Wine Country attracts crowds of wine enthusiasts, but what about those in search of something beyond the vines? More recently, Napa and Sonoma counties have begun to appeal to a more diverse audience, with underground jazz clubs, trivia nights and bocce ball courts aplenty. Joining longtime entertainment venues such as HopMonk Tavern (with locations in Sonoma and Sebastopol), here are some additional hot spots to keep locals and visitors entertained day and night.
With a nod to the city’s history of back alley jazz clubs, the underground Big Easy restaurant and jazz club brings a smaller music venue to the downtown Petaluma scene, providing local musicians a place to show off their talent six days a week. Paired with the Speakeasy restaurant (owned by the same owners and located across the street), patrons can get the entire entertainment experience, ordering small plates off the restaurant menu while seated for a show.
Another Petaluma hot spot offering up a good time is Brewsters Beer Garden, which opened in late 2016. The open-air restaurant serves up Southern Carolina barbecue alongside 30 local craft beers. Fire pits, bocce ball courts and a live music stage provide a wealth of entertainment, especially in the warmer months. Afternoons here are filled with bluegrass and soul music, providing the perfect backdrop to a game of bocce.
Located in Healdsburg, Campo Fina dishes out Italian fare just like Nonna makes it. House-made ravioli and tomato braised chicken are just a few of the highlights on the “From Nonna’s Kitchen” side of the menu. While the food is delish, bocce ball courts and communal tables out on the patio give it that “everyone’s welcome” Italian vibe that keeps people here for hours.
If Cheers was a wine bar, it could be Carpe Diem. Owned by three young locals, this wine-industry hangout keeps the wine flowing into the wee hours. Mix that with trivia nights, painting nights and live music, and it’s hard not to have a good time here any night of the week. And don’t let its laidback vibe confuse you, the dining and extensive wine list here are first rate, with local cheeses, ahi tuna tartare and butternut squash risotto balls featured on the menu.
The circa-1880 Napa Valley Opera House is now home to Blue Note Napa, a jazz club and restaurant located on the historic building’s first floor, as well as JaM Cellars Ballroom at the Margrit Mondavi Theater on the second. Both music venues provide very different experiences. Blue Note Napa provides a relaxed setting where patrons can dine and enjoy a show, while the theater upstairs can hold 650 people for standing and seated concerts. In January, it hosted the band Spoon, with several more acts coming in 2018.
Opened last fall, the five-story Archer Hotel Napa is a boutique retreat for locals and visitors alike, featuring Charlie Palmer Steak restaurant and its-soon-to-launch Archer Rooftop. Scheduled to debut in March, the rooftop will provide an urban oasis in the heart of downtown. Dotted with living sculptures made from succulents and other greenery, patrons will opt between spending time in the comfy lounge seating positioned under a canopy of potted olives or simply rocking out in the modern rocking chairs, fire-pit side.