A Night To Remember For Ocean City Despite No Wins
OCEAN CITY - The local restaurant community was well represented at this week's Restaurant Association of Maryland (RAM) 'Stars of the Industry' Annual Industry Gala.
Although places like the Marlin Moon Grille, Seacrets, the Greene Turtle and Liquid Assets did not come away with a win in the categories they were nominated, the businesses agreed being nominated was an honor in itself and that it shows a lot about the businesses in Ocean City.
However, Ocean City did manage a couple of wins in a sense as La Hacienda owner Bill Herbst was inducted into the RAM's Hall of Honor and Phillips Crab House owners Brice and Shirley Phillips were honored with the Lifetime Industry Achievement Award.
Herbst, who has been running La Hacienda for almost 28 years, said it was a great feeling to be honored by his fellow restaurateurs from throughout the state.
'It's more about honoring my service to the community and to the restaurant industry than it is about me and my restaurant,' he said. 'It wasn't a goal to achieve this anymore than it was to run a successful business and live a happy life.'
Gary Beach, owner of Marlin Moon Grille, said the event was quite impressive. With hundreds of people in attendance and food from all kinds of establishments being served, Beach along with family and staff did not return home until 4 a.m., he added with a chuckle.
'I think Ocean City had a great night,' Beach said. 'We had us, the Greene Turtle, Seacrets, LaHa, Phillips and all these other businesses that got their start in Ocean City.'
According to Beach, the most memorable part of the night was being able to sit across from his old lacrosse coach who is the owner of Atrium 1844, one of the establishments up for 'Favorite Restaurant' along with the Marlin Moon Grille.
Seacrets owner Leighton Moore echoed Beach's thoughts on the event.
'Everything was absolutely amazing. Next year I'm going to get there before it opens, the hors d'oeuvres were that good,' he said. 'Everything was just off the hook.'
Moore said his favorite moments of the night were getting to see Herbst being inducted into the Hall of Honor and the Phillips being honored with the Lifetime Industry Achievement award.
'I'm definitely looking forward to coming back next year,' he said. 'Especially if they think I'm worthy of another nomination, I'll be back every year.'