As a boy, Nadol Hishmeh played among the olive containers stored in a room within the warehouse his father owned.
Fuad Hishmeh was a wholesale distributor with a retail establishment in the same building as the warehouse where assorted foods were stockpiled. Eventually, Fuad converted the front retail space into the Middle Eastern Cuisine restaurant on Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park.
Eager to strike out on their own in the family restaurant business, Nadol and his brother Chris turned their attention to the unused olive room in the empty, quiet warehouse, home to fond childhood memories. They decided to convert it into the Olive Lounge, a welcoming, neighborhood hangout featuring local craft beers and American pub grub.
Love and family found Nadol who became a husband and father to a family of three sons. His family took root in Laurel where his wife Amanda Hishmeh was born and raised. And when restaurant space became available in the city, Nadol and his brother Chris opened Olive on Main.
“I live here and know about the community,” said Nadol. “I thought more places like this would bring people to Laurel.”
Mediterranean cuisine imbued Nadol with an appreciation for the significant contributions different people can have in developing a style of cooking and food preparation. The cuisine itself has been influenced over the centuries by the many countries along the Mediterranean Sea and their various cultures from Spain to Palestine to Turkey.
In that spirit, Olive on Main embraces the culinary tastes of its home in Laurel as well as Nadol’s Arabic roots. Its menu consists of trendy American foods with authentic Eastern Mediterranean dishes. Sweet potato tots and stuffed burgers—two 4-ounce patties that sandwich select vegetables, meats and cheeses—are served along with gyros, kifta kebobs and chicken shawarmas.
True to Nadol’s fun-loving spirit, Olive on Main offers a bar area where local beers on draft are rotated and nearby breweries, such as Jailbreak Brewing Company, participate in tap takeovers.
When asked about his secret to success at Olive on Main for these past four years, Nadol said, “We offer quality food at a fair price in a comfortable atmosphere.”
Olive on Main is not a cookie-cutter restaurant with a stale menu. How could it be when its freshly made foods remind patrons of their home or, for that matter, Nadol’s?
Olive on Main is located at 504 Main St. For more information, visit oliveonmainlaurel.com or call 240-280-8560.
Signature Lamb Dish – Gyro
This lamb gyro is made fresh daily and served with spinach salad.
Signature Fish Dish – Salmon
This filet is prepared with spices and served with spinach salad.
by Therese Umerlik | Editor