Bel Air Bartender, Manager Win Best In MD: Restaurant Association

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BEL AIR, MD — Two Bel Air restaurant workers have been honored by the Restaurant Association of Maryland at its 2022 gala. Each year, the trade organization honors restaurant industry leaders, nominating winners in categories ranging from best chef to best bartender.

Independent Brewing Company’s Shelby Stange was honored as Bartender of the Year and One Eleven Main’s Kristen Oktavec was named Manager of the Year.

They were among several winners honored with a gala on Sunday, March 27 at Maryland Live!

Strange “has an incredible work ethic” and has been described as “sweet”, helpful and “knowledgeable about brewing beer”, according to the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

Oktavec has been described as a “dream employee” who “encompasses everything you could hope for in a restaurant manager,” according to the Restaurant Association of Maryland. “She is selfless, puts customer experience on personal time, cares about her staff [and] fills at any time.”

Nearby, Amanda Wiley of Fallston Barrel House was named Waiter of the Year.

Other winners were Chef of the Year Gregory James of the Stars Restaurant/Inn at Perry Cabin; 2022 Restaurateurs of the Year Joe and Mary Barbera of AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar in Colombia; and 2022 Heart of the Industry award recipient Roxanne Upole, general manager of Roy Rogers in Cumberland.

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