here... [cross talk].
Norm Plonski [00:11:44] Parkview?
Sarah Nemeth [00:11:45] Yeah, for the jam sessions.
Norm Plonski [00:11:48] Best jam in the city. When I first got here, I used to hide out here because nobody was here. I mean, so Hoopples was running like a machine, and this place went up for sale and I said, what the hell, I'll buy it. So I bought it and I remember the guy that sold it to me had told people he'll get it back in three months. We'll have it back. Well, I ended up paying off, 'cause when you buy a bar, somebody's got to carry the money and it ain't gonna be the bank. So he carried the note and I paid him off, I don't know, in six years or something. Early, doubled up payments. And then the neighborhood started turning around.
Sarah Nemeth [00:12:43] What was the neighborhood like before you first bought this?
Norm Plonski [00:12:45] Everybody told me I was crazy. Don't do it. We were at the end of nowhere. I mean, I says, well, the cop bar's right down the street. The police... police fraternal organization for sergeants and under is right a block down. [cross talk] Yeah. And I says that's there. And I always liked this place. You know, it's old. It's got that... They're really trying to make things old. You can't make things old. So I bought it and I had to figure out how to get people to come here. So I started the blues. And as of right now, this date, because I shut the music down, because there's gonna be no parking here. I mean...
Sarah Nemeth [00:13:31] Where could you park before?
Norm Plonski [00:13:35] On the street in that lot.
Sarah Nemeth [00:13:37] Okay.
Norm Plonski [00:13:37] That building just got sold... That building's being emptied as we speak. And there's about four or five people I've seen look at it. So this is all going to be townhouses all the way down. So that parking is going to be gone. That lot's going to be gone. The City of Cleveland requires one parking space per unit, whether it's got one bedroom, three bedrooms, five bedrooms. So over here, they're expecting 500 people to move into 306 units. That's their estimate. And so they only need 306 parking spaces, but they made 358. That still leaves a hundred-plus cars that are going to be looking for parking spaces. So they were... Initially they thought they'd be full at the beginning and starting in June. But it didn't happen. They got, you know, construction. City of Cleveland, whatever. So I stopped the music the first quarter this year. And I would've kept it going 'til June if I had known, but I didn't. Because eventually there's going to be no parking. So it's time to start transitioning and we're going to.... You adapt or you die.
Sarah Nemeth [00:14:51] Right.
Norm Plonski [00:14:51] So we're adapting now. I have visions of whacking that house and making a big patio. Over here the kitchen's going out. Gonna be a third bigger. We're gonna... The food. The food was always good. We were on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. And, you know, our food's good. But we're gonna get better and... Nothing real fancy, although I intend to have the best steakhouse in the city down the line. But it's still going to be the Park... You know, if you ever eat here, you'll notice that the chairs don't match. The plates don't match. But if nothing matches, everything matches. [laughs] So it will still remain that because I'm a cheap Polack. But we'll adapt, I mean, we'll... We'll get our share. I mean, you know, from my early customers who were people that were in the neighborhood, and the neighborhood was pretty rough. You know, I... One of my first customers just got out of jail. And he was older now and he was the leader of one of the gangs in the neighborhood in. I talked to him. He learned his lesson. He's got older, got smarter. I was talking to him because things were getting tagged in the neighborhood and I guess he was one of the old bosses or whatever. He had pull; they knew him. So he goes no, this is my bar now. Nobody's going to put any paint anywhere around here. And I haven't had a problem. A little bit lately. But now, I don't know what to expect now. The house out the front door, the condo out the front door they're building, the townhouse? Five hundred thousand dollars. So I'm going from felons to whatever. [laughs].
Sarah Nemeth [00:16:50] But at least you said you kept adapting, so...
Norm Plonski [00:16:51] You got to adapt.
Sarah Nemeth [00:16:52] To survive, like you say.
Norm Plonski [00:16:54] Oh, yeah. At Hoopples, I used to cash checks on Tuesdays. And that brought in people. But then they went home, you know, after happy hour or whatever. So then I started darts because I was always a good darter and played... I had to figure out how to get more people there. So I decided, well, I don't know if you want what darts is, you know, a ton 80? Three triple... Three darts in an area about the size, half the size of my finger, you know, three in a bed like that. That's the ultimate. Besides three double bowls. But if you threw a ton 80 in a game, you got your name on a coat hook. So... And you had to be good to do that.
