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Napa Finally Got the Sports Bar It Deserves

Complete with giant TVs, fancy steaks, and a California wine list

The bar at Napa Sport

Just in time for March Madness, Napa finally gets a true sports bar with the opening of NapaSport. Just don’t expect sticky floors, cheap pitchers of light beer and the standard, uninspired bar fare: True to its name, NapaSport is a sports bar with Wine Country’s signature elevated style. So yes, there will be hot wings and nachos—constructed with freshly fried tortilla chips and pickled jalapeños, of course—but also five cuts of beef, cut to order, with four sauce options.

“Napa has always needed a sports bar, but no one has pulled it off,” said owner and die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan Michael Galyen, who is launching NapaSport with his wife Krista. Galyen previously opened seven Morimoto restaurants across the globe as the Western Regional Director of Operations. “I’ve always joked that I’m a low-class guy working in a high-class world. I love sports, I love easy food, I love a good burger. This is an opportunity to change dining in Napa, to bring Napa something they’ve been wanting forever.”

Without being cliche, sports references are subtly littered throughout the bar. Diners won’t find the walls clad in autographed sports memorabilia, but the floors are actually an authentic gymnasium basketball court, with a half-court, three-point line and free throw key. Above the 28-seat island bar, hangs a giant scoreboard cloaked in bleacher seats from local college Sonoma State and eight 55-inch TVs. The bar menus are made out of basketball leather and each staff member was given $100 to spend on a pair of Converse shoes to wear to work. With as many TVs as receivers and a subscription to every sports package imaginable, NapaSport can air up to 14 different games at once.

The TV-free dining area at NapaSport
The floors are also basketball courts
Cozy leather armchairs are mixed in with bar and lounge seating
Bob McClenahan

But that’s just the sports bar area. A multifaceted experience, NapaSport offers something for everyone, including those less interested in viewing the game. Tucked behind the main event is an elegant, TV-free dining area with a view into the open kitchen. The plan is to eventually offer tableside soup, salad and cocktail service. On the edge of the dining room, a glass-walled private dining nook seats up to 12 at a table made from a reclaimed bowling alley. Outfitted with a 85-inch TV, it can be used for any type of occasion, from a birthday celebration to a fantasy football draft come fall.

Adjacent to the kitchen, but separated by another glass wall, is an old school takeout window. Patrons can bring home anything off the menu in addition to an exclusive family meal that can’t be ordered in-restaurant. This meal changes nightly, starting with Meatloaf Monday on NapaSport’s opening night. “Each room has something unique to it, so you’ve got to do it to experience it,” said Galyen.

The open kitchen
The bar at NapaSport
The bar at NapaSport

While there’s no detail overlooked in the public-facing side of the restaurant, the kitchen is Galyen’s pride and joy. In order to recruit top-tier talent like executive chef Liz Strole, former executive sous chef at Morimoto Napa, he built a “chef’s playground,” complete with a bakery, a butchery and a $30,000 smart oven.

The menu too is designed to wet all kinds of appetites, ranging from “Table Munchies” and appetizers, like shishito peppers and salmon toast, to soups, salads, and lighter vegetarian-friendly dishes, like a salmon burger and cauliflower steak. Heartier items include the beef, a burger, chicken pot pie and fried chicken. (Check the full menus below.) The wine list is almost entirely Californian, a rotating tap list of nine beers will include a NapaSport house brew and specialty cocktails draw inspiration from professional athletes like Charles Woodson and Steph Curry.

Located within the South Napa Century Center, Galyen strategically chose the burgeoning South Napa area over the booming, and arguably overcrowded downtown Napa. “I wanted to take a chance and kind of pioneer an area out here. I wanted to bring the first fine dining location to South Napa; it’s an untapped market to me,” he said.

NapaSport’s neighbors include a a Cinemark, food truck park and farmers’ market, plus a string of other relatively new businesses, like an InShape health club, Hampton Inn & Suites, bike shop, CREAM ice cream shop, and casual pizza and thai restaurants.

Daily hours for the bar area are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. during weekdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. The dining room and takeout window hours are 5:30 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 5:30 to 11 p.m. on weekends.

NapaSport

145 Gasser Drive, Napa, CA 94559 Visit Website

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