From Croatia to San Francisco

From Croatia to San Francisco

From Croatia to San Francisco

Writings about residential real estate, San Francisco, and all things home, by Lisa Riddle, J. D. and Kindred SF Homes Associate

Have you heard of Prvic' Luka? It's a very small island on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. There are no cars and very few year round residents. It's where my grandfather Sime "Sam" Frlekin was born along with two of his childhood friends, both of whom started businesses in San Francisco that you've probably heard of: Original Joes and Zanze's Cheesecake.  

My grandfather grew up with Ante "Tony" Rodin, the founder of Original Joes and Ljubo Zanze, the inventor of the first iteration of the cheesecake recipe that his son Sime "Sam" Zanze adapted and turned into the famous cheesecake that we know and love today. In fact, Original Joes recently purchased Zanze's Cheesecake from Sam and they now make and sell his recipe in all of their locations.

All three men grew up poor and hungry-war and other adversities made life hard and they all left Croatia as young men to find better opportunities. Tony and Ljubo ended up in Northern California and my grandfather settled in Southern California. My dad remembers family trips up and down the coast so the guys could stay in touch and their growing families could get together. As he got older my grandfather still looked forward to his trips to San Francisco so he could see his childhood friends. I used to take him to the old Original Joes on Taylor Street (that location no longer exists) so he could have lunch with Tony and he would meet up with Ljubo further north of the city whenever he could. 

I've been to Prvic' Luka a couple of times and yes it's small but you will never get a bad meal there or experience a shortage of genuine hospitality. Consider yourselves lucky, San Franciscans, that these two talented Croatians choose to make the Bay Area home and get busy planning a trip to Croatia to see what other gems you can discover!

This hotel used to be the school house they all attended

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