Fire Causes Temporary Closure of Popular Italian Restaurant

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Mar 032020

The Olive Garden Restaurant on the Boston Post Road, Orange, will be closed for a while following a fire Tuesday evening (March 3).

The interior reportedly sustained some damage, and it will take some time to clean up before being approved to re-open.

From initial reports, no one was injured, and the cause may have been electrical in nature.

From Line Cook To General Manager, James Colon Is Living The Dream In Orange

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Aug 312016

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 4.53.01 PMOver the past 13 years since James Colon, 35, started as a line cook at Olive Garden, he has used his restaurant industry knowledge and leadership skills to advance his career with the company.

Recently, he was promoted to general manager of the Orange location – leading more than 80 team members.

This easy going father of 5-year-old twin daughters, says he loves his job. He began working at the restaurant part-time as a line cook to help pay for his schooling, then he started working full-time in 2004.

As he grew with the company, he took the challenge of conquering every position with the exception of bartending.

James also worked in all areas of management between the West Hartford, Warwick, and Waterford locations. His focus on instilling pride and confidence in his entire culinary team has been very influential in his success with Olive Garden.

As he got older, James wanted to do more with the company.  He met his wife, a manager for Longhorn Steakhouse, when both were working as certified restaurant trainers.

During expansions, he was a trainer at the Watertown, NY, Philadelphia, PA, and Worcester, MA restaurants.

His plans for the future keep evolving. Since Restaurants are a competitive market, he plans on changing to keep up with the industry demands.

He has worked with much of his staff in different capacities throughout his career. He’s known his Assistant Kitchen Manager and others since he became an Olive Garden employee.

James said he has a great staff and the people who work for him do everything well.

“Everyone here is family,” he said. “Hard work gets you everywhere and it’s important to do what you like.”

He said the Olive Garden is one restaurant that retains its staff. As General Manager, he strives to help others realize there is more that they can do with company, and hard work is what will help them make their goals.

“It’s a nice place to work with lots of advancement opportunities,” he said. “The company will help pay for your school career, and that helped me a lot.”

“This is a great restaurant and atmosphere. We’re tying to keep up with the times by being a good community partner,” he said. “We have tablets on the tables so customers can play games. We donate a lot of food to food banks and have a community partnership with the local High Schools. We host spirit night and have the students as guests.”

Olive Garden also offers its Pasta for Pennies donation program to schools. Instead of a pizza party they can have a pasta party there.

Bottom line, James loves his job and everything he does is for his family.

He climbed the ladder from line cook to General Manager. So what’s next for James Colon? He hopes to someday be the Vice President of the company… It could happen.