In 1959, the Zechner family – Ann, Jack, and daughter Janie – immigrated to America from Holland. They decided to call the coast of California home immediately, as Ann's brother and family already resided in the area.
They did many odd jobs to make ends meet and received help from the local church. In 1962, Ann Zechner opened up a very small fresh fish market across the street from where you are sitting today. That little market cost them $500. Ann had managed to scrape together $200 of her own money and got a $300 loan to cover the difference. The funny thing was Ann knew nothing about owning her own business or even about fish! She enlisted the help of a few dear friends and learned a great deal about fish from her mostly Portuguese clientele.
In only one year, her small business was booming from the opening of several trailer parks and the boost of tourism in Pismo Beach.
In the mean time, Jack Zechner was painting houses and helping at the fish market in the evenings. Jack found a wallet on the street, near the fish market, with about $900 in it. He quickly called its owner without hesitation. The owner of the wallet thanked Jack and offered a hefty reward. Jack declined the reward. The man said he worked for a bank and gave him his card if Jack ever needed any help.
When Ann had the opportunity to open a restaurant, they needed capital to do so. They tried many different avenues, yet were denied everywhere. Jack then called the man with the wallet who had offered his assistance several months earlier. He just happened to be the bank's president! They received the loan from him, though they did not qualify, the president said he could not turn down such an honest man.
So, in February 1963, Pismo Fish & Chips & Seafood Restaurant was established. The business flourished for 23 years under the control of the Zechner family. Ann's brother, Cor Visser, painted the beautiful mural of Holland on the wall. You can view much more of his artwork at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. The Zechners were very hard workers and involved their daughter in the business as well. She managed the restaurant and waited tables. Their granddaughter bussed and waited tables as well. The Zechners remodeled several times adding more tables to accommodate the growing business.
To prepare for retirement Jannie and Phil Graham their daughter and son-in-law came aboard to learn the business. They purchase the business in 1988 and ran it for 26 great years. In 2014 Jannie and Phil Graham decided to retire and sell their business to a young couple. Since acquiring the business in 2014 the young couple maintained the same recipes and have kept everything the same. They even make the same great chowder from scratch each day.