A Thirst for History
A little bar with a big backstory
F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote that there are no second acts in American life. Now one of his former Hollywood watering holes is proving him wrong.
The bar is called the Writer's Room, a speakeasy-styled affair hidden down a small alley off Hollywood Boulevard. It's the back room of Hollywood's oldest restaurant, Musso & Frank, with which it shares a Rat Pack vibe but no affiliation. But in the '30s and '40s, the place was called the Back Room, and it's here that Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler and William Faulkner drank.
These days, the newly refurbished spot plays host to locals enjoying relief from the techno din of nearby clubs. It's only 1,000 square feet in size and has high leather-backed booths, oriental carpets and silhouette-printed wallpaper. A visit is all about eclecticism, from the music--which veers from rock to pop--to the delightful drinks. Designed by former Doheny mixologist Daniel Nelson, they include the refreshing Kaffir Rickey with gin, Kaffir lime juice, lemongrass and carbonated coconut water, and the rich Dead Man Oaxacan, made with mezcal, mole-orange liqueur, Mexican oregano and a fried chapulín (grasshopper) garnish.
You'll see a clutch of stars now and again here, since actors Jason Segel and Jack Huston are investors. But we're more interested in imagining yesterday's literary lions kicking back after a hard day at the studios.
The Writer's Room, 6685 Hollywood Blvd. (back entrance, between Las Palmas and Cherokee aves.); 323-491-4148