Musso & Frank launches employee relief fund to provide help during pandemic

Sign atop Musso & Franks, 6667 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. (Photo by Ken Lubas/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Musso & Frank Grill announced Wednesday that it has launched an employee relief fund to help cover health insurance and other living expenses of its employees while the iconic Hollywood restaurant is temporarily shuttered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.   

The Musso & Frank Employee Relief Fund will provide 50% of needed living expenses for the restaurant's 84 employees who are furloughed as a result of the pandemic, along with 50% of the money required to cover ongoing healthcare and medical insurance coverage, according to the restaurant's owners.  

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The owners -- who have been covering the workers' health coverage costs -- said they set up a GoFundMe page called Musso & Frank Employee Relief Fund that has raised more than $26,000, and counting, after dozens of longtime customers reached out to the owners last month asking how to help the restaurant's workers.  

"So many friends, longtime patrons and members of our extended Musso`family' have been reaching out to us without prompting, inquiring as to how they might go about making a charitable contribution to the welfare of our employees," said Mark Echeverria, who is a fourth-generation member of the family of owners.  

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"We were touched by these acts of generosity, and by knowing that dozens of longtime patrons were willing to demonstrate the support our employees enjoy from the community by making financial donations. We are very proud to be partnered with our community members, truly wonderful folks who have inspired the formation of this new fund."

The restaurant, at 6667 Hollywood Blvd., shut down on Aug. 1, a few weeks after announcing that it would begin taking to-go orders and offering delivery service. It had previously been closed for three months following a March 15 order from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti banning restaurants and bars from serving food and alcohol.  

Echeverria, the chief operating officer, and the chief financial officer noted that the restaurant is opting instead to continue construction on 1,800 square feet of new dining space.  

Hollywood's oldest restaurant, which opened in 1919, has long attracted an entertainment industry clientele.

Famous customers have included Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Monroe, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson, and The Rolling Stones.