National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum
605 East 222nd Street Euclid, OH 44123
Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA
John Zalar's life's work centered around making, repairing, and playing accordions.
John learned the trade working in Nick Skorka's shop to pay for the button box and
lessons he obtained there. After his apprenticeship, John opened his own shop in
1935 before moving to East 52nd and Superior, the home of Zalar's Accordion City
for over forty years. Plying his musical skills, John played piano and accordion
as a studio musician for WJAY in Cleveland and teamed with Chuck Tuttle as the Sharpshooters
duet. John's Custom Craft Accordions were renowned for their craftsmanship and sound,
and his glowing reputation gained the trust of customers from across the nation including
many prominent Cleveland-style musicians. John's slogan said it all-- "Dollar for
dollar, you can't beat Zalar.