San Diego's Cohns Restaurant Group Awarded with National "Restaurant Neighbor Award" for Years of Charitable Service

Leslie & David Cohn

April 7, 2014

San Diego's homegrown family of restaurants, the Cohn Restaurant Group, spearheaded by husband and wife duo David and Lesley Cohn, will be bestowed with the nation's premier restaurant industry award for excellence in community philanthropy and giving. On April 29, 2014, the Cohn Restaurant Group will be awarded as the 2014 national recipient of the National Restaurant Association's "Restaurant Neighbor" award. The Cohns will accept the honor at a gala in Washington D.C. with hundreds of their restaurant industry peers in attendance.

The Foundation’s Restaurant Neighbor Award, developed in partnership with American Express, celebrates the outstanding charitable service performed by restaurant operators. Created 16 years ago, this award recognizes the impact restaurants and entrepreneurs have made on their local communities. Recipients of the 2014 Restaurant Neighbor Award receive a $5,000 contribution to continue supporting their charitable initiatives.

“The restaurant industry has provided opportunities for millions of people throughout the U.S. and the recipients of the 2014 Restaurant Neighbor and Faces of Diversity awards demonstrate the incredible opportunities they have been able to create as a result of working in it,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “We are proud to recognize the achievements of these seven national award winners, selected from a pool of hundreds of operators from around the country. Their dedication to the industry and commitment to achieving their dreams is truly exceptional.”

In 1996, Lesley and David Cohn co-founded the Garfield High School Foundation and the culinary arts program — featuring a $2 million state-of-the-art kitchen, serving line and lecture center — that has graduated 2,000 at-risk youth to date. Teenage students that are considered high risk for dropping out learn culinary skills to prepare them for future careers in the restaurant industry. The Cohns' have worked tirelessly devoting countless hours, staff and resources--all cumulating with the annual Thanksgiving luncheon at the Prado. Over the years they have raised over $300,000 to benefit the program. In addition to the GHF, the Cohns are also honored to donate to over 300+ charities throughout San Diego County.

The Cohn Restaurant Group has an ownership interest in over 20 eateries in the Southern California region, including a pair of food trucks. To add to their lineup of restaurants, coming soon to San Diego is OB Warehouse, expected to open this June 2014, and Coral at Harbor Island, slated to open in 2015. For more information on the Cohn Restaurant Group, visit