People were drawn to Harmony Bar owner Brad Czachor for his loyalty, his big heart and his laughter, said Brennan Nardi, his wife of 22 years.
“He was quick-witted, charming and fun,” she said of Czachor, who died Monday at 51. “He was the extrovert to my introvert.”
Nardi said Czachor died after a longtime illness.
Czachor, a former bartender at Harmony who had been general manager of the Great Dane at Hilldale, bought the Atwood Avenue tavern in September 2013.
For the previous 23 years, Harmony had been run by its founder, Keith Daniels, and is known for excellent bar food and live music.
Nardi, who worked at Madison Magazine starting in 2000 and was its editor from 2005 to 2015, vows to keep the Harmony going.
“Absolutely. No question. Yes. Brad and I are a team, and have always been a team. And I’ll be there. That’s what Brad would have wanted, and that’s what I’m going to do,” she said.
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Nardi met Czachor while he was working at the former Pub on State Street. “I used to go in with my girlfriend and play pool, and he asked me out and that was that.”
The couple’s daughter, Chloe, 18, is a freshman at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.
Czachor worked hard at the East Side tavern, which is two blocks from the family’s home, making sure bills were paid, employees taken care of, and customers made to feel welcome, his wife said.
A food vendor told Nardi on Thursday that every time he’d show up, Czachor would hand him a check. Czachor was the only business owner to pay before the bill was due, the vendor said.
“Just be nice to people,” Nardi said of her husband’s nature. “That’s what this is all about.”
Funeral services will be held Saturday at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 2450 Atwood Ave. The family will receive friends beginning at 9:30 a.m., with Mass at 11 a.m. All are invited to gather at the Harmony after the service.