Restaurant Icon, Diane Powers, Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from California Restaurant Association

Diane Powers, Owner-Operator of Bazaar del Mundo Shops and Restaurants was recognized by the California Restaurant Association (CRA) with its Lifetime Achievement award at the San Diego Chapter’s 38th Annual Gold Medallion Awards on June 13.

 “This prestigious award not only recognizes Diane’s exceptional restaurateur skills and warm hospitality, but also acknowledges her significant contributions in shaping the local restaurant community,” said CRA Board Member Susie Baumann. “As a founding member of our chapter, Diane’s dedication has been instrumental in establishing and furthering San Diego’s dining scene.”

Powers’ legacy started in 1971 when she opened Casa de Pico in a run-down motel in Old Town San Diego. Over 50 years later, her restaurants – Casa Guadalajara in Old Town, Casa de Pico in La Mesa and Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad – are home to award-winning Mexican cuisine, vibrant courtyards, breezy outdoor patios and trumpeting mariachis.

A San Diego native, Powers is long-known and respected for her unique perspective and signature style. She is personally involved in most facets of the business, from the overall internal design and thoughtful setup to the formation of creative advertising concepts and menu design and development.

In 2001, in recognition of the Bazaar del Mundo Shops and Restaurants’ success in attracting more than six million visitors annually to Old Town, Powers was inducted into the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (ConVis) Hall of Fame. In 2002, Powers received the Finest Service Award from ConVis for individual visitor services and most recently was unanimously voted into the Old Town San Diego Hall of Fame by the Old Town Chamber of Commerce.

 “We’ve had the pleasure and honor to know and learn from Diane over the past 40-plus years,” said David and Lesley Cohn, with the Cohn Restaurant Group. “Diane is a true icon in our industry and has been a role model and mentor to so many. We can’t think of anyone more deserving of this California Restaurant Association Lifetime Achievement Award than our great friend, Diane Powers.” 

The CRA San Diego Chapter’s Annual Gold Medallion Awards serves as an opportunity to bring together premier industry leaders and San Diego’s most prominent restaurants to celebrate the area’s culinary experience.

“I am humbled to receive this recognition from the California Restaurant Association,” said Diane Powers. “And I share this with the entire Bazaar del Mundo team, some of whom have been with me for many years – with their children and expanded families also working for our shops and restaurants – and it is their loyalty and passion that has allowed us to create memorable dining experiences.”

For more information about Diane Powers and Bazaar del Mundo Shops and Restaurants, visit

About the Bazaar del Mundo Restaurant Group 

Diane Powers’ restaurants Casa Guadalajara, Casa de Pico and Casa de Bandini have earned numerous awards, including, the Gold Medallion Award by the San Diego Restaurant Association, the “Award of Excellence” by Zagat Surveys and several first-place prizes at the Ensenada International Seafood Fair. The restaurants have also been named, “Best Mexican Restaurant” by The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego Home Garden/Lifestyles and San Diego Magazine and as one of the “50 Best Hispanic Restaurants” in the nation by Hispanic magazine. 

All reflect Powers’ love of delicious Mexican flavors as well as her design expertise, creative use of brilliant festive color and adherence to the spirit of the Latin American marketplace and Mexican flavors. Powers has traveled throughout the world to acquire unusual merchandise and decor for her restaurants, as well as impressive artifacts for the gorgeous courtyards and exterior environments. For more information, visit