By Kristen Winiarski
As one of the oldest restaurants in Hollywood (built in 1919!), it should be no surprise that the Musso & Frank Grill on Hollywood Boulevard is a hot spot for celebrities- both living and deceased.
The feeling of nostalgia hits you in the face as soon as you walk in. From the red leather banquettes to the phone booth and curled hat racks, it feels like you stepped back through time to the era of classic movie stars and the rat pack (Frank Sinatra was just one of the regulars here and preferred booth 224 with the high walls). The place has much of the same decor, and the waiters still sport the same red jackets and bow ties as they did in the past. Many of the waiters have worked here for decades, so the supernatural doesn’t spook them away, or maybe it’s the reason they stay. Sinatra isn’t the only famous face that frequented here back in the day. There are so many others who have even been known to return in their ghostly forms to their favorite haunt.
Famous Haunt of Classic Stars (Literally)
Marilyn Monroe favored booth three, and Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks hung out in booth number one because of its privacy and window view. There have even been modern pictures taken where it looks like Chaplin is still looking out into the road. Maybe his ghost is still watching his horse tied out by the road. He dined here in the same booth for years, so it makes sense that his spirit would still gravitate to it.
Speaking of ghosts, Rudolph Valentino’s has been seen near the back of the building, hanging out by the old phone booth. Maybe he’s waiting for a call from a girl. To add to the ghostly ambiance of times past, the restaurant even plays jazz standards through old-style speaker boxes.
Her specific reasons and afflictions will never truly be known, but it is suspected that she was drunk that night. Combine that with her apparent depression, and it proved to be a deadly combination.
The Writerly Connections
This place is the epitome of famous people from days gone by. Additional actors and writers frequented the restaurant, including John Barrymore, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Alfred Hitchcock, Dorothy Parker, Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner. With a bookstore right next door, the writers would head in here once the store closed and mingle in this happening place.
In terms of additional famous ghosts, Errol Flynn, Orson Welles, and Jean Harlow have all been spotted here after their deaths also, along with a headless spirit! That last one is a mystery, but probably the creepiest encounter at this great restaurant.
Its Enduring Popularity
Bringing it up to today, the unchanged decor makes for a perfect backdrop for many films, such as Ed Wood, La La Land, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, and Swingers. Who knows, maybe one day these current actors and patrons will join the leagues of ghosts who already haunt it.
Check out this awesome restaurant that not only had the first Fettuccine Alfredo in America but features some famous guests. So belly up to the bar and order one of their famous martinis. You may even rub elbows with some of the best stars in the business, but it might put a chill through you.
Check out more classic ghost stories on Hollywood Boulevard in person on our ghost walk—every night at 7 pm!