Five Crowns’ longtime co-worker Tommy Martin received the prestigious Rosalind Williams Service Excellence Award from Visit Newport Beach Inc. at the organization’s annual dinner at the Island Hotel on Wednesday.The award was presented by Rosalind’s husband, Rick John, and her son, Gregg Williams.
According to Five Crowns General Manager Steve Kim, “Tommy Martin is an inspiration to those who work with him.After 43 years of service at Five Crowns, his positive attitude has simply grown stronger.”Tommy describes his philosophy that has made him so successful this way: “The secret of life is loving what you do.My reward comes from taking care of guests and being appreciated in return.I feel blessed to have been at Five Crowns. It’s the best company you could possibly work for.”
Tommy has been known to go the extra mile for guests; in one case he went to the market to bring back cottage cheese for a dieter who said he could eat nothing else.He also persuaded the chef to make mashed potatoes, which were not on the menu, in order to fulfill a request made by Elizabeth Taylor. Cartoonist Chuck Jones, once a regular guest, was so taken by Tommy that they formed a close relationship.Tommy still wears lapel pins given to him by the artist, and he was invited to the installation of Chuck’s star on Hollywood Blvd.Tommy also has a very personal collection of Chuck’s art, and he has maintained ties with the family since the artist’s passing.
A native of England, Tommy began his career at London’s Grosvenor House, a landmark five-star hotel, at age 15.At age 16, he went to sea as a steward on the Cunard Cruise Lines, working on ships that made Atlantic crossings.Tommy came to Orange County in 1967.While on a job search, he drove by Five Crowns, which had been open for three years, and saw its red telephone booth in front.At that moment, he knew he had found a home. He served for many years as a wine captain and was recently named to the position of guest ambassador.
Five Crowns is located at 3801 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, CA, 92625. It is open for dinner nightly. Valet parking is available and all major credit cards are accepted. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (949) 760-0331, or online at www.thefivecrowns.com or www.OpenTable.com.
Posted By Kristin 06/23/2011