Richard Gonzmart Honored As One Of Two (DiRoNA) 2018 Hall Of Fame Inductees


TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 18, 2018 – The Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Award – one of the most prestigious awards for fine dining – has announced Richard Gonzmart as one of its two 2018 Hall of Fame inductees, joining the ranks of the most celebrated restaurateurs. Gonzmart is a fourth-generation “caretaker” of the Columbia Restaurant Group.

In 1990, DiRoNA took over the annual awards program from Holiday Magazine, which started in 1946.

“Oh my, I have tears of joy,” Gonzmart said. “I wish my parents were alive. They held the Holiday Magazine award in such high esteem. I am sure they would be proud of what our company has achieved, the obstacles we have overcome, and where we are today. Also, such recognition is only possible by the entire team – all 1,400 of them – who work hard every day to be the best we can be in our industry.

The DiRoNA Hall of Fame was established in 1993 with the initial induction of 14 members. Since then, honorees have been selected and recognized annually. Nominees are solicited from the DiRoNA membership and chosen by the Executive Committee.

Candidates must have at least 25 years of service and have made significant contributions to the distinguished dining industry.

The ceremony takes place in Chicago in May.

Previous Hall of Fame inductees include:
  • Drew Nieporent (Nobu and Tribeca Grill)
  • Robert Mondavi
  • Maude Chasen (Chasen’s)
  • Tom Margiattai (The Four Seasons)
  • Ralph Brennan (Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group)
  • Alan Stillman (Smith and Wollensky Restaurant Group)
  • Richard Marriott
  • H. Jerome Berns (The 21 Club)
  • Ella Brennan (Commander’s Palace)


The full DiRoNA Hall of Fame list is at www.dirona.com/hall-of-fame.  

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The Columbia Restaurant in Tampa’s Historic Ybor City was founded in 1905 and is Florida’s oldest restaurantSM. Additional Columbia locations include St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, the Historic District in St. Augustine, Sand Key on Clearwater Beach, Central Florida's town of Celebration, Columbia Café on the Riverwalk in Tampa and Columbia Restaurant Café at Tampa International Airport. All Columbia locations are owned and operated by fourth and fifth generation members of the founding family except for Columbia Restaurant Cafe at Tampa International Airport, which is operated in partnership with HMSHost. Follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Please see ColumbiaRestaurant.com for more information.