Note: This article, “Live It Up in Napa Valley”, written by MaryAnn Worobiec, was originally published in Wine Spectator and can be found here.
A tiki bar in downtown Napa is a welcome change of pace—a vacation spot within a vacation town. Wilfred’s, which opened last year, has a strong connection to wine. Owner Nat Komes, general manager of Flora Springs Winery, got the name Wilfred from a Hawaiian relative who used to own a bar in Honolulu. The decor is fun and tiki-chic, with floral patterns, colorful murals, tiki carvings and bamboo accents. There’s ample outdoor seating and enough pirate paraphernalia to remind one of a ride at Disneyland. The food is straightforward island fare, with Spam sliders, poke, a tender Kalua pork entrée, chicken katsu and pineapple fried rice—it’s the sort of place where macaroni salad is offered as a side (and it’s a tasty selection).
Of course, most people are drawn to the exotic cocktails and vibrant nightlife. The drinks (including nonalcoholic options) are flavorful and served in playful glassware. For example, the Waikiki Wipeout (rum, guava, orange, lime, chile and passionfruit) comes in large bowl to be shared among multiple people. Several other drinks offer the option of being served in a collectible tiki mug.
967 1st St., Napa Telephone (707) 690-9957 Websitewilfredslounge.com Open Lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday Cost Moderate
Once upon a foggy day, the trade winds blew a warm streak of tropical sunshine across the San Francisco Bay and dropped it right in the heart of Downtown Napa. Like wind on a sail, the spirit of Wilfred arrived among the vines with his trusty ukulele and a little Tiki spirit.
Many moons ago, Wilfred’s big sister Flora found a Spring and cultivated some very special wines in St. Helena. Wilfred was home in Honolulu, welcoming guests to his bar where the drinks were strong, the company was charming, and there was always “just one more” story to tell.
As we celebrate our legendary Uncle Wilfred and his epic hospitality, we invite you to experience a little aloha and escape to our corner of the world. We’ve taken the best parts of Napa Valley Wine Country, gave it a shake and a dash of Hawaiian culture to bring you Wilfred’s Lounge; our family’s take on a modern Tiki bar. Swing by to try something new that embraces old traditions too. You’ll find our Island-inspired menu will take you on a journey somewhere totally unexpected.
If you listen close when happy hour strikes, you might hear a few strums of Wilfred on his uke, his little akua (spirit) humming a tropical tune.
Flora Springs Celebrates the Contemporary Artist at Work
The Room celebrates contemporary art with demonstrations, installations and performances that showcase the creative genius of artists at work. Throughout the month, visitors will enjoy artwork from metal artists Taped Metal Canvas and Snapped With Love Photography, and on featured dates we’ll invite visual artists working in a variety of mediums – spray paint, chalk, metal, paint – for live demonstrations of their artistic process. These intimate, behind-the-scenes experiences will be accompanied by live music and a spectacular selection of Flora Springs and Jon Nathaniel Wines featuring popular artistic labels.
Artful wine flights:
Saturday, April 14: Dashaway Chardonnay Ghost Winery Malbec Skull Ring Red Blend Trilogy Red Wine
Saturday, April 21: Honest Bucker White Wine Skull Ring Red Blend Pumpkin Owl Halloween Red Blend (Magnum) Bodacious Red Blend
Saturday, April 28: Honest Bucker White Wine
Dashaway Chardonnay Black Arrow Cabernet Sauvignon Smoke Signals Merlot Trilogy Red Wine
Featured artists will be working with breaks between 2 pm – 4 pm:
Founder of Arrow Art Studio in Napa Valley, Sarah specializes in calligraphy and letter work with designs that are cleanly styled with an elegant edge. She often works in less traditional materials like chalkboards, plexiglass, mirrors, butcher paper, and leather.
Inspired by the female form and spirit, Amandalynn depicts strong, seductive women and illustrates their strength through line work and decorative patterning.
Saturday, April 21: Brett Crawford/Large Scale Paintings: startvault.com
Painter, metal sculptor, printmaker, illustrator and street artist are a few of the titles California native Brett Crawford holds. His work can be found in galleries and on walls all over Los Angeles. His preferred medium for large works is spray paint, but he is versatile and not limited to one material.
Tape and metal artist Dominic uses various methods and materials to carve, weave, and layer colorful metallic tape. He often transforms each piece into a balanced, symmetrical, and often abstract piece of artwork.
Featured Musicians will play with breaks between 2 pm – 4 pm:
Saturday, April 14: Rebecca Mimiaga an Indi Rock vocalist is known for her strong, intimate voice, piano songs, and orchestral arrangements.
Saturday, April 21: Katie Colver is a singer-songwriter and guitar player. Her voice is earthy and powerful, and her music is most influenced by folk and rock music of the 70s.
Saturday, April 28: Lauren Hulbert is a folk-rock singer-songwriter. She has a sultry, warm voice and a wide variety of raw and authentic songs.
Flora Springs will hold a benefit music festival on Sunday, October 29th at The Room in St. Helena with all proceeds going to victims of the recent Napa Valley wildfires through the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund. The fundraiser, held from 12pm to 5pm, will feature five San Francisco Bay Area bands and musicians including Serf & James, Fellow Vessel, Sean Garvey, Mr. Kind, and Miss Moonshine. Flora Springs wines by the glass and bottle will be poured and small bites will be served. The event will also feature an auction including wines and other items. Admission to the event is complimentary and no RSVP is needed.
“We wanted to jump in quickly and support the Napa Valley community as it recovers from these devastating fires,” said Flora Springs General Manager Nat Komes. Although the fires that raged through parts of Napa Valley hovered at the ridgeline to the west of Flora Springs’ winery and vineyards in Rutherford, the estate escaped unharmed thanks to the heroic efforts of firefighters and first responders.
“We were among the lucky ones, but we know many who were not as fortunate,” said Flora Springs Co-Founder and Proprietor John Komes. “The Festival will raise monies to help fire victims, but will also serve as a way for our community to come together in a show of strength and fellowship. Everyone is welcome.” The lineup of artists includes several who were themselves affected by the fires in Napa and Sonoma Counties.
The following is the festival schedule:
12pm – 12:45pm
This Petaluma, CA band was personally affected by the fires in Sonoma Valley: one lost her house, one lost his job. On October 29th, they come together to bring the healing power of foot-stomping, folk-rock music to The Room.
1pm – 1:45pm
A successful engineer quits his job to form a band with old friends, determined to follow his life’s true passion: that’s the story behind Fellow Vessel. With a catalog of original melodic rock songs, this band inspires anyone with a dream.
2pm – 2:45pm
Brian Bergeron and Jonathan Devoto are founding members of Mr. Kind, an electroacoustic band out of Oakland, CA. Over the course of 4 EPs and local shows, they have established their own brand of Americana. They are also founding members of Ivy Hill Entertainment, a music and event production agency responsible for booking music for the Napa Valley Film Festival, and most recently, a summer piano music series at Flora Springs. They will be collaborating with Tapper Dan as part of this performance.
3pm – 3:45pm
An accomplished musician, Sean Garvey is also Flora Komes’ grandson and the winery’s vineyard manager. He witnessed the fires that swept through Napa Valley, just a few miles from the Estate and winery that has been home to his family for three generations. Sean is grateful for his family and winery’s safety, and carries a renewed perspective on the fragile nature of our livelihood.
Serf and James
4pm to 5pm
Serf and James live and work in the Napa Valley. In fact, the duo works at Flora Springs. They have played at the Napa Valley Film Festival, BottleRock, and Flora Springs Club members’ weddings and parties.