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A downtown Japanese restaurant will soon be transforming into a night club a few nights a week.

On Thursday, the Planning Commission unanimously approved a request by Eiko’s to have late-night entertainment and dancing Thursday through Saturday, as well as on specified holidays and during special events.

“Our plan is to create a classy entertainment environment for industry professionals to come down and enjoy the nightlife in Napa,” said General Manager Allison Hallum.

Prior to the new use permit, Eiko’s was allowed to serve alcohol until 1:30 a.m. Now, Eiko’s may dedicate a portion of its indoor space for dancing and live music, which may run until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and on Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, AND New Year’s Eve. The late-night entertainment is also permitted for private or special events up to 12 times a year.

“I just think it’s awesome that you all are taking the risk and investing in downtown Napa,” Commissioner Gordon Huether said. “More power to you.”

The restaurant will still close at 11 p.m., but there will be a few light food options late night, including rice, edamame and salads.

Commissioner Arthur Roosa encouraged Eiko’s to serve its full menu later, and Hallum said that is the eventual intent.

“As the center expands and as we go through the remodel of the Shops at Napa Center, we’ve proposed to keep the menu dining later,” she said.

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Under the new permit, Eiko’s may also keep its patio area open late. Security plans include extra personnel to ensure only people age 21 and over are present, and to keep the area under control.

Eiko’s has plans to enclose its patio with the addition of large planters, but until that happens, it will use a ropes, then metal railing. Until the area is completely enclosed, the restaurant will provide extra security outside.

Associate Planner Karlo Felix said there are already speakers in the restaurant’s outdoor area, but the new use permit does not allow live music to be played through that system.

Hallum said she wants to help “create a resurgence of nightlife” in Napa and hopes Eiko’s will be “a safe environment for our youth to enjoy.”

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