Patrons donate to employees of iconic restaurant

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Wave Wire Services

HOLLYWOOD — Loyal patrons of Hollywood’s Musso & Frank Grill have donated more than $100,000 to help the still-shuttered restaurant’s employees cover living expenses during the coronavirus pandemic, the owners announced Jan. 25.

Donations have been coming in since December through the Musso & Frank Employee Relief Fund set up by the owners of Hollywood’s oldest restaurant.

A goal was set to bring in $100,000 to help the eatery’s 84 furloughed employees, and hundreds of donors contributed to exceed that sum, with a total of $100,626 raised on the GoFundMe page.

The money goes directly to employees who have been out of work due to the pandemic, according to restaurant CFO and COO Mark Echeverria, a fourth-generation member of the family of owners.

So many friends, longtime patrons, and members of our extended Musso ‘family’ reached out to us without prompting, inquiring as to how they might go about making a charitable contribution to the welfare of our employees,” Echeverria said. “We were touched by these acts of generosity.

Knowing that dozens of longtime and new patrons were willing to demonstrate their support for our employees warmed our hearts. Everyone really came through for the Musso team and helped us achieve our $100,000 goal.”

The GoFundMe page the owners set up remains open, and the workers also will continue to receive health care benefits at 100% cost to Musso & Frank’s family of owners, which they have done since March, Echeverria said.

Additionally, 25% of all retail sales generated by purchases of the restaurant’s online merchandise — including Musso & Frank-branded COVID masks, cuff links, gift cards, and an award-winning book detailing the restaurant’s 100-year history — go into the fund.

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.

Echeverria said the entire team remains focused on overcoming the temporary setback of COVID-19, and they look optimistically to the present and future of the restaurant, which is located at 6667 Hollywood Blvd.