News

Molly Alexander, owner of Alpine Inn in Portola Valley, dies at 93

 

Amelia "Molly" Alexander, for years the proprietress of the Alpine Inn in Portola Valley, was until a few years ago a familiar face to regular customers as they placed orders for burgers, fries and other gastronomic gratifications common to popular roadhouses.

Ms. Alexander died of heart failure on June 20 in a nursing home, her daughter Geri Alexander said. She was 93.

A memorial service is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, July 22, at Saint William Catholic Church in Los Altos at 611 El Monte Ave., with a reception to follow, relatives said.

Ms. Alexander was a native of Phoenix. She married John Alexander in 1951 and the couple raised five children.

In a partnership with Don Horther, Mr. Alexander bought what was then called Rossotti's in 1956 at 3915 Alpine Road and renamed it the "Alpine Inn Beer Garden," according to Palo Alto historian Steve Staiger.

After Mr. Alexander died in 1994, Ms. Alexander assumed control of the inn in her husband's honor, Vicki Alexander said. "Both she and John were well known and loved by many customers," Vicki said. "Her spunky spirit and smile will be missed by family and friends."

Ms. Alexander had her own career that included work at MEC and Sylvania, Vicki said.

Ms. Alexander is survived by daughters Maxine, Geri and Leslie; son Norman; nine grandchildren; and seven great grandchildren.

--

Sign up for Express to get news updates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

— Dave Boyce

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

1 person likes this
Posted by local
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jun 27, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Change comes exceptionally slow to PV and I wouldn't expect any sweeping changes to this local and regional institution. (It's also registered as a state historical monument)


3 people like this
Posted by Dagwood
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 27, 2017 at 1:44 pm

And of course Risotti's is known and will be known as Zott's. Thank you Molly for keeping a great institution going for so many years, and for the great burgers, fries and beer.


1 person likes this
Posted by Honor the past
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jun 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm

The old guard at Zott's is leaving us. Molly was part of the wonderful ambiance of this watering hole and she has been missed for some time now. With all the changes on the Peninsula, let's hope we won't see this land sold. Take the family and sit in the garden with your lunch. Birds will eat shelled peanuts out of your hand. Dogs are welcomed. People are friendly. I recall my first visit in 1962. Nothing has changed except veggie burgers were added to the menu.
So long Molly.


Like this comment
Posted by Doug hancock
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jun 28, 2017 at 3:56 pm

My older brother got a job pouring beer at Zotts while at Stanford. After a few months he asked the owner for a celebration..as he had just turned 21 !


9 people like this
Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 28, 2017 at 4:47 pm

Our condolences to the Alexander family!
Alpine Inn, formerly Rossotti's, is a gem that has given lots of locals and others on the Mid-Peninsula many good memories of times passed with friends in the relaxed country setting of this significant landmark. We hope that it can continue to thrive and prosper and that management will now address the accumulation of deferred maintenance from over the years. Because of its historical designation, it shouldn't change its appearance or character however it can use some light structural support and freshening up so that it doesn't continue to deteriorate. It has often been said that it needs a little more tender loving care and attention to operational details. The quality of the pub fare could stand a little tweaking too. We'd love to see the building receive the proper care that it deserves so that it remains a safe and fun place to enjoy for years and years to come!


Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jun 30, 2017 at 7:56 am

Thank you Molly for such a wonderful place to eat, drink and write in the sun. I have enjoyed the backyard at Rossotti's so much, and appreciate the community of people that go there. Many weeks of The Food Party! have been inspired by this special space. Long Live Molly!


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Cardwell
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jul 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Millet raised my rent many times but I still got free burgers for cleaning up
The back yard!


Like this comment
Posted by Bonnie Mccoy
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Awwww, I loved talking to Molly and her daughter while "working remotely". I'll miss the debate on technology...as they wrote my order in pen and paper and even had an old fashion cash register. I'm not sure if Alpine Inn will ever be the same but, I am going to miss one of our best local legends and personal favorite! So Molly, cheers to you and the love you spread. The angels have taken you to heaven and until the day comes, just save a place for me!


Like this comment
Posted by Jean Erreca
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Oct 4, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Long live Rosotti's, Zotts, The Alpine Inn. My home away from home for many years. I was a bartender in 1962 and 63. Rest in peace Molly, John and Don. Jean Erreca


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Su Hong Palo Alto's last day of business will be Sept. 29
By Elena Kadvany | 19 comments | 6,042 views

Premarital, Women Over 50 Do Get Married
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,898 views

Electric Buses: A case study
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 1,715 views

Natural Wines?
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,680 views

Stay a part of their day
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 614 views

 

Register now!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

More Info