Steve Zimmerman traces his ties to the restaurant industry – and to Hebrew Free Loan – all the way back to the World War II era. He recalls that when his father, Art Zimmerman, was eating his K-rations while on active duty in Europe, he would “dream of the day he would return home and once again eat a juicy hamburger.” Art returned to San Francisco and opened Zim’s Restaurant in 1949, with help from Hebrew Free Loan. Specializing in high-quality hamburgers, Zim’s grew to become San Francisco’s largest independent restaurant chain for a period of 45 years.

Steve worked his way from the ground up at Zim’s, starting as a dishwasher at age 15 and eventually becoming CEO. In addition to his history with the restaurant business, Steve is experienced in real estate and has been an active real estate investor for over 30 years. Steve was inspired to combine his backgrounds in restaurants and real estate and he launched Restaurant Realty Company in 1996, a commercial real estate brokerage company that specializes in sales, acquisitions, and leasing of restaurants, bars, clubs and related commercial buildings throughout California. Steve and his team have sold over 1,000 restaurants, bars, and clubs to date.

With gratitude to Hebrew Free Loan for helping his family build a life for themselves, Steve has given back as a longtime agency leader. He currently serves as Second Vice President and as Co-Chair of the Business Loan Committee, where he supports and advises aspiring entrepreneurs. Given his own entrepreneurial background and his lifelong connection to Hebrew Free Loan, Steve describes it as a natural progression to get involved in the Business Circle. A founding Business Circle member, Steve served on the host committee for the sold-out inaugural Business Circle Luncheon and is currently helping to develop initiatives such as a business mentorship program. We look forward to his continued leadership and engagement in the Business Circle and beyond.

The Hebrew Free Loan Business Circle brings together local business owners to gain visibility and build customer loyalty while investing in Hebrew Free Loan’s community programs. Member benefits are tailored to individual business needs. Interested in joining? Learn more here or contact Jamie Hyams, Development Director, at or (415) 546-9902 x106.