Manufacturer: Syracuse China
User: Alexis Restaurant
Date of plate: 1972
Notes: The proprietor of the Alexis Restaurant, located in Nob Hill, San Francisco, Calif., was Georgian immigrant Alexis K. Merab. Merab, of Napa, Calif., was born in August 1909.
According to the Oakland Tribune, a $4,000 robbery occurred at the Alexis in 1972 (the same year as this plate was manufactured). The robber gained entry by pretending to be delivering a package. He forced the cashier, Mrs. Bessie Ow, 36, to open the restaurant safe, then handcuffed her to a stairwell. On his way out with the loot, he stopped to give Mrs. Ow was was described as "a friendly thank-you kiss."
The earliest reference found for the Alexis was 1961. Given other citations, it is likely that it closed in the mid-to-late 1980s. In 1997, Mirabel opened on the site, and it was preceded by Leonce Picot's 1001 Nob Hill (1990-1992).
The restaurant's cuisine was "Russian, continental." Lunch and dinner were served in a moderate-to-expensive price range.
The plate with scalloped border has a white background with a center motif that resembles the mirror image – in blue – of a pair of birds with a shared topknot or crown. The wide rim, with either a black or navy background, has a metallic gold design and a metallic gold line on the edge.