They were the public faces of Hollywood’s oldest restaurant during a lifetime’s worth of service. Bartender Ruben Rueda and waiter Sergio Gonzalez passed earlier this year within weeks of each other, but now their personal lives and careers are memorialized in two new documentaries.
Rueda spent 52 years as a bartender at the Hollywood Boulevard restaurant, while Gonzalez’s long tenure was the first and only job he ever held.
Both documentaries were written, produced and directed by Tina Whatcott Echeverria and will have their world premiere on Monday, Oct. 14 at the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood. The event is open to the public.
Both Retracing Ruben (20 minutes) and Gonzalez tribute Big Shot (25 minutes) will begin at 7 p.m. in Auditorium 8 at ArcLight Hollywood. The screening of both documentaries will be preceded by a Q & A session moderated by TV personality Marc Summers (Nickelodeon’s ‘Double Dare,” Food Network’s “Dinner: Impossible”) featuring Tina Whatcott Echeverria and her husband, Mark Echeverria, a fourth-generation co-owner, COO and proprietor of Musso & Frank.
Also on hand will be Leo Rueda, the son of Ruben Rueda and now a server and a bookkeeper at Musso & Frank; and Alex Gallardo, the son-in-law of Sergio Gonzalez and a server at Musso & Frank.
In addition to previewing the new documentaries, the Echeverrias will discuss the publication of a new coffee table book, The Musso & Frank Grill. The book is on sale at the restaurant and will be available at Amazon on Nov. 1 and select bookstores.
Tickets to the Oct. 14 screening are $45 per person and include a copy of the book.
“Ruben and Sergio were beloved members of the Musso family for decades and they will forever be missed,” said Tina Whatcott Echeverria, “I’m hoping these two documentaries will help preserve their memory, honor their contributions, and comfort their families.”
Musso & Frank marked its official centennial milestone September 27.