The space at 813 Main Street in Napa originally began as The Thomas, a restaurant and boarding house, in 1909. In 1945 Nick Fagiani made it a popular local watering hole, and in 1969, his two daughters took over the bar when their father passed away. In 1974, one of the daughters was murdered in the back room, and the crime went unsolved until two years ago. After more than thirty years as a dark presence on the riverfront, the building is completely refurbished and lit up, again bearing the name The Thomas, with Fagiani's Bar at The Thomas in the space downstairs.
The Thomas menu — Photo courtesy of The Thomas
The new restaurant has a "modern canteen and raw bar" feel, with Brad Farmerie (who earned a Michelin star while cooking at New York's Public) in the kitchen. The restaurant has done many things right--reclaimed wood floors and cool touches like framed checks from the original Fagiani's, exposed copper pipes and pressed tin ceilings--and the bar is an inviting place to grab a cocktail. The second floor and rooftop are for dining only (much to the chagrin of people who want to sit upstairs for a sunset drink). The exposed kitchen turns out creatively-informed and comforting food, like grilled Monterey Bay squid with sweet chili sauce and creme fraiche and The Thomas Burger with bacon onion jam. The kitchen is also open late until midnight, and the bar is open until 2am.