After just three years, the Thomas/Fagiani’s Bar is closing in downtown Napa and Ninebark will be its immediate replacement.

Chef Matthew Lightner will open Ninebark at the former Fagiani's/The Thomas in August 2015

Chef Matthew Lightner will open Ninebark at the former Fagiani’s/The Thomas in August 2015

The vintage Fagiani’s sign in downtown Napa has gone dark again. In fact, it’s gone altogether.

After just three years, the upscale/retro Fagiani’s Bar/The Thomas restaurant is shuttering.

Call it the curse of the building, which was the site of the town’s most notorious murders, the kerfuffle the Fagiani family made over the original name (it was changed in 2012 after opening), the lineup of chefs that came and went from the restaurant, or maybe just the need for something different in the ever-changing landscape of the Napa Valley dining scene.

The Thomas at Fagiani's on Wednesday, September 26, 2012. (Jeff Kan Lee/ The Press Democrat)   Jeff Kan Lee

The Thomas at Fagiani’s on Wednesday, September 26, 2012. (Jeff Kan Lee/ The Press Democrat)
Jeff Kan Lee


Whatever the reason, the NYC hospitality group behind the 2012 opening, AvroKo, is reinventing the restaurant as Ninebark (the name refers to a woody bush native to the region).

What’s really captured our attention: AvroKo has partnered with Michelin-starred wunderkind Matthew Lightner to open the restaurant and handle all of their West Coast culinary operations. And that means not just a new Napa restaurant, but whispers of a second restaurant in Calistoga, and likely other Wine Country eateries. Lightner rose to fame as executive chef of Castgna in Portland, Oregon, then received two Michelin stars in NYC after opening Atera.

His new focus for the restaurant and rooftop bar will be “California-focused, market-forward cuisine based around “innovative preparation techniques”, with proposed menu items like scallops with bottarga, seaweed and buttermilk; skewers of fatty tuna, shiso, peppercorns and sorrel and savory porridge with smoked fish, heirloom rice and sourdough. 

The Thomas/Fagiani’s is slated to close at the end of July, and Ninebark will hopefully open in early August. Call us stoked.