Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Lively Up Your Belly 

More than a decade after the Parkview threw its first Reggae Brunch, Bob Marley fans now line up outside the door for the annual tribute to the late music legend. "It's grown like a flash fire," says Norm Plonski, the bar's owner. "Winter's outside, and we're inside enjoying reggae music."

The Marley minifest usually takes place on the Sunday closest to the Rastafarian renegade's February 6 birthday. Plonski postponed it a week this year to avoid the crush of Super Bowl parties. The bash starts with a midday choice of 10 menu items — from eggs Benedict and French toast to buttermilk pancakes and cheese-and-tomato omelets. Once brunch ends at 2 p.m., the kitchen stays open to serve jerk chicken with peas and rice, while Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band plug in for a six-and-a-half-hour marathon of reggae music. "The first year they came in, I thought, Oh, my God, they'll blow your ears off with all those amps," says Plonski. "But they're not young kids blasting your ears off."

Instead, it's the standing-room-only crowd that cranks up the decibels — with boisterous sing-alongs, bouncy dance steps, and frequent toasts to Marley (who died of cancer in 1981; he would have turned 61 this year). "I remember when these young kids came in. They're drinking, and I go, Who's driving you home? They said, 'Our moms are coming to get us,'" recalls Plonski. "Well, the moms came early, and the dads had to come get the moms and the kids."

Plonski compares the Marley tribute to Christmas; everyone looks forward to it all year long. Besides, throwing the party in the dead of winter adds to its Caribbean charm. "It's Jamaica, man, and everybody's drinking Red Stripe and forgetting what it's like outside," he says. "It's a good way to take a few hours' vacation from our shitty weather."
Sun., Feb. 12, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of Highlights

More by Cris Glaser

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation