My mother’s family, first and foremost, is Finnish.
Though not recently emigrated (their moving timeline roughly corresponds with the rise of Bolshevism) and certainly not titled (our last name translates to “Andrews”) it’s the unique identifier that my grandparents, aunts, and uncles claim most proudly. Less than .2% of Americans are Finnish, and the fraction of Californian Finns is even smaller- odds are strong that I’m related to most, if not all, of them. If I’m not mistaken, my grandfather’s line was the only one in our family not to anglicize their last name. The few, the proud.
So naturally, when I passed this doorway on my way to meet my local cousin, I smiled so hard my face hurt.
Finn Town is set to open this fall, offering creative comfort food and cocktails. According to the press surrounding it, the Castro was the Scandinavian part of town around the same time our people came over. The name is a callback, but the menu appears to be distinctly American (and that’s almost verbatim how I’d describe myself and my cousin). I was obviously sold by the name, but I’m sure apps like “sweet tea brined fried chicken” would bring in anyone.
Strangely enough, within a few days of our rendezvous, both my cousin and I were offered jobs leaps and bounds better than our current ones. We joked that Finn Town is being made just for us, San Francisco finally recognizing the awesome power of American Finns, but now I’m beginning to wonder how seriously we ought to take it… 😉