AVOW brings new life and flavor to a historic Napa building
AVOW Napa, a new hospitality project, is designed to bring luxury to everyday life.
Those familiar with Main Street in downtown Napa know about the historic Fagiani building. Built in 1908, the two-story brick structure was constructed with large, arched windows and a rooftop overlooking the Napa River. For locals, the building has always been a source of fascination due to its long, storied past, but after two reinventions of the place came and went (the Thomas in July 2015, and Ninebark in October 2015), the narrative surrounding the landmark—for foodies, anyway—was focused on what future flavors might be conjured here.
That question was answered when owner and Napa native Joe Wagner (Copper Cane Wines & Provisions owner) enlisted the help of BraytonHughes Design Studios, Architectural Resources Group (ARG) and Cello & Maudru Construction to re-envision and re-create the space into what is now AVOW, offering contemporary American cuisine with dining in the first-floor bar, dining and the open kitchen on the second, and a dining lounge on the top floor with a bar and outside seating overlooking Veterans Memorial Park and the Napa River.
“With AVOW, we intended to bring an iconic landmark back to illustrious roots, mirroring the revitalization of old-town Napa,” says Wagner, whose family founded the Caymus Vineyards in 1972 and whose company crafts high-end wine brands, such as Belle Glos and Quilt. “With the interior remodel, BraytonHughes opened up what was closed and created levels for memorable moments to unfold.”
Design was a key element in this project. Given the building’s long history, the team behind the project wanted to showcase its design while reimagining the space and giving it new life. For example, rather than a restaurant with a room or series of rooms with tables, chairs and food as the focal point of a repeatable experience, AVOW is designed with flexibility in spaces and has less static dining areas for a more lively experience.
Complementing the fresh design is AVOW’s menu. Favorites have already emerged among executive chef Michael Williams’ dishes, including the roasted bone marrow with frisée, Dijon vinaigrette and grilled bread ($20); block-cut New York steak with potato au gratin, Roquefort cream, roasted pearl onions and pomegranate reduction ($48); and the rabbit gnocchi with braised rabbit, seared gnocchi, mushrooms, brown butter and herbs ($28). Guests are also welcome to taste from the Copper Cane portfolio of wines, and wines from Wagner’s friends and family.
On a clear day, grab a glass and head to the rooftop.
813 Main St., Napa, 707.203.8900, avownapa.com
Photography by: Paul Dyer