HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES - Ruben Rueda is perhaps L.A.'s best-known bartender. He's celebrating his fiftieth anniversary at the legendary Musso & Frank Grill, having served up drinks to some of the world's biggest names along the way.
"I served Steve McQueen, I served Tony Blair," Rueda said. The list goes on and on -- from heads of state to film stars, including Bob Hope, Raymond Burr, and Johnny Depp. Bob Dylan once left him a $50 tip.
Rueda has even played Cupid once or twice, connecting single customers at the bar. He said one couple ended up married, and the groom came back months later and left Rueda a $5,000 tip.
"I said, 'Thank you very much for the tip,' and he said, 'Oh no, you deserve it, you're my lucky charm!'"
Rueda described himself as lucky to have found Musso & Frank Grill. The Hollywood Boulevard landmark opened in 1919 and remains one of L.A.'s best-known restaurants.
It allowed Rueda to meet a number of unforgettable people over the past five decades.
"You know how many beautiful ladies I've served? My favorite was Raquel Welch," he said.
When it comes to drinks, Rueda says he's "old school." And even after 50 years, he still says his martini is the best in town.
"I mean, 50 years -- that'a lot of experience, and it goes with the place," said customer Lalo Alcaraz, a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist. "It's a beautiful establishment, and I'm so happy that it is part of the L.A. landscape still."