Area Businesses Score RAM Awards

OCEAN CITY — The Restaurant Association of Maryland held its 58th Annual McCormick and Company Stars of the Industry Awards gala on Monday, recognizing the top restaurants and bars across the state in several categories, and once again the Ocean City area was well represented among the winners.

De Lazy Lizard was recognized as the Favorite New Restaurant in the state, while Shenanigans was honored as the Favorite Bar or Tavern in Maryland. Bill and Julianne Gibbs, owners of the Dough Roller restaurants, were also honored with the Brice and Shirley Phillips Lifetime Industry Achievement Award.

For de Lazy Lizard co-owner Wayne Odachowski, winning the Favorite New Restaurant Award served as an affirmation of what the establishment has set out to accomplish.

“We are very excited to have been nominated and very much appreciate the endorsements and votes from our loyal patrons that earned us the award,” he said. “Launching a new business, especially a restaurant, can be a challenge. Our goal was to build an attractive, beach-oriented venue, hire professional, friendly staff and to serve quality, affordable food and drinks. We felt that we have been successful in achieving those goals and the support of our patrons in voting for de Lazy Lizard as Maryland’s favorite new restaurant confirms that we are delivering on those goals.”

Shenanigans owner Greg Shockley said this week earning the recognition of his peers and is loyal guests made winning the Favorite Bar or Tavern Award more special.

“It’s great to be recognized with this award,” he said. “There are a couple of neat things about this. First of all, I own Shenanigans, but this award is really a reflection on my staff, the people that represent us day in and day out. The other neat thing is, our customers took the time to go on-line and vote for us on the ballot. It would be one thing if we handed out ballots, but they really took the time to go to bat for us.”

For the Gibbs to win the Brice and Shirley Phillips Lifetime Industry Achievement Award was particularly poignant because of the family’s decades-long connection to the Phillips family.

“This is very special to me, and I think very special to the award, because nobody who ever got it before, or will get it later, ever had a closer connection to them as I did,” Gibbs said. “I grew up with them. I used to hang around with the Phillips boys when we were kids. They lived over the original restaurant and I would hang out with the boys in their kitchen. My dad and I were some of their first customers way back in 1954 when they had that little carryout. I’ll never forget sitting on those steps and waiting for our order.”