Family brings a varied menu, and hope, to Seabreeze
If walls could talk, what stories they’d tell.
The walls do talk at the Red Bud Café, recently opened at 317 Seabreeze Blvd. on the Daytona Beach beachside. Photos, poetry and artwork tell the story of the Andjelic family, originally from what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, who have traveled the world and now bring a variety of tastes to this cozy restaurant.
“People will be able to enjoy a French crêpe, an Australian coffee, an American bowl of chili, and so much more, under one roof,” said Gordana Andjelic-Davila, co-founder. Their travels also included Italy, Spain and Central America.
The décor is a family affair. A passage from “Alice in Wonderland” is handwritten across the counter at the window, an idea from Andjelic-Davila’s daughters. There’s hand-painted furniture and an old steamer chest.
“Everything little bit has our fingerprints,” Andjelic-Davila said.
The family sees great promise in Seabreeze Boulevard, a historic beachside street, often included in discussions about beachside revitalization.
“The area is up and coming,” Gordana Andjelic-Davila said. “I could see the whole area being like the Winwood neighborhood in Miami where there are espresso bars.”
Winwood is artsy, with murals, she said.
People have told her business will be best during special events, but she wants to appeal to locals for year-round business.
“I want this to be a place where people chill out, relax on a coffee break or have a meal,” she said.
THE SEABREEZE POTENTIAL
Enjoying lunch recently at the Red Bud Café were beachside residents Gina Bruno and Darren Nash.
“It’s great that we can walk here from home,” Nash said.
Nash said he remembers Seabreeze in the 1960s, when it was a popular shopping area for clothing. It’s now busy with small eateries and businesses such as jewelry stores, real estate and law offices, and the most dominant feature, several nightclubs.
Bruno and Nash are glad to see the restaurant and hope the area continues to improve.
“I think the crowd will trickle down here,” Bruno said, referring to the new hotels on State Road A1A.
The brother of Andjelic-Davila, Drago Andjelic, bought the property back in 2010, but the economy was too bad to start a business.
“I saw the potential,” he said.
Seabreeze Boulevard reminded him of a neighborhood in San Diego, where there were nightclubs and cafes, he said.
Having lunch on the outdoor patio in back was Beth King, a lawyer who works down the street at Rice Law Firm.
“I was thrilled to discover it,” she said. “I love the atmosphere. Delightful food and delightful people. It’s a lovely addition to the neighborhood.”
A FAMILY TOGETHER AGAIN
Originally from Yugoslavia, the family left in 1969, as the area was becoming socialist, and traveled to Italy, where they were introduced to cafes, Andjelic-Davila said.
Cooking was a big part of family life. Her dad is an Eastern Orthodox priest, and her mother would cook for church gatherins ranging from 12 to as many as 600.
“I love the atmosphere. Delightful food and delightful people.”
BETH KING, customer at Red Bud Cafe
Andjelic-Davila was her mother’s apprentice at the age of four and became an accomplished cook.
From Italy, they moved to the U.S. in 1977, because a doctor had suggested that her father find a dryer climate, and they ended up in California. Andjelic-Davila married a man originally from Colombia, and they moved to Australia for his job. During college, she had travelled on summer breaks to various European countries.
He brother, Drago, learned the coffee culture while living in northern California, and also is an accomplished baker. He later moved to Florida.
The family has brought all they’ve learned to Seabreeze Boulevard, and they are happily back together again after being far apart for long lengths of time.
“This is great,” said the mother, Jovana Andjelic, who moved from California with her husband. “I was waiting for the time we could all be together,” she said. “I wanted to see my granddaughters grow up.”
Visitors can visit the Red Bud Café 10-6 p.m., Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; and 10-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday. On Facebook, find them at Red Bud Café Daytona. Call 310-8512.
“The area is up and coming,”
GORDANA ANDJELIC-DAVILA, on Seabreeze Boulevard