The young Cvitanovich started out as a “restaurant brat” as most in the restaurant industry—washing dishes, cooking and bartending. Few other than he can say they started out shucking delicious, plump
Now 42 years later, “Tommy C” as he’s referred to by some of his peers, will serve as the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) chair, the top volunteer leadership position. Also, this year, Tommy will begin his term as a board member of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) representing Louisiana, alongside LRA Past Chair Dickie Brennan.
Settling inAlthough many Croatians settled in Southeast Louisiana since the early 19th century, the Cvitanovich family came to the area in a round about way. Drago and Klara met in New Orleans after separately fleeing war-torn Yugoslavia, now Croatia.
Klara’s father’s business was burned by the Germans during World War II, but that was only the beginning of her strife. The Communist secret police jailed her father, leaving her mother to raise her three daughters with no income. An aunt who lived in New York assisted the family by sending money and care packages.