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Italian Caffé Plans Downtown Launch

Molinari Caffé brings Italian pastries, panini, coffee and tea to a long-vacant Main Street address.

Napa has a good share of Italian restaurants, but our city has long lacked an Italian-style caffé—the kind of place where you can get espresso drinks morning or evening, not to mention panini and desserts.

That's all going to change in just a few weeks, with the expected late-February opening of Molinari Caffé at 815 Main Street.

Located across from Veterans Park, the new spot is designed to be a place to start the morning with pastries. The caffé will also feature homemade waffles, lunch, light dinners and a cozy, warm spot to cap off the evening.

Owner Rick Molinari doesn't claim a close relationship to iconic deli Molinari’s in San Francisco’s North Beach, but he certainly has family roots in the local deli business.

His family ran Rossi Deli in Napa from 1982 to 1992, and also operated the former , north on Main Street, which closed last year.

Molinari did his homework: He traveled the East and West coasts gathering ideas and tips on what it takes to make a success of a neighborhood coffeeshop/restaurant.

“I have done my research, and am ready to start my business. Napa is such a unique place, and I truly believe the community will support us,” Molinari said.

His caffé will serve Italian pastries in the morning, homemade panini and salad for the lunch crowd and panini and dessert for dinner and late patrons, Molinari said, with most prices around $7-$8.

Everything is prepared from scratch, Molinari said. “And we buy our products fresh from local vendors.”

The 1,300-square-foot caffe has tables seating 25, a lounge and counter seats along the storefront window. There is also an artists’ wall displaying local artwork, which will be for sale. Wi-iFi is also available.

What's on the menu? Yes, the usual stimulants; but “not just ordinary coffee and tea,” Molinari said. “It’s all French press coffee and brewed loose tea.

“I am not like Genova Deli: I won’t be selling grocery items," Molinari continued.

"This is a comfortable place for  locals— and tourists as well — to get a good quick breakfast, lunch, dinner and have an excellent cup of coffee and something sweet after going out for dinner, to a movie or some other nighttime event,” he said.

The caffe will not sell alcoholic drinks.

Before his newest endeavor, Molinari worked as a business analyst for 15 years.

“My father died in 2010, and my uncle died last year. I decided I wanted a change. I almost moved to Austin, Texas. But I am very happy I decided to stay in Napa,” he said.

Molinari Caffe will be open Tuesday through Saturday from  6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday and Monday from 7 a.m. to 7.p.m.

Molinari is targeting the end of February to open his doors for business.

Louisa Hufstader February 04, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Oops! That's seating for 25, not 25 tables as originally posted. Thanks, Rick, for the correction. And don't forget to claim your free business listing on Napa Patch: http://napa.patch.com/listings/molinari-caff. We're looking forward to your opening!
Mike Treleven February 04, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I deli at that location sounds like a winner. Just reading the menu items is making me hungry. Sounds like a great place for locals to hangout. A few umbrellas and tables outside would make the perfect spot on a lazy Saturday morning. Mike T
Chondra Kirkland February 06, 2012 at 06:10 PM
I can't wait to make this one of my "offices" when I come in to Napa to work! :)

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