Restaurant Association’s Cornerstone winners announced


The Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) will host the 21st Annual Restaurant Industry Cornerstone Awards on Monday, October 23 at the Lighthouse Cove Events Center in Dewey Beach.

Nicola Pizza and the Caggiano Family will receive the Cornerstone Award for their contributions to the industry for over 52 years of business, while partners Sean Corea, Tom Little, and Tim Bartley will be awarded Restaurateurs of the Year, representing a newcomer to the Delaware dining scene, Lewes Oyster House.

Industry Impact Awards will be presented to two honorees – The Food Bank of Delaware and a trio of Delaware food writers – Pam George, Patty Talorico and Bob Yesbek for their contributions and impact on Delaware’s restaurant industry.

Attendance for the event has increased each year. Last year, more than 500 attended the celebration. This year’s after-party will be held immediately after the event at the newly opened Starboard Claw in Dewey Beach.

The event will be spotlighting the 2023 Cornerstone Award winners, including video tributes in each category, with remarks from honorees.


Restaurateurs of the Year are honored for bringing attention to Delaware’s restaurant scene with their contributions to both the dining scene and their commitment to workplace culture.

Industry Impact Awards are given to those who have dedicated themselves to making a difference in the industry and the lives of its workforce and are highly respected amongst their peers and colleagues.

We are extremely excited and proud to celebrate these iconic restaurateurs and celebrated newcomers at this year’s Cornerstone Awards” said Delaware Restaurant Association CEO Carrie Leishman. “Their stories represent the resiliency, passion and of our industry and they embody a strong dedication and commitment to making this industry a better place. Each of our awardees will undoubtedly leave a long lasting legacy in the lives and the communities in which they serve.”


This year’s Cornerstone Awards are supported by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Assured Partners, Dogfish Head, Comcast Business, iHeart Media, DBS, US Foods, Ecolab, Sysco, Diamond State Meats, Payroll Management Assistance, Toast, Grotto Pizza, The Starboard and Orkin.