Sarah Nemeth [00:17:40] Yes.
Norm Plonski [00:17:41] And you had to do it in the in the bar. You had to throw it in... So all of a sudden, from one dart board, I went to six and from putting the hook, the name below the hook, I had... I started because I had two things on our coat hook. I put it above the hook. Everybody wanted their name. [laughs] So I was packed. I was packed all the time with darters. You adapt. So, but the Parkview was always a cool place. I mean, it's just... It is what it is. And the neighborhood started changing for the better. But when I'd go to the meetings and when I still go to the meetings, everything's about Detroit. You know. And now you've got Battery Park. All the... You know, I don't know how many people live there. Thousand? I don't know. You got what's going on down here at the end of nowhere, there's a swimming pool that 80 people were sitting by Saturday. [laughs] You know. So we're adapting again. But over across the street, there used to be a bar called Dugan's. And when they tore that bar down, they literally bulldozed the building and the whole building just fell over. I mean, it was just a wood... And that was a local place. And they found a tunnel and the tunnel went to the lake for bootlegging. But the lake wasn't where it is. The shoreline wasn't where it is now. The shoreline was probably where the freeway is. That's all landfill.
Sarah Nemeth [00:19:30] Okay, I didn't know that.
Norm Plonski [00:19:31] Whiskey Island, all that. That... most of that's landfill. So there was a tunnel. This neighborhood was notorious for bootlegging. Do you know what the Huletts are? They were the self unloaders that were—not the unloaders, the self unloaders—loaders that were on the dock to take the ore off the boat. Big, tall structures. And the mouth of the river... The Huletts you could... You used to be able to see—they took 'em down, but used to be able to see 'em out the front window of the Parkview. The mouth of a river used to be down out the front window of the Parkview. They moved it to where it is now. So this, in essence, was a bar that ships people would come and drink. You know, if you go up to West Clinton, you'll see some houses and they look like they got some widow watches on them, you know? That's because the mouth of the river used to be down here. The Shoreway wasn't there, so they'd just walk up the hill. But that's before my time.
Sarah Nemeth [00:20:33] This place has obviously seen a lot of history itself.
Norm Plonski [00:20:36] Oh, yeah. This has been a bar since 1890, best we can tell. It's been the Parkview Nite Club, and I didn't change the name even though it's not a nightclub, I'd say since 1934, because that's when they added on and Prohibition ended December of 1933. So I know it's been the Parkview [a loud truck passes by outside] since 1934 when you get all the paperwork done. So it's been around as the Parkview Nite Club, and I'm only like the third owner. The Socotch family owned it for a very long time. Cashed checks for Westinghouse building, Eveready Battery. They cashed so many checks that Pioneer Savings they own, which is the bank up on Detroit, and the building that the Happy Dog's in. If you look at it, we'll say Socotch - 1946. They built that building. And that used to be a bar, too. And there used to be a bunch of bars there and they closed them all down because it was really rough. And, you know, when the neighborhood changed, they started opening them up again. But the Parkview is the only bar left in this neighborhood that's still got the same name and everything else—it's somewhat like Lakewood, everything. When you go to Lakewood now or I go to Lakewood, well, what was it called before? Because... But the Parkview's going to stay the Parkview, you know, my son has no intention of going anywhere, I guess. But I remember when Pete came to the neighborhood, the owner of Stone Mad, that real fancy... He put a million dollars in that place. Bought this old dump of a bar and literally bagged the whole building to get rid of the roaches and stuff and redid it into what it is now. Beautiful. And when Pete came down here and told me he was coming in the neighborhood, I says, what the hell are you doing down here? Because it was early on still...
Sarah Nemeth [00:22:44] Right.
Norm Plonski [00:22:44] And he goes... Norm, if it's good enough for you, it's good enough for me. And now we're both sitting here, you know, and they're building... [laughs].
Sarah Nemeth [00:22:57] Does that... Does it frighten you at all that this is a different clientele that's going to be here, that they might expect something else?
