2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

    Kevin Joyce
    The Carlton, Eadie’s Market, Delivering & Catering, Carlton Catering Company; Pittsburgh

    At age 14, Kevin Joyce bluffed about his age to get hired as a busboy at a suburban Philadelphia country club—a decision that would impact the course of his life. Kevin has since spent 53 years in the hospitality industry, from waiting and bartending at Steak and Ale restaurants through his college career while attending the University of Pittsburgh, to being recruited into management for Tequila Junction, and later recruited by Levy Restaurants to open Hillary’s Restaurant in One Oxford Centre.

    In 1984, Kevin opened The Carlton Restaurant and Eadie’s Kitchen & Market in the newly built One Mellon Bank Center, as Regional Director of Operations for Levy. Kevin climbed the ranks within the organization, traveling frequently to Chicago, and tasked with expanding the group’s operations to Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as maintaining their Pittsburgh locations.

    In 1995, with five young children at home, and desire to spend less time on the road away from his family, Kevin took a chance and proposed a deal to his partners at Levy Restaurants to buy out their Pittsburgh locations. Kevin, known to always make a passionate case, was successful in this endeavor, becoming sole owner of The Carlton and Eadie’s Kitchen & Market.

    Over the decades, Kevin led the Carlton to become known as Pittsburgh’s premier fine dining restaurant, nationally recognized as a Distinguished Restaurant of North America (DiRoNA), and recipient of many awards including “Overall Favorite Restaurant” by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette readers, and 21-time (consecutive) recipient of the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. The Carlton was known for its daily-changing, high-quality menu, extensive wine inventory, and outstanding service staff with very low turnover, having several staff members dedicating 30+ years to the restaurant and a mere four head chefs over the course of 37 years.

    Kevin first became involved with what was then the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association in the mid-80s, as a member of the Western Chapter. He spent countless hours traveling to and from Harrisburg through the years to advocate for our industry, meeting with the PLCB and fighting for liquor issues such as the licensee discount and fair taxing for wine. Locally, Kevin led the fight in opposition of the Allegheny County across the bar tax and ‘Scores on Doors’ health department ratings, among others. The Carlton was the central meeting place of the association and its members as it pertained to any legislative issues in the area.

    Kevin has long been a leader within the Association, volunteering in many capacities including Western Chapter Board Member, serving on government affairs and alcohol service committees several times over, and eventually as Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2006.
    Kevin has truly had a lifetime of achievements in the hospitality industry, and his legacy in Pittsburgh and beyond will not be forgotten. Thank you, Kevin, for your contributions and service to our industry through the years, and congratulations to you and your family on your well-deserved retirement.

    It is the pleasure of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association to present Kevin Joyce with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations Kevin! •

    Photos by Damon Perrott, Lydian Light Productions