Patrick Nguyen is the general manager of Ojai Burger, a Japanese-inspired burger joint specializing in tasty Wagyu burgers and fried chicken sandwiches. The fast-casual restaurant opened in Old Towne Orange this summer. Learn about Patrick Nguyen…
Hometown: Yokohama, Japan
First job: Aside from the typical “mowing my neighbor’s lawns” when I was younger, I was a server at a Thai restaurant when I turned 16.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: Playing disc golf with my buddies while enjoying beers from a local craft brewery.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Honestly, getting this job. I knew very early on that I wanted to be in the restaurant/hospitality industry and finally being able to say that I’m a GM of a new concept is pretty dope.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: My mom’s death. I guess it’s not something that anyone overcomes 100 percent but being able to work through that and all of the stuff that follows has been my biggest challenge. It’s been 12 years since, but I think I’m doing pretty alright. If I can work through that, I can work through anything else.
Someone who inspires you and why: My dad. We don’t see eye to eye on almost anything, but he’s overcome a lot of things and he’s the definition of hard work. He’s a Vietnam War refugee/immigrant that didn’t know any English when he first came here but he found a way. He’s a Navy veteran that served this country for almost 20 years, fought in a couple wars and continues to grind it out in civilian life every day. If that doesn’t inspire you to work harder to be the best version of yourself, I don’t know what does.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Don’t “fake it ’til you make it” because it only gets you so far. If you’re truly trying to succeed, immerse yourself into whatever you’re doing.
Favorite quote: “’You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.’- Wayne Gretzty” –Michael Scott
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am THAT GUY that starts mosh pits at rock and EDM shows, but will also be the first person to help others up when they fall.
What makes someone fabulous: Being kind to others.