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Five Crowns

10/1/19  |   Annie Clougherty

Built in 1936 as a replica of England’s oldest inn, the Ye Olde Belle, the property was originally called the Hurley Bell before it was purchased by brothers-in-law and Lawry’s season salt creator, Lawrence Frank and Walter Van de Camp.

Built in 1936 as a replica of England’s oldest inn, the Ye Olde Belle, the property was originally called the Hurley Bell before it was purchased by brothers-in-law and Lawry’s season salt creator, Lawrence Frank and Walter Van de Camp.

They took a year to remodel the property and renamed it the Five Crowns in 1965. The property itself is large; consisting of a restaurant, a backyard area, a parking lot, an owner’s cottage and Corona Del Mar’s only farm, which they use in the dishes.

The restaurant has many themed rooms, each designed with a theme by Susie Frank, who is the great-granddaughter of the Lawry’s founder. The rooms are all named; for example, there is the Nelson Room, which has a table full of silver shillings, and the Crown Room, with its bedazzled wallpaper crowns.  There is even a Nixon Nook, named after the former President, Richard Nixon, who famously ate here and would enjoy their Mai Tai’s. Tommy Martin, who was a server at the restaurant, and is a guest ambassador going on 52 years, works every weekend and has the front room named after him, the Tommy Martin room. Kenyon Paar, the General Manager of the restaurant says, “one of the most unique things about this restaurant is how long our employees have been here”.  Their service was even just honored at the Golden Foodie Awards this past Sunday for the “Best Service” in the O.C.
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The Side Door, the most recent addition to the Five Crowns was the idea of Mr. Wilson.  He is the 4th generation of the Frank family and currently the CMO of the business and wanted to revitalize how people saw the Five Crowns.  The restaurant is run by an all female team, two of which I was able to have a drink with. Kenyon Paar and Alison Robbins.  I enjoyed a “Smells Like Mahogany” which smokes as it is served, some of their famous Avocado Mash and some charcuterie, White Truffle being my favorite.  For any of those that like a little scavenger hunt, make sure to look for the old pair of bloomies that are framed behind an old photo in the bar. To give back, make sure to mention “Farm to Table” on Friday’s, where 20% of your bill goes back to the Ecology Center in Laguna Beach.

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