Norm Plonski [00:23:04] You know, I'm 71 years old. I don't have a read... I don't really know what a Millennial is anymore. You're probably a Millennial. Yeah. I know all you use is credit cards. [laughs] That's about all I know. So, no, it's, you know, we're just going to be what we are. And I have my ways. There's going to be a bunch of Millennials in there, right? I'm goin' to fire up my bowling machine. I'm going to start a bowling league and we're gonna bowl to Put-in-Bay. I'm gonna go down there. I'm going to beat those guys up for some rooms in spring or fall, when they... because they overbuilt... And get some discounts because I'm bringing a group, I'll get discounts on the thing. Whoever wins the bowling league, whatever team wins, we'll pay for it. Everybody else, their money, they kicked in all year. That's, you know, that's their pay. And then these people will meet each other. And then when they come back, because there's nothing worse than walking in a bar not knowing anybody. When they come back, it's going to be, Hey Joe! We had a good time at the Roundhouse, or wherever. [laughs] I did that at Hoopples too. I took buses... I took buses to the Coliseum when the Cavs played out at the Coliseum. We took boats to the stadium to watch the Browns. We took trips on the bowling league. We took trips back when it was cheap. We took trips to Las Vegas, the Bahamas, Reno. Yeah, we had good times.
Sarah Nemeth [00:24:39] I bet. That sounds like fun!
Norm Plonski [00:24:42] Yeah, well, you know, see, a Millennial...
Sarah Nemeth [00:24:47] Exactly, I think you're selling me. It's still working.
Norm Plonski [00:24:47] Oh, yeah. We're gonna make it... We're going to make it good. I mean, we'll do okay. You know, the guys in the kitchen, they want to start rendering whole hogs and buying sides of beef and aging steak. And I got a connection out in, I don't know what county, for the same places that Red the Steakhouse gets their beef, the same farmer? So. Once we start...
Sarah Nemeth [00:25:11] Yeah, that sounds cool.
Norm Plonski [00:25:15] [unintelligible] No pretense. We are what we are. We're gonna have to... We're gonna have to put in better liquors, more bourbons and stuff like that, because that's what people want. And that'll change us, you know, when we find out what the clientele wants, and we're going to start doing more classic cocktails, not chef-driven cocktails. Chef-driven cocktails, something that you get at the [Velvet] Tango Room. You ever been to the [Velvet] Tango Room? Most expensive bar in a city, right up the hill from Hoopples. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Ten dollars at happy hour, 18 after.
Sarah Nemeth [00:25:51] That's why.
Norm Plonski [00:25:52] But they make cocktails with... Chef-driven. They're a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a little bit of this. They're remaking a cocktail, which is fine. And down the street, you ever been to Porco's? Further down? OK. Stefan's doing umbrella cocktails. Zombies and all those crazy ones you'd expect to get in the Caribbean or wherever. So he's doing his thing. So I'm going to do—at Hoopples and at the Parkivew—I'm going to do classic cocktails. I've got a bar guide from 1937 from the Waldorf Astoria and we are gonna do them the way they made 'em. And another guy wrote rewrote that bar guide because some things aren't available anymore. And what we can use now. So if there's some things that you can't use, you know, we can... [loud construction noise] But... They're building! I'll give you an example. If you walked in there and ordered a whiskey sour, they'd throw some whiskey in the shaker. They'd throw some ice in the shaker. They'd squirt some whiskey sour mix out of the gun. They'd shake it and pour it and you'd have it. Well, a classic cocktail, they'd... I might be wrong on the squeeze. They'd squeeze a little lemon, a little lime, I think, a little bit of both. They'd take the white of an egg, throw it in there, and then throw the whiskey in the thing and shake it up. And it takes a couple of minutes. Now, if you tasted the first one I told you about and you tasted the second one I told you about, I'll tell you what. That second one's one you're gonna... Oh, man! [laughs] So we're gonna do that. Yeah. Because everything shortcuts now. I mean, everybody wants to shortcut everything. So we're not. We're going to make things, you know.
Sarah Nemeth [00:27:45] Yeah, well, that's cool, and that's definitely going to get all of them over here, the Millennials that you say you put an eight-point in your drink.
