Anyone who’s lived in Scotts Valley for any period of time knows Malone’s Grille. Brothers Ryan and Taylor Fontana bought the restaurant last year, and have made it their own, while still keeping the name and finding other ways to honor its past. They’ve even revived the patio, turning it into a gorgeous outdoor hangout spot. Ryan took the time to tell us all about the new Malone’s.
How do you honor the restaurant’s legacy while also building your own?
RYAN FONTANA: We’re just reviving what’s already there. In terms of recognizing the history, we gathered a bunch of old photos that Patti [Malone] used to have when the place used to be called the Rusty Lantern. People used to tie their horse up to the front porch. So we put a bunch of old nostalgic photos up. We named a lot of menu items after Scotts Valley history, like the Hiram Scott burger. A lot of our cocktails are named for it, like the Whispering Pines Cocktail. We wanted to find a good spot where we could attract more young couples, because there are a ton in Scotts Valley. Trying to give them a reason to get a babysitter and go out on the town. We’ve known Patti for a long time. She used to buy all her food from Ledyard Company, which is our dad’s company. It’s been around more than 80 years. It was the most unique opportunity we could find in our hometown.
What’s the menu like now?
The only things we really kept were the steak salad, Cobb salad, the French Dip—she used to offer it “Fred style” which had grilled onions and cheese on it. This person Fred she named it after is my godfather. We changed that to “the Fred.” It comes that way in honor of him because he passed away a few years ago. The biggest thing at Malone’s is the hamburgers. We kept the same beef blend. It’s ground chuck, short rib and brisket. We have the absolute most tender, delicious fatty burger that you’ll ever have. Every burger she sold was on a big old ciabatta roll. She used to call it “almost a pound burger.” Nobody could finish the burger. We took that beef blend and put it on an artisan brioche bun for our own signature burgers. It allows you to taste that beef blend even more. We really want to take the menu and make it more exciting and have healthier options. So we have strawberry kale salad, smoked salmon salad. We’re smoking our own brisket for 12 hours for the brisket sandwich. There’s a flexibility. We can throw fresh fish on the menu. And we constantly have specials. There are always three food specials and a few specials from the bar every time you come in.
4402 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, 438-2244.