Area Restaurants, Individuals Nominated For Awards

Area Restaurants, Individuals Nominated For Awards
Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — The Restaurant Association of Maryland (RAM) this week announced the nominees for its annual spring awards gala in Ocean City and once again the resort area is well represented with nominees in several categories.

Ocean City’s restaurant and hospitality community has brought home more than its fair share of the annual RAM awards in recent years and will have ample opportunity to add to the growing list again this year. The resort area has nominees in a few statewide categories as usual. In addition, because the annual RAM Stars of the Industry gala will be held in Ocean City for the first time ever this year at the Clarion Fountainebleu Resort in May, several categories unique to Ocean City have been added this year.

In Maryland’s Favorite Restaurant category, the Sunset Grille in West Ocean City is among the five nominees announced this week. Joining Sunset Grille on the list of nominees for Maryland’s Favorite Restaurant are the Lewnes’ Steak House in Annapolis, the Prime Rib in Baltimore, the Stanford Grill in Columbia and the Woodmont Grill in Bethesda.

In the RAM Restaurateur of the Year category, Ocean City’s Jay Taustin of the Embers and the Blu Crab House and Raw Bar has been nominated. Joining Taustin on the list are Kyle Algaze of the Iron Rooster, Bob Giaimo of the Silver Diner, Mike Isabella of Mike Isabella Concepts and Charles Levine of Citron.

Susan Jones, executive director of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, has been named as this year’s recipient of the Brice and Shirley Phillips Lifetime Industry Achievement Award. In addition, several resort businesses are set to go into the Maryland Hospitality Hall of Honor at the gala in Ocean City in May. Entering the Hospitality Hall of Honor this spring will be the Harrison Group, Watermen’s Seafood, the Clarion Fountainebleu Resort Hotel, DaVinci’s by the Sea and Macky’s Bayside Bar and Grill.

Again, because the RAM Stars of the Industry Gala will be held in Ocean City for the first time ever in May, several new categories specific to the resort have been added to the annual list of nominees. For example, among the nominees for Ocean City’s Favorite Boardwalk Treat are Dumser’s Dairyland, Fisher’s Popcorn, Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard, Thrasher’s French Fries and The Wrapper.

Among the nominees in the new Ocean City’s Favorite New Restaurant category are Braddah Barney’s, Dry Dock 28, Northside Pit and Pub, Rare and Rye and Shotti’s Point.

Among the nominees in the Ocean City’s Favorite Crab House category are the Blu Crab House and Raw Bar, the Crab Alley Restaurant and Seafood Market, the Crab Bag, Hooper’s Crab House and Phillips Crab House.

Voting is now open and will remain open through 11:45 p.m. on March 28. The dining public can vote for their favorites on the RAM website at or on the RAM Facebook page. Winners will be awarded at the 64th annual Stars of the Industry Awards Gala-A Shore Thing on Sunday May 6 at the Clarion in Ocean City.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.