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RAMMY organizers heard the public outcry and have responded in kind. This year’s ceremonies will be completely revamped when the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington hands out its industry awards on June 6 at the Marriott Wardman Park.

Gone is the multi-course, sit-down dinner in which the wait staff and clattering plates competed with the award presenters on stage. Gone is the multi-hour ceremony that pushed the boundaries of patience and taste. And gone is cavernous banquet hall with the anemic air-conditioning system.

Instead, this year’s RAMMYs will be presented in “a theatre-style seated ceremony,” with a separate reception-style dinner in the ballroom afterward. Which means, of course, that you can split after the ceremonies and eat some decent food elsewhere, if you’d like.

So, really, why the change in format after 28 years of doing it one way?

“Because we can,” says Lynne Breaux, president of the RAMW, “we have never before had the logistical wherewithal that we have this year at the Marriott Wardman Park.”

Plus, Breaux notes, the change in format puts the RAMMYs in line with other ceremonies, including the widely acknowledged granddaddy of all hospitality awards, the James Beard Awards.

The theme for this year’s RAMMYs is, “We’ll Always Have…Restaurants,” a nod to Bogart’s famous line in Casablanca…and, perhaps, a fervent hope from owners trying to ride out the damn recession.

Tickets to the RAMMYS can be purchased by calling (202) 331-5990 or by e-mail at rammys@ramw.org.