Napa: Not one, but two Wine Country restaurants were given the green-light for brewery operations last week. Aside from capitalizing on the more-or-less untapped (sorry) beer market, we have to say that Piccolino's, pictured, and Tuscany are kind of brilliant in another way, because a brewery license also allows for mixed drinks sales:
A Type 75 license is a more economical way to obtain the right to sell mixed drinks than it would be to bid on the open market for a regular liquor license, Joe Salerno, Piccolino's owner, said Friday.
Liquor licenses for restaurants have sold for as much as $275,000, while a brewery-liquor license is costing him $14,800, Salerno said.
That is one fine $260,000 loophole. Along with Napa Smith, which opened a few months ago, the addition of Piccolino's and Tuscany to the lineup exactly doubles the number of Napa breweries. Now, if Napa started making quality beer to match the vino, we could really have something going on up there.
· Ale is the cure for two local restaurants [NVR]