Currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, the iconic Hollywood restaurant Musso & Frank Grill has just begun construction on three brand new private dining rooms with special access entrances, slated to open to the public in late 2019. The growth marks the first time since 1955 that the restaurant has added new dining space to its historic Hollywood Boulevard footprint.
“For many years, our customers have been asking us for more privacy, which inspired us to grow our business at this time,” says Mark Echeverria, Musso & Frank’s COO/CFO/Proprietor and a fourth generation family member/owner involved in the restaurant’s day to day operations.
Ideas for the three new private dining rooms began in 2009 when Echeverria came onboard for the family. Designing the elegant rooms began in 2017, and though it has taken a long time to design the perfect experience and get approvals from the city planning boards to add new construction onto old buildings, the three private rooms are on the fast track to open soon after Musso & Frank’s centennial anniversary day of September 27. The restaurant will remain open during the course of construction, which is under the supervision of the Gensler architecture firm and J. Baer Construction.
“The new rooms will have an old-school Hollywood feel, as befits a restaurant known as the home of the ‘power lunch,’ a safe haven for the biggest stars in the world, and the place that launched the perfect martini,” says Echeverria. “When you are in them, you will feel like they have been there since the opening of our ‘new room’ back in 1955.”
The new private dining rooms will include one room that offers an 8-10 person dining experience, along with two others that can be converted for larger receptions accommodating up to 100 people—ideal for entertainment industry wrap parties, wedding celebrations, and larger events. A red carpet entrance on Hollywood Blvd. will also be available, as will another entrance that will allow celebrities to enter from the rear. “For our most distinguished, privacy-seeking, VIP guests, a secret entrance through our kitchen will be possible, as long as arrangements have been made with us well in advance,” Echeverria adds.
Diners in the “new” dining room (which opened in 1955, joining the “old” room which opened in 1934, following the first extension of the site from its original 1919 location) will notice a portal leading to the eastern side of the building, where the private rooms are currently under construction. The site of the new dining rooms was formerly occupied by two retail shops, for which the family-run restaurant has long served as landlords.
In the foyer for the private new dining rooms, there will be a display case showing Musso & Frank memorabilia, including classic original menus and wine lists, along with other artifacts from the venue’s long and remarkable history.
“We’ve never been busier and in fact this past year was our best ever,” Echeverria adds, “And we have a litany of truly remarkable centennial celebrations being planned for the week of September 22nd. When we’re asked, ‘What is the secret to surviving for 100 years? – we answer that it’s all about the people – our customers and our staff. We’re here to serve this very special community. It’s what we’ve always done and what we will continue to do for the next 100 years and beyond.”