Legendary, longtime Musso & Frank Grill waiter Sergio Gonzalez died from a heart attack on Tuesday, according to a press release from owner Mark Echeverria. It was one day after a memorial for Ruben Rueda, another beloved member of the Musso & Frank family, who worked his magic as a bartender at the restaurant for 52 years until his death in April. Founded in 1919, the iconic restaurant is currently marking its 100th anniversary this year.
Gonzalez began working at Musso & Frank when he was 19 years old, in 1972, as a green-jacketed bus boy. At the time, he had been in the Naval Academy in Veracruz, Mexico, and came to L.A. from Mazatlán to see his grandmother. His uncle worked at the restaurant at the time and asked Sergio to fill in for a few days — and he stayed. He was promoted to waiter, earning the right to a red jacket, after just one year.
“Musso & Frank has lost another beloved family member with the passing of Sergio Gonzales,” Echeverria stated in the release. “He was a truly wonderful man who was loved and respected by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. Kind, generous, warm, dignified, caring and thoughtful, he had a gift for treating everyone like a guest of honor, whether they were internationally-famous celebrities, Musso & Frank regulars, or first-time patrons. For almost half of our 100 years, Sergio helped make Musso & Frank a home away from home for his valued patrons and colleagues alike, and we're all heartbroken to bid farewell to this remarkable man. My sincerest condolences to his cherished wife, daughter and grandchildren.”
Gonzales is survived by his son-in-law Alex, who is a 15-year server at the restaurant. Leonard Rueda, son of bartender Ruben, also works at the iconic spot on Hollywood Boulevard as both a server and a bookkeeper.