Historically speaking, downtown Napa has been compared to a ghost town past 8pm on most nights, although the area has been undergoing a makeover of sorts as we’ve written about previously.
Certainly the completion of the Napa Riverfront project in the next couple months and subsequent opening of establishments like Masaharu Morimoto’s sushi restaurant (Morimoto Napa), which will have a late night lounge as well as the newly opened Norman Rose Tavern are providing a sorely needed breath of fresh air to the area.
Beyond restaurants, is there anything else downtown Napa has to offer that would attract a nighttime crowd? Sure, there’s Napa’s local movie theatre (and the soon to re-open Uptown), but what if there was another option for entertainment?
We recently gave The Napa Valley Opera House a shot to fit the bill. The NVOH has teamed up with Lucky Penny Productions to bring small, intimate stage productions to locals and visitors who want something different from the typical dinner and movie.
A few weeks back we watched Lucky Penny’s Production of “The Shape of Things” by Neil LaBute (ticket prices were $25 per person). We won’t give any critiques regarding the performances, but watching the production left us certain that this would NOT be the last performance we see at this venue. We describe the experience as “intimate” because there is very limited seating and, in this case, chairs were set up on the main stage, close enough that audience members seated in the front row were literally inches from the action. Every wince, tear, and chuckle could be seen (and experienced) up close by theatre-goers.
What’s more, after the show there are a growing number of options if you’re looking to continue the fun. You can enjoy a bite at Zinsvalley Restaurant (located directly across the street from the NVOH), which serves a late night lounge menu from 10pm – midnight with fares like Night Sliders ($12), Chicken Wings ($10), and Sweet Stuff ($7). Slightly further away you can enjoy a Lucky Centavo, a delicious cocktail of Amaretto, Frangelico and a squeeze of lemon juice served in a martini glass for $3 on performance dates, at Compadres Rio Grille.
Here’s hoping more late night, downtown entertainment options continue to sprout up that appeal to both locals and visitors alike. Certainly, small companies like Lucky Penny Productions, will draw those who wish to feed their artistic appetites.