Napkins restaurant gets planning go-ahead

Restaurant expects to stay open as late as 2 a.m.
2013-08-04T20:00:00Z Napkins restaurant gets planning go-aheadCHANTAL M. LOVELL Napa Valley Register
August 04, 2013 8:00 pm  • 

The future Napkins Bar and Grill received nothing but favor from the Napa Planning Commission, which unanimously gave it the go-ahead to stay open late and move forward with its plan to renovate the former Peking Palace space downtown and add outdoor dining.

Thursday, the three commissioners who participated in the hearing on the planned restaurant said they are excited that the vacant space at Second and Main streets will again be occupied. They praised the high-end design of what will be a casual dining and cocktail spot and mark the first of what they hope to be more outdoor dining options on the block across from Veterans Memorial Park.

“They’re obviously putting a lot of money into this building, which means that they have a lot of faith in not only themselves as restaurateurs, but also the continued vibrancy of the downtown area,” Commissioner Tom Trzesniewski said. “This is very exciting to have something like this being done in downtown.”

Yusuf Topal and Ali Yildirim, owners of Tarla Mediterranean Grill across from City Hall in the Andaz building, plan to open the new restaurant in the Alexandria building facing Veterans Memorial Park. It will offer “American cuisine with global influences” and may stay open as late as 2 a.m., according to a city staff report.  

“Our goal is to create a casual atmosphere with contemporary design, a restaurant with quality food and beverage and exemplary service,” the owners wrote to the city. “We will serve our friends and neighbors who live in Napa and provide a welcome destination for tourists.”

The name Napkins came out of a public request for suggestions and is intended as a term of endearment, according to the owners.

“It refers to people who live and breathe the Napa life every day,” they wrote. “It expresses the love and appreciation for the beautiful valley and the pride of being able to share this place with all the travelers who happen upon it.”

The restaurant will host a full bar, and the menu will offer seasonal dishes with fresh ingredients prepared by chef Michael B. Powell.

The exterior of the building will be redone with two types of tile, and aluminum-framed glass railing will be mounted to the sidewalk to provide an outdoor dining space. According to the city, there will still be ample space in the public right of way for people to move about.

Associate Planner Michael Allen said the city is exploring the idea of removing some parking on Main Street outside the businesses across from Veterans Memorial Park so the sidewalk can be extended and a promenade created. This would encourage more outdoor dining at the adjacent restaurants.

“It’s a very classy design and well thought through,” said Commissioner Arthur Roosa. “I’m very supportive of the project.”

Commission Chairman Michael Murray said he is not too fond of the future restaurant’s name, but is supportive of every other aspect.

“It’s just exciting to see this kind of stuff happening in my hometown,” he said.

