The Best Kept Secret in Cleveland is Found in Slavic Village

Local history buffs, rejoice! The Cleveland Flea is kicking-off a new series of shows and one-day shopping experiences focused on the lesser-known gems in our history-rich city. We're calling this suite of experiences our Treasure Hunter series. The inaugural event in this string of adventures is Local Union: a wedding planning party + market. The February 25 show is hosted in Cleveland's historic Slavic Village neighborhood at The Slovenian National Home... better known as "The Nash".

Located at E. 80 St. and Morgana Run Trail, The Nash's original wing is celebrating it’s NINETHY-EIGHTH birthday this year! The nearly centenarian building was founded by Slovenian immigrants flocking to the Cleveland's historic Slavic Village neighborhood, in search of a place to polka. Ohhh, did they ever polka!

An addition was built off of the original wing just after World War II. This new annex included a retro basement bowling alley and a first floor ballroom featuring a 30 foot long bar and full catering kitchen.

While the neighborhood and its original ethnic population have changed dramatically since The Nash was originally constructed, the building and the organization that drives it  have been steadfast in their purpose of playing home to various social events.

Enjoy a brief introduction to The Nash in our photo feature below, then join us at Local Union on February 25 for a closer look at this faceted gem. 

Photos by Dave Koen


THE PINK BALLROOM

Original to the initial building plans, The Pink Ballroom is a space after our own heart. It's pink, for God's sake. How can you not love a 98-year-old pink ballroom?

A perfect blend of posh and kitsch, this wing of The Nash features a stage flanked in molded-plaster ornamentation, and murals of the Slovenian and United States' flags from back when the US of A still only had 48 states (see ya soon, Alaska and Hawaii!). Everything from 100-person fish fries to a Hannibal Buress comedy show have happened in this space, so trust us when we say that it's flexible. You'll find our photographers, event planners, DJs, and floral workshop in this dreamland during Local Union.


THE DINING HALL + BALLROOM

This room is huge.

The dimensions of the Dining Hall + Ballroom total close to 3,000 square feet, but the largest part of what makes the space feel so grand is the sheer height of the ceilings: They're easily 25 feet tall... so you know we're gonna bring it when it comes to decor. Party planners, this room is the perfect project  for Y-O-U!

This wing of the building is the latest addition, tacked on just after World War II. Hardwood floors span the wide open space, making it the ideal room for dancing. Plenty of polka happened in here. There's even a second stage at the front. Slovenes party hard! Evidence: the 30-foot-long [cake] bar.


THE RETRO ALLEYS

There's something about basement alleys that conjures up our happy place. It's hard to be preoccupied by day-to-day worries as Day-Glo bowling balls fly down the lanes past your cozy alley-side seating. Take a load off during Local Union with complimentary all-day bowling(free shoe rental included)! Shoe rental at commercial lanes costs more than the Local Union event ticket itself!


THE LOUNGE

How do you top-off the perfect day of planning and partying? Two words: dive bar. Thankfully, The Nash has one! The Downstairs Lounge houses the perfectly cozy den where you'll find a jukebox full of classic rock and oohm-pah-pah polka. Strange? Maybe. Fun? Definitely. 

Pull up a stool and take a seat at the bar during our Local Union panel programming, or stop between 12pm and 2pm (21+, while supplies last) for a free beer tasting provided by Platform Beer Co.