Norm Plonski [00:27:55] Yeah, that's the way they made it back then. It's in the bar guide. I mean, you know, I found a bar guide in here when I bought the place from... I think it was 1935. And at Christmastime, when we have our customer appreciation party, we make Christmas eggnog the way they made it back in the '30s. And we give little things... tasters to everybody because it's made with eggs and ice cream and three different liquors. And I don't make it so I don't remember anymore. But we give everybody a taste because you can't keep it because it's got the eggs in it and stuff. So everybody just loves that. I mean, they all try... You get one. They come around, well I didn't get Norm! Um, yeah, you did. [laughs] But we, you know, we stopped the music but there's four things that are remaining. And Sunday would be... Sunday... No, Sunday would be reggae brunch. So on the Sunday after Super Bowl, we have reggae brunch here with Carlos Jones and the Plus Band. And it's February whatever, 11th, 10th, whatever the Sunday after Super Bowl is. And that started with... My friend called me up and that's right around Bob Marley's birthday. And at the Rock Hall, they had this group Moja Nya play at the rock wall for Bob Marley's birthday. And they were going up to Detroit for another show. My buddy goes, Hey, Norm, these rasta guys, man, why don't you give 'em a couple hundred bucks and have 'em play it at brunch and feed 'em brunch and, you know, we'll have some fun lessons. And I says, Sure. So these guys come in with all their hair stuffed under. It was fabulous. So the next year, I hired Carlos Jones. And this year, it'll be 22 years of reggae brunch. We don't advertise. There's a line in February to get in when we open. At 1 o'clock, I think, we take out three quarters of the tables, if not more. And there's just a sea of people in here saying we've had enough of winter. And Carlos, and I'll never forget Carlos Jones. He was bouncing up and down. I don't know. You know who Carlos is? Carlos was bouncing up and down. He goes, You know, he bounces and he goes, You know, some people, and he bounces, and goes, Some people who want to move this to a Grog Shop. And he bounces and he bounces. He goes, You know, bounces, We're not going anywhere. And the whole place just erupted. [laughs] It's one of his favorite things in the year, the reggae brunch here, because it's what it is. And then on Monday, on a Monday of the year is Dyngus Day. And actually, we plan Dyngus Day right in there. The guys from the [Happy] Dog and Sean from what's now called Graffiti, and I don't remember what it was called, but we plan Dyngus Day in there. And I... The thing I remember from that thing was, well, we're going to have a parade from the Parkview to the Happy Dog. And I said, no, we're not having a parade. We're just walking from the Parkview to the Happy Dog. If we happen to be walking down the street, we're walking down the street. If you want to have a parade, you got to have a permit. And that's how Dyngus Day started. And what would be the Tuesday thing that we have every year will be Fat Tuesday with Cats on Holidays, and that's a good time. Real good time. And then our Halloween party... I know Millennials like to get dressed up for Halloween. Well, we have one hell of a Halloween party. I look for it to be even better this year. And that's the floater, because you never know when Halloween is. But we'll keep those four things.
Sarah Nemeth [00:31:50] When did Dyngus Day start?
Norm Plonski [00:31:53] Seven years ago now? I went to Dyngus Day... The biggest Dyngus Day in the United States is in Buffalo, New York. I have a friend from St. Casimir's that was working on the railroad out of Buffalo, New York. And I would go up to Dyngus Day 'cause I knew Dyngus Day from grade school. So I went up to Dyngus Day a couple of times and the last time I went up, I walked in a tent and DJ Kishka? was spinnin' records and Sean and Sean were there from the Happy Dog and Billy and a couple other guys and I go, What's Kishka doing here? He says, well I got a gig. And I says, we gotta start it in Cleveland, man, they're stealing our guys. And that was the last time I've been to Buffalo. And that next year we started Dyngus Day and, I don't know, they said thirty thousand people were running around on Dyngus Day this year. I don't know.
Sarah Nemeth [00:32:50] I saw the pictures. It looked pretty cool.
Norm Plonski [00:32:51] Yeah, we're packed. We open 10 to 11 maybe. And by 11:30 people are polka dancing like it's 2:00 in the morning. I mean, yeah, Dyngus Day is pretty out of hand.
Sarah Nemeth [00:33:07] What does it celebrate exactly originally?
Norm Plonski [00:33:09] It was like... What's... Name a dating thing. It's like a dating thing. If you want to... If you want to know. Back then, you know, you can say it's the Anti–Fat Tuesday. You're going to give up something for Lent and it's Monday after Easter. You gave up something for Lent. But really, what was going on back in the day, the boys would throw, what
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