Follow Your Art to Tony Roma’s
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By Rachel Breit
An artistic look back in time
Remember being a kid at Tony Roma’s? You received your own, special menu that came with a small box of crayons and a blank space to fill. You would pick out your favorite dish, then get lost with your crayons and imagination — buying your parents some quiet time. By the time your meal was there, your blank sheet would be filled with illustrations. And at the end, you turned in your masterpiece for a chance to win big: some free meals and a free computer for your school.
Tony Roma’s wants to revive these childhood memories of yours. “Once upon a time, we started a fun campaign,” explains Lawrence Chun, director of operations for Tony Roma’s. “We had a drawing and coloring contest where we offered the winning student some free meals and the winning school a free computer.” After 30 years, Tony Roma’s is hoping to reconnect with the big winners. “It was a big to-do then, and we’d like to keep that going as a big to-do today.”
So take a look at this featured illustration from a previous winner. Are you Dawn Yamada or do you recognize the name? Perhaps Dawn was your classmate at Pearlridge Elementary in Marie Kohara’s 6th grade class. Tony Roma’s would like your help in reconnecting with the original artist.
The big winners are probably in their 30s today and have families of their own. “We want to give them back their drawings and invite their families back to Tony Roma’s for dinner,” Chun says.
Building customers for life is paramount for Tony Roma’s. “We pride ourselves on being a family restaurant, family oriented and kid friendly. We want everybody to have a good time,” says Chun, “Kids that we knew as children are now adults, and they are still coming. We see them on first dates, we see them with their young children and their children’s children.”
At Tony Roma’s, kids are just as valued as customers as their parents. A special Keiki Menu is offered for kids ages 10 and under. Items are priced from $6.99 to $9.99. Tuesdays, and now Thursdays, kids can have a free meal accompanied by one adult entree. “We do the free keiki meals to attract not only the parents, but to also have the kids feel comfortable in our place,” says Chun.
1972 Kalakaua Ave.
Open daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.