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Hollywood's Musso & Frank Grill Turns 99

The Musso & Frank Grill sign. (JonPaul Douglass)
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On Thursday, Hollywood restaurant Musso & Frank Grill celebrates 99 years in business, an epic achievement for any restaurant.

Musso & Frank opened in 1919, at 6669 Hollywood Blvd., four years before the "Hollywoodland" sign graced the nearby hillside. Nearly a century later, the restaurant is still owned and operated by the same family that bought it in 1927 and moved it next door, to its present location at 6667 Hollywood Blvd.

Tinseltown's oldest restaurant has had a bevvy of famous fans, over the years. It was frequented by Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Elizabeth Taylor, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut and tons of other celebrated actors and writers.

Stepping into Musso & Frank is like taking a trip back in time. Much of the original decor, including the light fixtures, the furniture and the infamous Back Room bar, is still in place.

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The menu, debuted by French chef Jean Rue 99 years ago, hasn't changed much either. There's the French onion soup, the shrimp cocktail, the wedges of iceberg lettuce drowning in blue cheese dressing and the famous flannel cakes.

Another point of pride is the restaurant's signature martini, which is stirred, never shaken. Drink somewhere else, 007.

You can also step in what is supposedly the first public telephone booth installed in Hollywood.

"We're grateful to our longtime customers and to all our new customers for delivering us to our 99th year,"said Mark Echeverria, Musso's COO and CFO. "And stay tuned! We have big plans for Musso's 100th next September."

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