LA 2020

Hollywood’s Oldest and Most Historic Restaurant Shut Down by Quarantine

The coronavirus, or more so the lockdowns implemented In a misguided effort to contain the virus, has burned a wide swath of destruction through Los Angeles. In each instance where a business was shut down, or an individual lost his job it’s a tragedy.  But in some cases it seems much more is lost.

That’s how I felt when I walked by the Musso and Frank Grill on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and saw it shut down.  Like many restaurants during the latest quarantine order, they have apparently realized it only digs the financial hole deeper to remain open for takeout and delivery only.  Restaurants operate on very slim profit margins and need to have a full house to keep out of the red ink.  Delivery service such as Door Dash, Grub Hub and Uber Eats also slice 30% off the top of the sale to deliver orders.  

Musso and Frank’s Grill opened on what is now the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1919 when Hollywood was just starting to blossom.  It’s the oldest restaurant in Hollywood and all of the legends of Hollywood dined there.  It’s even the restaurant though which Fettuccini Alfredo was brought to America.

Charlie Chaplin’s studios were near there on Sunset and LaBrea.  Chapin’s house was also nearby. He dined at the grill so frequently that it has to this day the Charlie Chaplin booth.  Silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, also regulars and brought the recipe for Fettuccini Alfredo they had obtained in Rome to the restaurant to prepare.  It’s the story of how Fettuccini Alfredo came to America.

Celebrities that have hung out in the establishment include Greta Garbo, Rudolph Valentino, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Jimmy Stewart, and Marilyn Monroe, and the list goes on.

Unlike many establishments that have closed permanently, it appears that the Musso and Frank Grill will end up reopening once the lockdowns end.  It notes the extreme measures they have taken to protect the health of patrons during this pandemic and that they are continuing forward with a remodeling project they had started before the pandemic hit.

These tragedies didn’t need to occur. Evidence is surfacing that these lockdowns are not justified.  In a recent court ruling, the judge found the order to shut down restaurants was not supported by data or science.  Restaurants were actually one of the lowest points of transmission of the virus.

Yet, despite the ruling, California is keeping them shut down.

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