Chuck Magerl, proprietor of Free State Brewing Co. in Lawrence, is the 2006 Restaurateur of the Year, presented by the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Assn.
The annual award recognizes an association member for showing exceptional support for the association's mission, the hospitality industry and the member's community.
During the association's annual meeting last week in Wichita, Magerl was cited for his work in 1987 to make beer brewing legal once again in Kansas, and for his business' steady growth during the past two decades. He also was lauded for his partnership in Wheatfields, and for his dedication to opposing proposed smoking bans in Kansas communities and his assistance working on food-safety concerns in partnership with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Magerl also led last year's "Dine for America" effort in Kansas, helping raise money for victims of hurricanes along the Gulf Coast.
"Chuck is an extremely dedicated individual who is not only a credit to the hospitality industry, but also his commitment to community continues to help make Lawrence a great place to live," said Dennis Carpenter, president and chief executive officer for the Wichita-based association.