In a region not lacking in wine industry hangouts, Cadet has managed to stand out since its early-July opening. To begin with, there’s its pedigree: It’s the creation of Kelly Fleming Wines vet Colleen Fleming and former French Laundry sommelier Aubrey Bailey. Then there’s its insiders-only location, announced by a glowing neon sign at the end of a pedestrian alley in downtown Napa.
But most of all, there’s its selection of beers and approximately 150 bottles of wine, which, despite the loss of some $5,000 worth of inventory in the quake, remains superlative. Aided by a roster of well-edited bar snacks and regular industry and winemaker nights, Fleming and Bailey have created a community center of sorts. “There were great restaurants in Napa, and people sharing meals in their backyards,” says Fleming, “but there wasn’t a set location.” Although the word “cadet” refers to someone in training, it’s clear that Bailey and Fleming are consummate pros.
930 Franklin St. (Near 1st St.), 707-224-4400
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Originally published in the October issue of San Francisco