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By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Ariele Brooke and Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2017 (Alpine)—One of Alpine’s most iconic restaurants, the Alpine Inn Steakhouse, has reopened after being closed for five years.  The reopening is welcome news to the community, which has reacted with praise and delight.

At a ribbon cutting held by the Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce,  the Chamber’s Chairman Joseph Perricone stated, “Alpine Inn is an icon in our town and we’re all proud as punch that you’re back.”

Built around the 1960s in the style of a Swiss chalet, the steakhouse exudes mountain warmth and charm.  Its interior includes rich wood paneling, a stone fireplace,rustic beamed ceilings and large leather dining booths.

There's also a "Robin’s Nest” back room for private parties, decorated in a nautical theme complete with model ship, tap barrels and door with porthole window.

The new owner is Antonio “Tony” Lopez (photo, with daughter Andrea).  He previously owned Marrietta’s, a Mexican food restaurant forced to shut down when Sunrise Powerlink  was built through Alpine. 

“We believe this belongs to the community,” he told East County Magazine.  He’s keeping the ambience and menu largely as it was—though he’s adding margaritas, and may bring in some seasonal specialties.

“We cut all of our meats here,” he said, adding that steaks are all prime cuts.  They also serve up seafood, burgers, chops, Italian foods, a lunch menu and more.

Our table ordered up lunch and savored hearty prime rib and steak sandwiches, as well as mushrooms stuffed with crab, shrimp and more.  I look forward to returning for dinner.

State Senator Joel Anderson’s aide, Matthew Bagdasar, stated, “This is the nicest and most unusual restaurant I’ve ever been in.” Representatives from Congressman Duncan Hunter and Supervisor Dianne Jacob were also on hand. 

The steakhouse also has a large yet cozy sports bar, where patrons ordered up local craft brews on tap including, of course, Alpine Beer.

“I am sure that everyone in Alpine is so EXCITED to have OUR ICONIC RESTAURANT BACK!! Alpine just wasn’t the same without it!” exclaimed Angela Brookshire, editor of the Alpine Community Network, in a post on her site.

The Alpine Inn Steakhouse is located at 2225  Alpine Blvd. in Alpine. 

You can call them at (619) 722-4345 or visit their Facebook page at :







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New Year's Eve fatal crash in Jamul near casino

There was a three vehicle fatal crash New Year's eve in Jamul just up from the casino. Is there a news black out on this ? It's been removed from CHP's web site and there have been no news stories about . Hwy 94 was closed in both directions a little after midnight . According to the CHP web site the coroner and the media were inroute and then it was scrubbed from the site? Any news to share with readers?

We did Tweet about that accident New Year's Eve

but didn't know this was a fatality crash. CHP did not send a press release about it and the Medical Examiner's office has not aadded any new fatality notices since Dec. 29 due to the holiday probably.

Here is what we tweeted based on Scanner traffic and the CHP website on Dec. 31 and the wee hours of Jan. 1 (earliest tweet is at the bottom):

EastCountyAlert‏ @EastCountyAlert Jan 1

EAST COUNTY MAG TRAFFIC ALERT: CHP road blocks at Steele Cnyn Rd and at Lyon Valley Rd on CA Hwy 94 has presumably been cleared after a serious head-on traffic accident involving multiple vehicles at Vista Diego Rd approx 1 mi North from the Jamul Casino.

1 reply 1 retweet 3 likes

·  ·  EastCountyAlert‏ @EastCountyAlert Jan 1

EAST COUNTY MAG TRAFFIC ALERT: LYONS VALLEY RD leading to CA State Hwy 94 is closed due to the accident.

0 replies 0 retweets 2 likes

·  ·  EastCountyAlert‏ @EastCountyAlert Jan 1

EAST COUNTY MAG TRAFFIC ALERT: CA State Hwy 94 is closed in both directions at Steele Canyon Road due to a headon traffic accident at Vista Diego Rd involving 3 or vehicles 1 mile from the Jamul Casino. Lanes will be blocked for an extended amount of time says CHP.

EastCountyAlert‏ @EastCountyAlert Dec 31

ECM TRAFFIC ALERT: Both lanes at State Highway 94 at Steele Canyon Road are closed due to an unspecified CHP incident according to scanner radio advisories.

0 replies 0 retweets 1 like


long time no see. i have a problem

I am girgels and i have seen you in ages” is similar to “Long time no see!” and is another way to greet someone you’ve missed for a long time

The Alpine Inn

A friend cleaned the place after closing time. We went there at three AM and had a drink and some food. No steak, the meat was inventoried every day.

History of the Alpine Inn building

Carol Morrison, Alpine Historical Society Archivist, provided this intersting history on the Alpine Inn building:


The history of Alpine is not one of events but of the people of the land who built homes and businesses.

The Alpine Inn represents many people who had various business on a small corner of land in the center of town.


The first building on the corner of now Alpine Blvd and Marshall Road was Slack’s Grocery Store, Alpine’s second grocery store, built by

S. M. Marshall in the 1930’s. After WWII the building was petitioned  into two stores, #2223 and #2225 Alpine Blvd.  Over the years

#2223 became Ratliff’s liquor store, Rexall Drug Store, Alpine Cleaner’s, U-Wash and the Echo newspaper Office.  #2225 became Nola Coleman Store, Coldwell Store

and the Alpine Cafe.  Barney Ratliff combined his Liquor Store and the Alpine Café into one building.


In the 1970’s, after a succession of ventures on the site, the Alpine Inn was taken over by Frank Harris, who remodeled and redecorated it as it

now stands.  The Inn was very popular with the local people and out-of- town crowds. The Inn was sold in 1990’s with several other owners following.


After being closed for many years, the Alpine Inn now reopens with the new owner and the best wishes for success from the community.