In what is one of the most antithetical turnarounds in the city’s food scene history, the space formerly occupied by the white-dining-cloth-and-crystalware 4th & Olive will soon become a Rock & Brews-meets-Hard Rock Cafe restaurant and pub.
Owner Kevin Rheault of Long Beach has passed by the building almost daily for five years—”I was a basketball coach at St. Anthony’s and my kids went there as well so it’s quite possible I saw it twice a day for a long while”—and has longed to become a more permanent part of it. Thanks to the departure of 4th & Olive, Rheault scored just that chance. Partnering with longtime friend John Gervas, the pair have signed a lease for the building at the northwest corner of Fourth Street and Olive Avenue and plan on creating a more relaxed vibe than its predecessor.
The joint will be called HESHER and they hope to have their doors rock open come February of next year.
“I’m a huge fan of the Hard Rock Cafe,” Rheault said. “I’m in the garment industry so I travel often and wherever I am—Amsterdam, Toronto—I have to find the nearest Hard Rock Cafe because you know the food is gonna be good. It’s something I want to re-create.”
Rheault is thinking Ozzy and Kurt Cobain portraits side-by-side with Post Malone and Amy Winehouse pictures, all paired with a straight-forward, sports bar-like menu created by Rheault himself.
“I’ve always wanted to be a rock star—talk to anyone I know—and I’m a really good home cook,” Rheault said. “I figured why not combine the two together, especially with the help of John. He owns a ton of restaurants, we grew up together and he understands the vibe I am aiming for… We’ll be putting out an open call for cooks later and I’m just going to hand them the menu I created and say, ‘Spruce it up and make it work.'”
Having grown up in Michigan, Rheault notes that he wants the neighborhood to have a “midwest hospitality” that makes HESHER a go-to spot for the community. Think The Hawk on Anaheim meets the much-missed Gorky’s Russian Cafe in Downtown Los Angeles: a lack of pretense, simple menu, and a lotta booze.
“We are trying to get our full liquor license as soon as we can,” Rheault said. “Until then, we will definitely have plenty of beer and, even more, food. After all, everyone at the V Room is gonna need somewhere to eat.”
HESHER will be located at 743 E. Fourth Street. The owners have started a Kickstarter to garner some opening operating funds out the gate; you can donate by clicking here.