David Lukež was born on 19 November 1933. He spent his youth in the small but beautiful historical town of Pićan. He finished only elementary school because, at that time, the possibility of further education was rare. He found his first job at a mine. Apart from the hard work, he struggled with poverty.
It was a province with no opportunity for progress, so circumstances led him to find a better solution for his life. In the 1960s, the road led him to Novigrad, where tourism began to develop slowly at that time. There were 2 hotels with restaurants with terraces where you could make money working as the waiter. He took this chance, finished school and got a job. Living conditions improved during this time thanks to large numbers of tourists visiting the Adriatic.
The advantage of this time was the abundance of food and fish, but also low competition, which were positive factors for people employed in tourism. Nothing happened overnight, people gradually progressed.
David Lukež, the hero of our story, settled down with his family in Buje, where he got an apartment. People were relaxed and cheerful at the time. It was an era of famous socialism, and the was no one unemployed.
Part of that story was David, who made money and was one of the few at that time who could afford a car. Despite a secure job and a good salary, he still wanted something more and one day in 1974 he became self-employed. He wanted to accomplish something more and better. In fact, he learned that one man was retiring and renting his tavern.
That tavern was located in Kaštel, small place near Buje. One must know that at the time there weren’t asphalt roads, only white and dusty roads. His move then was very courageous, as one could not imagine how the business is going to work out. In order to comfort him, the landlord told him that he would sell plenty of fish in just 2 folk festivals.
Things went in a completely different direction because David, as the new owner, had only a healthy and quality vision of his business.
His concept was to serve good, old Istrian specialities along with the famous dishes of the time. His business was above all expectations. We mentioned earlier that the people well-off and could afford to eat in restaurants. Are neighbours, Slovenes were wealthy, and Triest was expanding economically. That all came out very favourably for David’s business. The circumstances, his goodwill and his culinary skills matched very well. There wasn’t a day when the tavern was not crowded with people.
It must be said that David literally worked from dust till dawn, without a day off, which required great will and strength. He was able to purchase high-quality goods, and the tavern became famous for its truffle dishes. The request for these specialities was really high. This strong working pace lasted literally 4 years, which means 4 years without a day off, 4 years without a vacation. The sacrifice was big, but the success was guaranteed. David became a widely known caterer. As an indigenous Istrian, he knew the Italian language very well, he liked to joke and the guests appreciated him. Concrete results came to the fore when he bought a nice plot to build a house, and shortly after that the construction began. He had nice savings and the family could live normally and well. Interestingly, he was never too relaxed in his job and did not hire others to do his job, but got stuck and worked alone. That rental story lasted 7 years. In the meantime, the house was built and David managed to buy another facility where he decided to make his own tavern. He had the fortune to find a good position for an affordable price. Thanks to his savings and favourable loan the project was completed in 1980 and the tavern, which was entirely owned by him, was in the operation. Positive trends were still present, so he continued working good in his new tavern. His serving style remained traditional, and David was already old and wasn’t prone to change.
David’s tradition continues today despite little changes, and it should be noted that the famous slogan “let’s go to eat truffles at Davids'” is still present today.