PHOTO: Bozo Skoko
September the 4th, 2023 – A name like Zlatko Dalic won’t only be gracing the sporting world from now on, with the Croatian gastronomic scene now richer for a new restaurant in Varazdin under his name – The Family.
As Vecernji list/Zeljko Jankovic writes, Zlatko Dalic said that this idea had been “brewing inside him for some time” and that he had wanted to do something different. “Well, I keep on being given gifts, t-shirts, football jerseys, awards and so on, and I was honestly looking for a way to put all of it in one place. In that sense, I’d like to thank everyone who helped me come up with an idea to bring all of that together! Everyone who comes to Varazdin from now on will be able to come and see all of this for themselves. There’s nothing like this anywhere else in all of Croatia.”
Meet The Family, Zlatko Dalic’s new Varazdin restaurant
How many memories can be in one place? That number is insurmountable, and it can be seen in Zlatko Dalic’s latest investment. He rightfully proudly recently walked around his newly opened restaurant in Varazdin – The Family – on its official opening night. This new facility spans about 600 square metres and boasts around 150 seats, but it’s much, much more than your ordinary run of the mill restaurant in continental Croatia serving beans, sausages and an array of homemade rakija (not that there’s anything remotely wrong with any of that, of course!).
Zlatko Dalic’s restaurant is a kind of museum dedicated to the Croatian national team, which will more than likely not need to make any effort at all when it comes to attracting guests. From the national team’s humble beginnings to the new era in which it has been respected worldwide. Naturally, The Family features a particularly prominent “Dalic era”, and with good reason. Nowhere else in the country will you see so many Croatian jerseys from matches into the fibres of which the history of the national team has been woven in one place. A special wall is dedicated to the captains of the national team, then to the goalkeepers and then carefully selected jerseys from every competition in which Croatia has played.
Medals from two World Cups and the finals of the League of Nations occupy a special place on that wall. It was very important to Zlatko Dalic that those three medals should be in a visible place, on the right, immediately upon entering the space at Ulica Brace Radica 1 in Varazdin. For the first time ever, Dalic revealed to the public some of his important memories, such as the books dedicated to him donated by football fans or various associations. There are also those which bear religious content, and there are many stories about the journey of the brave Croatian military unit The Tigers (Tigrovi), books about his hometown of Livno, and so on.
Descending down the stairs, you’ll see an altar dominated by a statue of the Virgin Mary, and around it are dozens of rosaries and religious icons and symbols. All of these are gifts that Zlatko Dalic received during his representative journey in Croatian football over recent years.
In the facility, which extends over three floors, visitors will be able to see a truly large part of the history of the Croatian national football team, with enlarged photographs of the most recognisable celebrations and receptions of our football players. Dalic singled out several messages he sent in moments of his greatest sporting joy. They talk about humility, faith, love, God, the Croatian people, and the brave defenders who gave life and limb to create an independent Croatia against Greater Serbian onslaught.
This project, which was completed in just a few months, has given Varazdin a special value because everyone who comes to that city will want to see the global sporting story made by Zlatko Dalic, all of which has been displayed in one place. The Dalic family has clearly paid attention to every smallest of details, not only in the stylistic and technical solutions in the building, but also in the gastronomic offer, which is dominated exclusively by Croatian products. In a carefully designed concept that even the world’s most prestigious destinations would be boasting about, you have the opportunity to buy authentic Croatian food products as well as Croatian national team items.
Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic give it the thumbs up
What’s more, you really can’t miss the restaurant, it’s in the very centre of Varazdin, and in front of it is an old golf unit that Dalic also bought at a humanitarian auction two years ago. It’s entirely painted in Croatian colours, and it bears the signatures of Croatia’s idolised national team members. When Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic also both walked into this special space dedicated to Croatia and the national team which has achieved so much in a relatively short space of time since Croatian independence, time appeared to stand still.