Interior design wall art for restaurant and hospitality venues comes second nature for a team that handles large-scale commercial printing projects as well as fine art prints. Artisan recently worked with Irwin Miller to design commercial wall murals for the historic Musso and Frank Grill.
“Musso’s exclusive, storied Back Room opened in 1934… From the beginning, Musso’s has been a favorite among Hollywood’s A-list. Charlie Chaplin was an early regular. In the ‘20s and ‘30s, it wasn’t uncommon to see Greta Garbo and Gary Cooper having breakfast together… In the ‘50s, Hollywood legends like Marilyn Monroe (flanked by Joe DiMaggio), Elizabeth Taylor, and Steve McQueen could be found enjoying drinks and appetizers in Musso’s famous Back Room. Jimmy Stewart, Rita Hayworth, Groucho Marx, and John Barrymore also had starring roles at Musso’s. Today, Musso’s remains a sophisticated Hollywood hangout.”
In 2019, Musso & Frank’s became the only restaurant ever to have earned its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
This project aimed to preserve the history and class of Musso’s.
For such a daunting task, the restaurant went to Gensler, one of the world’s leading architectural firms. “Amazing projects come along every once in a while if you are fortunate – this is one of those projects,” said Irwin Miller, Principal and Design Director at Gensler, who pushed this project through.
Miller’s design studio was designing the new dining spaces for The Musso and Frank Grill – the oldest restaurant in Hollywood and seen in numerous films and television shows during its long history.
Hired to create a series of 8 murals along the upper walls of the new dining room and private wine room, Miller’s concept was to use imagery of the hillsides of Tuscany and to focus on on the Palio di Siena for the wine room – both themes recalled the Italian heritage of the long-standing owners of the restaurant. The paintings were created with Procreate on an iPad and each was then printed full-scale on canvas with archival inks. They are installed much like wall covering and then framed in place in the dining room spaces.
The dining room has an immersive panorama of Italian hillsides wrapping around the large space – while the Palio Wine Room gives guests a front-row seat to the historic horse race which occurs in Siena, Italy since 1590 and transforms the piazza into a racetrack for this 75-second race.
The Grand Re-Opening
Musso and Frank’s unveiled their new dining rooms on November 1st, 2021 to much fanfare!
“For many years, our customers have been asking for specific types of dining experiences, which inspired us to add new space consistent with the ‘Old Hollywood’ experience Musso’s has perfected…” said Mark Echeverria, Musso & Frank’s COO/CFO, and a fourth-generation member of the family of owners… “The new rooms have an old-school Hollywood feel, as befits a restaurant known as the place where Hollywood deals are made. When you are in our new space, you will feel like it has been there since the beginning,” says Echeverria.
The design of the new dining rooms is a continuation of the aesthetic that Musso’s is known for: wood paneled-walls, rich colors and soft lighting, much like the menu, favoring tradition over trend… Perhaps the most striking feature of the design is the custom artwork that wraps each of the new rooms. The paintings were created with Procreate on an iPad, and each was then printed full-scale onto canvas with archival inks. These murals were then installed much like wall coverings and framed in place within each of the two rooms.
No Small Feat: The Process of Creating Commercial Wall Murals
“Recognizing your customer and their needs is paramount when it comes to large, high-profile print projects,” said Artisan Colour’s fine art printing expert, Mike Goldner.
When Irwin Miller first reached out, it was a simple phone call. He found ArtisanHD.com after researching XL Prints and Wall Art Graphics online. After a 45 minute initial consultation, Goldner assured him that Artisan could easily handle the sizes and quality he was after.
Miller and Goldner shared the same vision, both were focused on the very best print and file preparation for these custom restaurant murals. At this point, Goldner was still not sure who Miller was, but based on their discussion, he knew he was a professional with a deep understanding of proper file preparation and the work needed on the front end to produce solid, high-definition prints. Goldner would later discover that Irwin Miller was a Principal at the world-renowned architecture firm Gensler.
Now, you might ask why didn’t they just get the mural painted on-site? After all, this was located in L.A., so muralist talent is not hard to come by. This particular project started in March of 2021, and COVID was making things very difficult. There were many delays and roadblocks to get murals painted, with some artists having a 6-8 month delay/waitlist. At this point, Miller decided to digitally paint all of the custom graphics. No small feat, for sure!
Once Goldner had a list for all sizes and overall quantity, he was able to get the quoting process started. In the meantime, the Gensler team was working on the renovation schedule and timing for their client, Musso & Frank. Artisan was in constant communications with the Gensler team and the crew of the restaurant managers onsite, making sure that all the test prints got there on time, were reviewed, and the resolution was accepted.
After Artisan received full approval on the print materials (archival matte canvas) and the quality of the output, we started to work on the final prints.
After more than 20 years with Gensler, Miller retired from the company. Artisan continued to work with his counterparts at Gensler, who handled some of the final remodeling details.
“A true professional thru and thru, he kept me and the rest of the Gensler / Musso & Frank team in the loop. We completed the entire project on time and on budget. We even had time to make a small commemorative canvas print for Irwin, that he could hang in his new home office,” said Golder.
Artisan is committed to using materials with archival quality. The archival inks used for this project will keep the prints looking new for many years to come. The longevity of a print is truly essential, especially when making a large investment in interior design wall art.
When you partner with Artisan Colour, our talents are your talents. 20+ years of providing perfect color, custom-built technology, and service which drive success. Let our expert team of experts work with you on your next project. Contact us now or call: 480-948-0009
Commercial Wall Murals – Custom Printing Expertise
Fine-tuned quality control on the large prints and the speedy completion of the small one was a great example of the expertise at Artisan Colour. Our dedicated project manager was able to stay on top of project changes, updating contacts as the project changed tack 4 times. Artisan was able to coordinate shipping and billing with the restauranteur, a well-known persona in the LA gastronomy circles.
Nothing says it like a stellar review:
“Your patience and professionalism with this little canvas and all of the BIG wall murals were exemplary. We got everything and then some accomplished for his project and the client couldn’t be happier!” – Mia Park, Gensler
Learn More About Commerical Wall Murals
Artisan Colour’s custom printing experts can help create and produce remodeling and branding projects in the restaurant industry, retail, and beyond.
From commercial wall murals to flyers, see what we can do here.
See a video walk-through of the restaurant here: