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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