Balaton to Close at Shaker Square in Late January, But Plans to Open in New Location


Heavenly veal crepe at Balaton. - SCENE ARCHIVES
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At the end of January, Balaton Hungarian restaurant will reach the end of yet another chapter in its 60-year story. That’s when owners Krisztina and George Ponti will shut down operations at Shaker Square. But as with previous closings, the plan is to continue in a new location.

“It’s an extremely emotional time for us,” says Krisztina. “It is not the end, but it is the end over here on Shaker Square.”

Ponti’s aunt Therezia Olah started Balaton in 1961 as a small takeout spot. A few years later she graduated to a larger full-service restaurant further up Buckeye Road. That restaurant thrived there from the mid-1960s until 1998, when the family once again followed the migration of their loyal customers and landed at Shaker Square. Now, says Ponti, they find themselves in a similar situation and they are in search of a new home.

“It has been tough the last couple of years because of Covid, but the location is also tough,” she explains. “A lot our clients, we wish we could be closer to. It’s not easy to get to Shaker Square, parking has been always a problem and the area changed.”

They hope to find a new location further east, she adds, but have yet to land on one.

“I’m still too young to not continue on,” Ponti says.

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