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Tracy Kosbau
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March 15, 2013

Local Restaurant Owner Honored As Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year

Karen Meyer, owner of Imperial Garden West located in Middleton, was honored as the Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year (OROY) by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) Madison Chapter, made up of Dane and Jefferson counties.

The OROY award was presented to Meyer on January 15th, at a WRA chapter meeting held at the Concourse Hotel in Madison. Meyer was presented with the award and a Legislative Citation.

On Tuesday, March 12, Meyer will also be honored with a commendation medal at the 2013 WRA Awards Dinner gala, taking place at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Milwaukee. The OROY award is given by fellow members of the Madison Chapter based on success in business, community service and dedication to the restaurant industry.

Meyer has worked in the restaurant industry for 37 years, including working as a waitress and bartender while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Meyer worked for Imperial Garden West owner Henry Chen as a manager for many years and took over ownership ten years ago in partnership with head chef, Ken Yan. It has been important to Meyer to maintain Chen’s original vision for the restaurant and feels that this award is an honor for him as well. The Imperial Garden has been at its current location for 32 years. The restaurant offers a delicious dining experience in a comfortable setting, enhanced with art and music, delivering an atmosphere true to the harmony implicit in Asian thought and cuisine.

Meyer notes that the highlight of her career has been the bonds forged with so many wonderful customers and their families over the years and the very special relationships with all current and past employees whose lives continue to enrich hers.

Meyer is very supportive of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association and the restaurant industry. The Imperial Garden has been a WRA member since 1991. Meyer lives in Waunakee with her husband Scott Cofrin. She has four children: Anthony, Jenifer, John and Michael.

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Since 1933, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association has been dedicated to the promotion, protection and improvement of the foodservice industry.

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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960