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VIDEO VAULT | Alpine Village Inn brings back fond memories even 20 years after it closed

The Apline Village Inn seems to always evoke magical memories (KSNV File Photo)

These days, Las Vegas is a magnet for some of the great chefs from around the world, like Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay. But before the superstar chefs arrived, there were already plenty of dining choices here, one of which always evokes magical memories.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her husband arrived here in 1964, and soon became regulars.

“Oh, yes. Loved the Alpine Village Inn,” the Mayor said. “It was one of Oscar s and my favorite places to eat. Loved it, because we loved good German Swiss food.“

But they had to follow it around. The Alpine Village Inn started in 1950 when Maryland Parkway was a dirt road and the cross street was Bond -- later renamed Tropicana. It also moved to Las Vegas Boulevard South and Russell, the Boulevard North at Washington, and Convention Center Drive, before settling on Paradise in 1970 -- a special location for Kelly di Rosa.

“1978 was my first date with my husband there,” Di Rosa said. “We got married in 79 and the rest is history.”

There was good food, good company, and an Oom-Pah atmosphere.

“If I remember, it was more like Bavarian kind of music,” said Di Rosa. “And they had like a little trolley going across the restaurant. A little train going around it.”

If you Didn t feel like a full dinner, there was still plenty to do on the lower level.

“We did singalongs downstairs,” said Mayor Goodman.

“We went down a couple of times just to look and see what was going on down there,” said Di Rosa.

Downstairs was the Rathskeller, where patrons would swing steins and sing along with "Der Schnitzelbank". But by 1997, majority shareholder Lou Wiener had passed away, and the estate decided to close rather than renovate. There was an auction that brought back the diners.

{>}Guy: Well, I think they have good food down here. It was a good place to eat. It was enjoyable.

The knick knacks are alive in collections and internet auctions. Because anyone who ever ate there gets instantly nostalgic.

“But their food. The sauerbraten. Oh my god, everything they served was great,” said Mayor Goodman.

"We liked when the soup would come out," said Di Rosa. And they would put it piping hot in the pewter bowl and put the ladle on top so it wouldn’t burn you."

The Alpine Village closed its doors in 1997, but the famous soup lives on. It's served from the original recipe in Oscar's Steakhouse at the Plaza in Downtown Las Vegas.

This story was originally broadcast on December 1, 2011. Kelly DiRosa passed away on May 25, 2012 after a short illness. She was 52.

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