George Harry Cominos

Son of Cominos Hotel famiy dies

Published April 19, 2016, The Salinas Californian

As early as age 10, George Harry Cominos ran the elevator at the family business – The Hotel Cominos in Salinas. He also worked just about every other job it took to make the Cominos the grand madam of hotels in the region in pre- and post-World War II California. During its hey-day the Cominos played host to presidents, dignitaries and celebrities from the Salinas Valley and across the state.

George Cominos would continue to work at the hotel and restaurant at the end of Main Street through his youth and later become a popular bartender around the Central Coast.

Cominos died April 9 at his daughter’s home in San Luis Obispo, three days after his 89th birthday.

He and his siblings and cousins all had a hand in working at the busy hotel and restaurant, according to his daughter, Helen Cominos.

After emigrating from Greece. “my grandfather, Harry Cominos, learned the hotel business working at the historic Hotel Del Monte (now Herrmann Hall at the Naval Postgraduate School) in Monterey when he first came to the US,” Helen said.

Cominos George Nicholas Family

"After years of work in the hotel business, George’s father, along with his brothers, were able to acquire the Abbott House Hotel, which they renamed The Hotel Cominos  and ran as a family business for more than 40 years," according to the obituary.

The family took pride in the way the hotel was run, she said. “It was a first-class operation.”

The Cominos family sold the hotel in the mid-1960s. It was torn down following severe damage to the building sustained in the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989.

Ted Cominos, George’s older brother by three years, has a law practice in Salinas. He said the siblings worked at the hotel during their teenage years. They did just about everything, he said. “I was a waiter, bell boy, clerk, garage attendant,” Ted Cominos said when reached at his office on Tuesday.

George Cominos graduated from Salinas High School and joined the Merchant Marines during World War II. He returned home and worked at the hotel and around the Monterey Peninsula, becoming a well known bartender by trade. In the 1970s, he owned Whitney’s, a bar in Carmel, Helen Cominos said. Her father also poured drinks at Rocky Point, the Pine Inn in Carmel and Franco Hotel in Castroville. He also worked at restaurants and hotels in San Francisco, she said.

“He was an affable person,” said Ted Cominos, “well liked and respected by his friends and relatives; and he enjoyed life.”

“He had a tremendous ability to talk with people and befriend them,” continued Ted. “He had a charming way about him – and a good laugh.”

George Cominos is survived by his brothers, Ted and Andy; a sister, Sophia; five children, Teri, Kim, Harry, Helen, and Mary; and their families.  He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Nick; and his wife, Eloise.

At his request, no services are planned.

To read the article online, click here.

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