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Oventi Restaurant Owner Has Big Plans, Starting in Napa

Cyrus Mousavi is in the process of transforming the former Marie Callender's into Oventi Restaurant and Bakery, serving three meals a day and selling baked goods seven days a week. If successful, the north Napa eatery will become the first in a chain.

 

Don't look for a grand opening at the new , in the former Marie Callender's at Trower Avenue and Highway 29.

Don't look for pies there, either.

The new eatery will open "quietly," said owner Cyrus Mousavi, a Silicon Valley investor who has purchased the building where Marie Callender's had operated for years before .

Workers have been laboring "almost nonstop" to clean, repair and paint the former pie shop and restaurant, according to Mousavi, who said the previous management left "everything a mess ... They never did any maintenance."

The grease and dust left behind were "amazing; we are just shocked," said Mousavi.

The tasks of cleaning, repairing and applying fresh paint may push Oventi's soft opening into September, but Mousavi sounds determined to do things right.

"We're doing our best to change the look and feel" of the tired Callender's facility and give it "a better life," he said.

"Not banking on tourists"

While the restaurant's high-profile Highway 29 location and proximity to the renamed mean Oventi will be feeding its share of visitors, Mousavi said he's "not banking on tourists as much as other restaurants" to make his new place a success.

"I think the local community is the one that is supporting us," he said, adding that he intends to employ local workers as well.

"I hope we can contribute to the local economy," Mousavi said. 

Mousavi said he wants his place to be a "down to earth" restaurant, serving an American-Italian menu with steaks, pastas, burgers and more.

"You shouldn't have to pay an arm and a leg because you happen to be in Napa," he said.

He'd like to see some international menu items, too, perhaps gyros and dishes from Spanish, French and Basque cuisine, Mousavi said.

The Oventi bakery will turn out breads, rolls and desserts for the restaurant and retail, he said.

How about pies?

"Probably not," Mousavi said, with what sounded over the phone like a faint shudder.

Along with erasing all traces of Marie Callender's before it opens, Mousavi wants to see Oventi become "as crowded as possible" and so popular with Napans that eventually there's a line out the door.

Once he sees diners waiting outside, Mousavi said, he'll know it's time to open the next in a planned chain of northern California restaurants, with Napa's the prototype.

Click the "Keep me posted" button for updates on Napa's upcoming Oventi Restaurant and Bakery.

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Suzanne R-K September 16, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Charlie and I think it's wonderful (In fact, he wrote months ago to a major restaurant chain, to suggest interest in coming to this spot). They're sure working hard to spiff the place up, and the awnings not only look practical, but beautiful. My husband will be happy to try the Greek food, as for me I'm good for anything fresh & yummy. We'll be keeping our eyes open for that "soft" opening, after all, it's September already. Wishing much success to Overti......Congratulations!!! Suzanne R-K
Helen Fitzsimonds October 04, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Good luck. We were just there tonight and told they are NOT serving breakfast "yet".
Helen Fitzsimonds October 04, 2012 at 05:57 AM
We were just there and it was not wonderful. Staff didn't know how to pronounce things on the menu, menu is all over the place, pasta in vodka sauce was swimming in olive oil and tasteless. Pizza was okay but somewhat burned. They are not serving breakfast, we were told by our waitress. I'm not impressed. It's early yet so will try back once they've taken the kinks out, which I hope they will. As for kid friendly, okay...but keep your kids from running around and screaming, will ya? It's annoying to me when I'm paying the same amount for my food and kids are left to run amok. And I have a right to eat where I want so don't tell me to go elsewhere.
Marie Turner October 06, 2012 at 01:48 AM
If the owner 8s using this restaurant for a prototype for a chain, he should close the doors immediately. We were there for lunch tofsy and the food was the worst I've ever eaten (Chicken Karma and the Salmon Terriki.) They were both so overoccked they weere like hockey pucks as well as looking and tasting terrible. Plus, he wanted to charge us $4.00 for bread to accompany our entrees. The staff had no idea of what was on the menu or how to serve customers. This is a TERRIBLE RESTAURANT so please save your money and go somewhere else or cook at home. Both are better options than this "restaurant."
Jose Paulo De Ferreira Leite October 14, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Marie its salmon teriyaki and chicken korma !!we dont have Salmon terriki and karma on Menu!!!maybe you went to diferent Restaurante!!!

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