We found ourselves judging a cocktail competition in Long Beach over the weekend for Dine LBC. After many, many sips, we crowned a winner. His name is Dan Tapia, and he's also preparing to launch a restaurant concept in early 2016.
Simply named after his closest intersection, 4th and Olive will be a Franco-German wine and beer garden, serving Alsatian food. Think sausage, pretzels and kraut.
A veteran-owned and (soon-to-be) staffed operation, Tapia is a Navy veteran and recovering quadriplegic. His story is a compelling one.
A year and a half ago, I lost a job due to my use of a cane. I had otherwise had a very successful, though short lived, experience working as a sommelier at a prestigious restaurant. Unfortunately, the restaurant was unwilling to accommodate the cane without a significant invasion of my personal privacy, something I was unwilling to yield, so I was let go. I decided to start my own restaurant that day. I can't discriminate against myself, and I sure as hell can make sure that it doesn't happen to anyone else under my watch.
His GoFundMe account was created to help recruit and train veterans seeking employment, but lacking the restaurant experience. We look forward to seeing the final product, Dan.
4th and Olive will open at 743 E 4th St in Long Beach.