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Corona del Mar Today: Five Crowns' marketing manager to retire

January 28, 2012|By Amy Senk
  • Five Crowns' longtime marketing manager Margo Brask, right, will retire Feb. 2.
Five Crowns' longtime marketing manager Margo… (Amy Senk, Daily…)

Five Crowns' longtime marketing manager Margo Brask will retire on Feb. 2 — 46 years after she began working at the Corona del Mar restaurant as a server in between college classes.

"This was the place in Corona del Mar to work," Brask said. "We were the only thing in town, and every night was busy, busy, busy."

When Brask was hired in 1966, she recalls having three weeks of extensive training in order to manage the tableside flambés, carving of lamb and salad preparations.

At that time, the restaurant at 3801 E. Coast Hwy.'s "Bille of Faer" boasted Knightly Selections including a Five Crowns Cut of prime rib for $7.95 and a cup of coffee for 40 cents.

"I was supposed to go to college," Brask said. "But I wanted to bypass that. The money was too good. It wasn't easy, but it was fun to come work every day. You laughed, you talked to all the people, and I loved it."

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In 1980, Brask was promoted to manager, and 10 years later she became the first-ever sales and marketing manager.

In between, she began secretly dating former Executive Chef Dennis Brask — and the two were married in 1987.

"We were friends long before we became a couple, and then we had to be quiet about it," she said.

Chef Brask retired last year.

As sales and marketing manager, Margo Brask works with couples planning weddings and other large events.

In her role, Brask has become a community fixture. Five Crowns regularly hosts events including the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce mixers, the Sunrise Rotary Club meetings and Newport Beach Sister City Assn. gatherings.

"Margo has been such an active and supportive member of our chamber, and we will miss her warm greeting and personal interaction at our Five Crowns networking events," Linda Leonhard, president of the CdM Chamber, said in an email. "We wish Margo all the best in her next journey."

Gary Sherwin, president and chief executive of Visit Newport Beach, said Brask would be honored at the group's board meeting Thursday with the President's Award for Outstanding Service to the Community.

"Margo is a former board member of ours who has done an amazing job for what has got to be the longest length of stay record for any restaurant in America that I know of," he said in an email. "Margo is a fixture on the Newport Beach hospitality scene and will be missed in so many ways. Margo is Five Crowns as far as many people are concerned and she has been a fantastic contributor to the community at large as well as her own organization."

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