Aug. 12, 2002
2002 RESTAURATEUR OF THE YEAR
Don Weems owner of The Waterfront Grill in Monroe was named the 2002 Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) Restaurateur of the Year at the 49th annual Grand Awards Banquet held recently. Restaurateur of the Year is the LRA's highest and most prestigious award bestowed on a member.
The ULM Alumni Association along with ULM President, Dr. Cofer, will meet at the Waterfront Grill on DeSiard Street at 1:00 p.m. for lunch Wednesday, Aug. 14th. Don Weems will be presented with a congratulatory plaque on behalf of the University. This will be a surprise for Don.
Don Weems opened the Waterfront Grill in 1996. The restaurant offers seafood that is boiled, broiled or baked, but never fried, a concept that may be slightly unusual yet is highly successful. Weems is a member of the Board of Directors of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce. He is active in the ULM Alumni Association and served as President of the Athletic Scholarship Foundation in 2000. Weems has chaired and co-chaired "Northern Exposure," a trip to the state capitol to meet with and host a reception for state legislators, for 8 consecutive years.
He has been active in his local LRA chapter from the beginning of his foodservice career in 1996. He was elected to the Northeast Chapter Board in 1997, and has served as Vice-President in 1999 and President in 2000. In addition, he was elected to the state board in 1999.
Weems graduated from Sarepta High School in 1964 and received a Master's degree in Business Administration from University of Louisiana at Monroe. He worked for ULM for 20 years and opened his restaurant after retiring from the university in 1996.
Since the year 2000, previous winners of Restaurateur of the Year include TV Chef Emeril for his restaurant Emeril's in 2000, and Charles Goodson for Charley G's in 2001.
All media is invited to the Waterfront Grill on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. to cover the presentation. The plaque will be handed to him around 1:15 p.m.