Joe Wagner, member of a longtime Napa wine family and owner of Copper Cane Wines and Provisions, has purchased the historic Fagiani’s building in downtown Napa for $3.7 million.
The seller was Steve Hasty, who spent millions to renovate and reopen the property as a restaurant.
Joe Wagner is the son of Chuck Wagner, perhaps best known for creating Caymus Vineyards in 1972.
“We feel we got it transferred to a good group,” said Hasty, “someone local who will look after it.”
This is the company’s first downtown real estate purchase, said Copper Cane Chief Operating Officer Kevin Alfaro.
“Joe is fifth generation in this valley,” said Alfaro. “He likes old historic buildings, he thought this was unique, has its own story and it met our criteria for an investment.”
There are no changes planned for the property, including the restaurant tenant Ninebark, said Alfaro.
Alfaro said another factor in choosing the Fagiani’s building was that the renovation was already completed.
Downtown space has become less available, he noted. At the same time, projects like the Bounty Hunter redevelopment, the CIA taking over Copia and Archer Napa are underway.
“I suspect as things get redeveloped that you’re going to see a city center that looks dramatically different over time,” he said. “It does look promising.”
The purchase could be part of a trend of local vintners buying historic or well-known downtown properties. For example, in 2014 the Beckstoffer family bought the original Napa Register building, which was built in 1905. Other such deals could be in the works.
Hasty said he had mixed feelings about selling the property, “but we are happy with the decision” to sell to Wagner.
“I’m looking forward to seeing where they go with it,” he said.
In November, Hasty said he planned to sell the property to free up capital for other ventures. It was listed for $3.9 million.
Hasty purchased the century-old building in late 2007 from longtime owner Muriel Fagiani.
After he completely remodeled the building and added a third story, a hospitality group called AvroKO opened the Thomas Restaurant and Fagiani’s bar in 2012. In July, AvroKO closed the Thomas restaurant and bar and reopened with a new chef under the name, NineBark.
Hasty said he paid $1.5 million for the rundown building and then put a lot of money into it. The building underwent a complete seismic retrofit, third-floor addition and all new infrastructure.
Early city records and a postcard from the fall of 1910 verify that the building was once home to a business called the Thomas Restaurant, and that its second story had been a boarding house.
Nick Fagiani purchased the building in 1945 to open a combination bar and liquor store. In 1974, his daughter, Anita Andrews, was killed in the bar by a drifter named Roy Melanson. For years after the murder, the building remained closed, dust settling on the remaining glasses and bartop.
In 2011, Melanson was convicted of killing the 51-year-old Andrews.