OCEAN CITY — Ocean City’s hospitality industry was once again well represented in the Restaurant Association of Maryland’s (RAM) 57th Annual “Stars of the Industry” awards with several local businesses bringing home many of the top honors at the annual gala.
RAM hosted its 57th McCormick and Company “Stars of the Industry” gala this week in Baltimore, recognizing the top establishments around the state in several major categories. Once again, the resort area’s business community was well represented on the ballots in the various categories and brought home more than their share of hardware.
B.J.’s on the Water proprietor Billy Carder was recognized as Restaurateur of the Year for his decades of service to the community at the popular 75th Street restaurant. Sunset Grille in West Ocean City was named Maryland’s Favorite Restaurant for 2011, while Fish Tales was named Favorite Bar or Tavern for 2011.
In addition, the Greene Turtle, which was founded in Ocean City and has since spawned a growing franchise chain throughout the mid-Atlantic, was honored with the McCormick Cornerstone Award, as was Galaxy 66 Bar and Grille. The McCormick Cornerstone Award recognizes establishments for their philanthropic activities in their communities. In addition, the Greene Turtle was inducted into the Maryland Hall of Honor.
Fish Tales owner Shawn Harmon said this week he was surprised with the Favorite Bar or Tavern Award considering the impressive field of nominees from around the state.
“We were deeply honored just to be nominated, so we were going up there with the feeling that we couldn’t lose regardless of the outcome,” he said. “When they called our name, I think we were all a little surprised. There were some impressive places in the field of nominees, and to be recognized as the best is just an extremely nice honor.”
Steve Pappas, who started the original Greene Turtle with partner Tommy Dickerson, said this week receiving the McCormick Cornerstone Award and the Hall of Honor induction were great honors because they represented recognition from their peers in the industry.
“We were deeply honored just to be nominated,” he said. “We decided a long time ago how important it was to give back to the community and create jobs and that’s something we have never lost sight of. We have always tried to give back to the community in so many ways and we’re proud to have been recognized for that.”