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(17) Comments

  1. the smart one
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    the smart one - August 04, 2013 9:00 pm
    Isnt that right across the street from down town joe's? And isnt there a bar next door? I give this place 2 yrs tops.
  2. sofiathebrave
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    sofiathebrave - August 04, 2013 10:10 pm
    Stupid name.
  3. NapaMark15
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    NapaMark15 - August 04, 2013 11:12 pm
    What does a beer only bar/restaurant and a locals only dive bar (with no food) have to do with the success of this restaurant which is looking to have quality food and cocktails?
  4. NapaMark15
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    NapaMark15 - August 04, 2013 11:12 pm
    So is Sofia.
  5. SouthNapa
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    SouthNapa - August 04, 2013 11:28 pm
    Horrible name. The only people who say "Napkins" are transplants or people of small intelligence. I have lived and breathed in this town 35 of my 40 years and I'd never be caught dead saying "Napkin". I hope this place fails on the name alone.
  6. Chango
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    Chango - August 05, 2013 6:03 am
    I wouldn't say "stupid" name, but definitely not a good one. The name of a restaurant can make or break it- and this is not a good name. They seriously should think about an different name. These guys do a great job at Tarla and I wish them all the success in the world with the new place..!
  7. Crosscountrykid
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    Crosscountrykid - August 05, 2013 6:08 am
    Putting a lot of money into an enterprise is hardly a guantee of success. Think Coipa. When it comes to business success downtown have a good business plan. Leave faith to the churches (which in the downtown area aren't exactly thriving, come to think of it).
  8. Old Time Napkin
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    Old Time Napkin - August 05, 2013 6:57 am
    southnapa,, check my screen name. I'm a third generation Napan. Thanks for saying I have "small intelligence". I need not go any further with my comments. You have your opinion and I have mine.
  9. je1466
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    je1466 - August 05, 2013 8:13 am
    What is the problem with Napkins? I think it is a great name. I like it. What is wrong with being called a Napkin? Sure, it is a little silly, but so what? It is just a nickname, it's not official, it won't be on your driver's license. I am a second-generation Napkin of 47 years and it doesn't bother me too much. Life is too short to worry about stuff like that. Moving on, I wish the restaurant luck. Like many others that have been around a while, we know the changes of a restaurant succeeding anywhere in this city is about 1 in 10. If the theme is to create a local' spot, I truly hope the prices reflect it. I look forward to giving it a fair chance.
  10. MzPoppy
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    MzPoppy - August 05, 2013 8:24 am
    I think the name is concise and trendy. Of course, I am apparently of "little intelligence" to think so instead of coming up with a typical snobbish knee jerk reaction to an inventive name. I put it on par with naming a place 'Biscuits' or 'Checkers'. Not every Napa restaurant has to have an overly long name such as "The Thomas at Fagiani's". Or maybe they should consider changing the name to "Monogrammed Linen Napkins at the Olde Peking Palace", just to satisfy the elite diners of Napa. ;)
  11. ChristineBors
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    ChristineBors - August 05, 2013 8:50 am
    Why are people crabby about this? How exciting for Downtown to get another fun locally friendly restaurant with extended hours and outdoor seating! Great location for weekend breakfasts and catching up. Glad to see people continuing to take pride in renovating our downtown area. And the name Napkins is cute, coming from another third generation Napa girl.

  12. eas001
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    eas001 - August 05, 2013 9:19 am
    Some of us 'old-time' Napans do not appreciate the term Napkins as it was used derogatorily towards us back in the day. Think feminine hygiene product. Those of us who never left to live in the Big City (San Francisco, New York) were seen as country bumpkins, and back then, it somewhat seemed so.
  13. sallyfromthevalley
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    sallyfromthevalley - August 05, 2013 9:59 am
    The owners of Tarla are great people who have a (yes vested) interest in the success of downtown Napa. Have you been out lately at night? Live music, great bar scene, people walking around having fun! Remember back in the day when we used to do that?? Well, it is happening now, again Napa. So the name is a little tongue in cheek...dont be so serious. Come out, have fun, and relax a little. Support our town.
  14. shantz
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    shantz - August 05, 2013 10:05 am
    This sounds just like the type of restaurant Napa needs. A place open up late for locals to frequent after work.

    I hope the prices are affordable for working class Napkins but this sounds promising.

    I look forward to this!
  15. Native Daughter
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    Native Daughter - August 05, 2013 10:21 am
    Napkins is a cute name for a restaurant--but don"t call me a Napkin! I've been a Napan for over fifty years and will so remain.
  16. scooterams
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    scooterams - August 05, 2013 12:06 pm
    Ultimately, it will be the food, service, and ambiance that will determine whether or not I will eat at a restaurant. But I do think a restaurant/business name is important, has an impact, and can make a difference. We're all entitled to an opinion. And my opinion is that "Napkins" is just as stupid as "Dead Fish" or "Dim Sum Charlie's."
  17. Trucker
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    Trucker - August 09, 2013 2:28 pm
    I am sorry, but I hate the term "Napkin" and the name Napkin. I will not be referred to as a "Napkin". I will not dine in a business named as such and I will not suggest others do the same. I would not say those who think the name is "cute" or the term is fine are small minded but I definitely question their taste. Please change the name!
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