There’s a new eatery coming to the former home to Napa’s short-lived BurgerFi restaurant: Lavender Hill.
The metal-clad building overlooking the Napa River at First Street was purchased in March by John and Nat Komes, proprietors of Flora Springs Winery, Jon Nathaniel Wines and Bodacious Wines.
The property, located at 967 First St., sold for $3.7 million, having been first listed in 2017 for $4.9 million. The seller was Steve Hasty and partners.
On July 10, Komes submitted an application to the city for an early review of their concepts for modifying the building, both inside and out.
“We are still in the idea phase,” Komes said Tuesday in an email. “Obviously COVID-19 set us back a bit, and we’re thinking even harder about what we would like to do with this space. In the meantime, we secured a permit, so we could start to do a little upgrading, particularly the kitchen.”
“Whatever the outcome, we’re enthusiastic about the prospect of this someday being a place where locals and visitors can enjoy a glass of wine, a bite to eat, and the ambiance of downtown Napa,” said Komes.
The Lavender Hill restaurant will feature inside and outside seating, and wine and beer service, according to the application. Other details about the restaurant were not made available.
The submitted plans stated that the owners would like to change the building’s interior and exterior.
“To address some of the shortcomings of the existing building’s exterior appearance,” Komes would like to replace portions of the existing metal siding with natural cut stone and wood siding “to make the building more aesthetically interesting,” according to the application.
A new glass railing will replace the existing metal railing on the second floor patio.
The idea is to turn “a uniform metal building into a more aesthetically interesting, architectural structure with a mix of materials and elements” for passerby to interact with and enjoy. Coordinated furniture, planters and umbrellas “will add character and color” to the project.
“New exterior materials of natural stone and wood elements will harmoniously integrate this building” with its surroundings.
The new design “is sensitive to and compatible with the adjacent historic Winship Building,” home to the Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, “we are looking to better utilize the existing outside dining areas and opening the exterior areas to allow flow of fresh air,” Komes said in the application.
Many years before BurgerFi, the property was formerly home to an auto repair garage called the Riverside Service Station.
In 2012, Hasty first announced plans to renovate the corner. BurgerFi opened in 2014. In December 2016, the North Palm Beach, Florida-based company announced the shutdown of its Napa eatery, then its first branch on the West Coast.
“BurgerFi management has determined that its Napa restaurant’s surrounding demographic base, as well as the very stringent economics associated with this site, does not support a cost-effective BurgerFi restaurant environment at this time,” the company said in a statement.
In its short life, the Napa BurgerFi got a mixed reception from city leaders.
The modern-style building, which abuts a historic structure hosting the Bounty Hunter wine bar, never came before the Planning Commission, and Commissioner Gordon Huether later doubted whether the structure “would have ever cut muster up here” if it had, he said in 2016.
Watch now: Napa Valley Wine Train pays tribute to essential workers during COVID-19 pandemic
You can reach reporter Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or email@example.com
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