A new bar taps L.A. literary history
In Hollywood, the Writers Room opens tonight. It's technically on Hollywood Boulevard, but is accessed through a rear entrance tucked inside a garden patio. That's because some bar-trepeneurs have taken over the space once known as the Back Room of Musso & Frank. It was a real part of the restaurant that became a shared space between the steak house and the famed Stanley Rose Bookstore; according to legend, writers William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, William Saroyan and Raymond Chandler would meet up there with Rose to talk books, kvetch about Hollywood and drink.
"We want to really try and re-create a little old-school Hollywood feel with the room based on the history and bring some class back," New York partner Nur Khan told the Los Angeles Times. Khan is behind Rose Bar at the Gramercy Hotel and the Electric Room in Chelsea. "We draw a musically literate crowd from the film and music world."
The Times got a preview of the bar:
High-back booths line one wall opposite the bar, softly lighted via sconces with a slightly Art Deco feel.
The cozy bar's most curious feature is an antique 1920s Parisian-style copper elevator cage sourced from a building in New York. Velvet cloth curtains conceal a daybed inside the regal-looking cage, where VIP patrons can sip craft cocktails in private.
The interior, as put together by Manavi and well-known local club designer Gulla Jonsdottir, is clean and understated, but the overall vibe of the lounge is nothing Angelenos can't already find at several other spots from Culver City to downtown.
Will today's writers make the Writers Room a regular watering hole? There was one on the board -- James Franco -- but he's no longer affiliated with the bar.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Daniel K. Nelson, who will be the head bartender for the Writer's Room, mixes a Blue Blazer drink, which will be one of the drinks on the menu when the bar opens tonight. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times