Why FX's 'The Bear' resonates with staff at beloved local restaurant Rolo's

ByDana Langer and Eduardo Sanchez Localish logo
Wednesday, July 3, 2024
Rolo's staff reflects on FX's 'The Bear'
Welcome to Rolo's, the restaurant beloved by one of the stars from the cast of FX's "The Bear."

NEW YORK -- Speaking about the hit show, Rolo's Head Chef and Co-owner Rafiq Salim said, "The Bear is the best depiction of a restaurant kitchen that I've seen so far."

Rolo's is a wood-fired bar and grill known for inventive takes on beloved classics like a two-sheet lasagna verde and double cheeseburger served with a whole pickled pepper, both of which are fan favorites.

Salim says their goal is to specialize in food that is "hot, well-seasoned, and hopefully, on time," an experience not unlike the one protagonist Chef Carmy Berzatto, played by Jeremy Allen White, seeks to deliver at his own restaurant on the show.

White's passionate portrayal of the equally lauded and troubled chef has resonated with viewers of all backgrounds; restaurant staffers, like the team at Rolo's, are no exception.

"It's also something me and my friends who all are industry have really bonded over, and we get to watch it together and have these in-depth conversations about emotional well-being," said Caroline Johnson, a line cook at Rolo's.

"Personally, I've always identified with Marcus," added Justin Morris, a grill cook at Rolo's. "To watch him go from where he's been to where he is now has kind of paralleled with mine. It's a good feeling to watch him taking steps forward and watching myself do so as well."

As for the show's impact, Johnson hopes it will encourage viewers to walk away with more empathy and kindness for the folks who work in all aspects of the restaurant industry.

"I hope people take away to really be kind to restaurant industry people and really be respectful of what we're trying to do, and see how much we put into this. It's not just physical work and hours, but it's emotional labor. And we do it because we love it, and we're passionate about it."

All episodes of FX's 'The Bear' season 3 are now streaming on Hulu.

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