From the day that restaurateur Jim Fiala hired Thu Rein Oo as a dishwasher at The Crossing, he knew the young refugee was going to be something special.
Oo, who was born in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and fled during the internal conflict, spent two years in a refugee camp in Malaysia, where he tended a garden. In 2007, he moved to the U.S. to live with his uncle in Indianapolis. Several years later, he moved to St. Louis, where another refugee from Myanmar, a friend who was working at The Crossing, suggested Oo apply for a dishwasher opening.
After watching him work that first day, Fiala and a longtime busboy looked at each other and said, “He’s going to be good.”