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November 02, 2011

The Writers Room in Hollywood

By Marnie Hanel | Lounges

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Courtesy The Writer’s Room

Scrounging for a paycheck in the aftermath the Great Depression, a wave of literary writers, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler and Ernest Hemingway, moved to Hollywood to get paid.

What did they write? The Big Sleep (Faulkner’s adaptation of Chandler’s novel), Strangers on a Train (Chandler’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel), To Have and Have Not (Faulkner’s adaptation of Hemingway’s novel) and many adaptations of Hemingway, by Hemingway.

Where did they drink? Musso and Frank.

This fall, old Hollywood meets new as the former back room of the quintessential Golden-era hangout reopens as The Writer’s Room. No longer attached to Musso and Frank, the intimate 100-person destination, tucked discreetly behind Supperclub, debuts as a Thursday-to-Saturday hideaway and private event space. Producer Holly Wiersma, Supperclub managing partner Abdi Manavi and Manhattan nightlife impresario Nur Khan helm the cocktail clubhouse. (Given the celebrity set’s affection for Khan’s New York ventures—Rose Bar, Kenmare, the Electric Room—it’s surprising he’s held out this long to open an L.A. spot.) Vanity Fair’s Krista Smith, actors Jack Huston and Jason Segel, and screenwriter William Monahan serve as investors, connectors and arbiters of taste.

With a chandelier-lit patio, a grand staircase and high-back leather booths, The Writer’s Room offers the opportunity for a fabulous entrance and subtle appraisal of the “scenery” while also lending itself to private conversation. For a 1930s twist on a VIP booth, designers set seating and a daybed inside a vintage elevator cage enclosed with curtains. Mixologist Daniel Nelson is putting the finishing touches on the cocktail menu, which will draw inspiration from L.A.’s diverse neighborhoods. The Kaffir Rickey combines vodka, Kaffir-lime juice and lemongrass syrup with an ingredient more 2011 than 1932: carbonated coconut water. Like the rest of The Writer’s Room, it’s a most delicious update. Off the alleyway just north of Hollywood Boulevard, between Las Palmas and Cherokee avenues. Open Thursday–Saturday, 9 P.M.–2 A.M.; for reservations, call 323-491-4148.

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