Here’s a heartwarming story just in time for the holidays. It seems that new Long Beach restaurant 4th and Olive, which just came online around Thanksgiving, has quietly been building up a staff loaded with disabled former military veterans — and it’s already paying off.
Owner Daniel Tapia is a former Navy man himself as well as a high-functioning quadriplegic, says Fox LA, which has made him particularly sensitive to the employment plight of many veterans who return home from service. Tapia says that he himself was discriminated against because of his disability for years, ultimately being let go from his position as sommelier at a Southern California restaurant nearly two years ago. Short on alternative employment opportunities, Tapia decided to work to fund his own restaurant in Long Beach.
The result is 4th and Olive, a self-described Alsatian restaurant with everything from duck liver mousse to venison sausage on the menu, as well as wine, craft beer, and larger comfort food mains like steak frites and slow-cooked quail.
Co-owner Alex McGroarty, who doubles as the chef, tells Fox 11 that hiring so many veterans and folks with disabilities has not only been a success from a business standpoint, it’s helping to start a larger conversation about hiring practices for veterans across Southern California. Similarly, the popular Grilled Cheese Truck has long had a proposed business model to hire veterans to run their trucks as they expand. As for 4th and Olive, the restaurant seems to be doing rather well, and with a large concentration of veterans among Los Angeles and Orange County, it seems there’s no shortage of potential hires out there.