LOS ANGELES - Hollywood fixture Musso & Frank Grill, one of the region's most iconic eateries, will reopen Thursday following a year-long coronavirus-induced closure.
"With our reopening, we're being very careful to ensure that our 100-plus years of tradition won't change at all,'' according to CFO/COO Mark Echeverria, a fourth-generation member of the family of owners.
"For instance, our menu will remain as intact as possible -- we want to keep all of our original offerings. Another tradition that will return is our focus on handcrafted cocktails, including our signature martinis – stirred, not shaken -- James Bond got it wrong! While the bar will remain
closed for walk-up service, our guests can still order their favorite beverages and cocktails to be enjoyed at their tables.''
Musso & Frank will adhere to guidelines established in response to COVID-19. An assisted parking system, in which valets will guide customers to spaces but will not drive a customer's car unless asked to do so, will replace traditional valet service.
At the door, a host will ensure the proper flow of people so that a distance of six feet is maintained, and masks will be required at all times except when seated at dining tables. Guests will be asked to wear a cloth face covering at all times when away from their table, and diners will also be asked
to use hand sanitizer upon arrival. Hand sanitizer stations will be provided in the restaurant.
As part of Los Angeles County's yellow tier reopening guidelines, the restaurant will operate at 50% of normal occupancy.
Table spacing, too, will be subject to public health guidance. Groups will be limited to six people, and server assistants will lay out table settings, glasses and silverware after each party has been seated. Only single-use menus that are printed daily will be used -- the menus can then be kept or discarded.
The restaurant's air conditioning filters have been retrofitted to provide hospital-grade filtration, according to Echeverria, who said bathrooms will be deep cleaned and sanitized every 30 minutes, and social distancing will be required inside at all times.
Rigorous standards will also be in place for Musso's team members, who will be checked for any COVID symptoms prior to arriving at the restaurant. Team members will also have their body temperatures checked upon arrival.
"We have always taken pride in maintaining the integrity of the past while embracing what comes next, and as our community emerges from the pandemic, Musso's is here to bring a slice of Hollywood history into the future,'' Echeverria said.
During the pandemic, loyal patrons donated more than $100,000 to help furloughed employees cover living expenses, he said.
Musso & Frank was founded in 1919 by Frank Toulet and later Joseph Musso. In 1922, the two men hired French chef Jean Rue, who created a menu that remains much intact to this day. In 1927, they sold their restaurant to a duo of Italian immigrants named Joseph Carissimi and John Mosso, and Mosso's family has carried on the restaurant's Hollywood legacy.
The restaurant, which is located at 6667 Hollywood Blvd., is taking reservations at mussoandfrank.com/reservations.