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Posted September 2006

Napa Valley: Where the Night Life Is

(NAPA, CA) — Napa County is still very much a rural county. Days start early in the vineyards, and usually end early. Its part of what makes the atmosphere special, but it can be a little sleepy.

There are however some vibrant after hours hangouts that will help you paint the town red. The downtowns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga especially on Friday and Saturday nights are happening places between the hours of 6:30pm and 10:00pm. Once the restaurants start to serve their last meals of the evening however, things can quiet down pretty quickly – particularly in the winter.

NAPA

Bounty Hunter
One of the trendy places to hang, they have an amazing selection of wines by the glass. Which is no surprise if you subscribe to their catalog. They are open Friday and Saturday nights until 1am. You can usually get something to eat until midnight. Good to know if you attend a late movie, or a performance at the Opera House. Prices are moderate to expensive.

Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Provisions
975 First Street, Napa, CA 94559, 800.943.9463

NV
This is the new hotspot downtown Napa for the lounge lizard crowd. Definitely the décor gets you in the mood for some serious smoozing among friends. Cool little group sittings in urbane greens and browns. Get ready for some Chardonnay in front of the fireplace. A glass will cost you around $15 – so four friends should probably think about buying the bottle.

NV Restaurant
1106 First Street, Napa, CA 94559. 707.265.6400

Cole’s Chop House
Part of the early night life crowd, this is a wonderful evening environment and a great place to grab an appetizer at the bar (that is, if you don’t cave and make reservations for the restaurant). The bartenders are fast and personable (when they have time to talk) and the crowd is usually hip and on the move. Stop here for a martini before the late show, or before things turn cold and dark sit on the patio by the creek and watch the people pass by. Prices are moderate to expensive, and the steaks are to die for. The bar closes with the restaurant at 10:00pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

Cole's Chop House
1122 Main Street, Napa, CA 94559, 707.224.6328

YOUNTVILLE

Compadres
This popular Mexican restaurant is part of a small independently owned chain of restaurants. Very fun loving atmosphere, whether patrons are celebrating a birthday or just a day off. Packed to the gills on Cinco de Mayo, Fridays and Saturdays are usually hopping. Prices are reasonable and the service is great when the bar crowd is only one to two deep. Sundays in the summer are fun, sometimes you can catch a really cool band and just hang out on the lawn with your dog and a Margarita.

Compadres Mexican Bar and Grill
6539 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599, 707.944.2406

Bouchon
Cool bar and excellent outdoor bistro seating make this quite the hip spot for lemon drop or other swanky drink. Owned by a local chef, this bar and restaurant stay open late. It’s the place other chefs drop by after they have closed their kitchens. Prices are moderate to expensive. The oysters on ice right around the corner from the bar make for tempting additions to your night (especially if romance is on your mind, or just good seafood).

Bouchon
6534 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599, 707.944.8037

ST. HELENA

Ana’s Cantina
Definitely a local haunt, this is more your old-time bar crowd. If you look up to the old ceiling you will find money and other sundry items stuck up there. If you choose to part with your hard earned dollars in this fashion, the bartender will give you a tack and rock which you use to pin the money up. Of course, what goes up must come down (the rock) and if you are not the thrower – you should be warned that there maybe asteroids headed your direction. Prices are reasonable to average. Sometimes you can hear a local live band here.

Ana's Cantina
1205 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574, 707-963-4921

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