Fagiani’s Fits Fabric of Napa with ‘Floating Glass Wine Cave’
In Napa, fitting in can mean many things
The latest details on the rising of Fagiani’s in downtown Napa, which we’d previously reported would reach three-stories and include a rooftop bar and dining area, were delivered in the form of a typically perfunctory Paolo Lucchesi missive. The redesign and operation of the long-shuttered restaurant is in the capable hands of NYC-based design troupe AvroKo, which is refashioning and restoring the more-than-a-century-old building. The work done thus far looks to be impeccable in the details, with the cornice on the new third-floor an exact match to its 100-year-old sibling on the floor below. And the tan tiles and vents above the doorway installed mid-century have been removed and the row of clerestory windows of the original 1910 version of the building (when it was known as The Thomas Restaurant) re-created.
As passersby no doubt have gleaned, the building was basically gutted, and La-La-Lucchesi has gotten the goods on what’s going to fill the 5,500 square feet (with 126 seats) spread out over three levels set to open in August. The downstairs bar will be something of a replica of-slash-ode to the restaurant’s namesake, which, on its closing in 1974 still looked like the 1940s-era watering hole the original Fagiani’s Cocktail Lounge and Liquor Store began as in 1945.
AvroKo chef-partner Brad Farmerie (also the chef at AvroKo’s Public in New York) tells the Little Cheesy:
“We don’t want any pretension … We want it to be like you’re in someone’s home. We want to be part of the fabric of Napa.”
Some of the homey details include an open kitchen, “Pullman-style” booths and “cathedral-like” windows. And, of course, there will be a wood-burning oven, which may as well be part of the code requirements for opening a new restaurant in Wine Country at this point (see also: French Blue, Redd Wood, Brassica and Ciccio in Napa and Glen Ellen Star, Campo Fina and the forthcoming Pizzando in Sonoma).
But the pièce de résistance has to be the “floating glass wine cave.” What is this magical mystical vault? Farmerie tells le Petit Fromage it will consist of a temperature-controlled wine storage walkway installed halfway up a wall above the banquettes (to take advantage of the high ceilings, he explains) and house 1,300 bottles.
To which, all we can say is: Wow, they really are trying to fit into “the fabric of Napa.”