“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets it’s wings.”

While we’ll never know how many angels in heaven are thankful for Downtown Joe’s, there are definitely scores of thankful Napans and Napa travelers.

You see every time a new patron walks through the Main St. doors of this 25 year old (and going strong) brewpub located dead center of the Napa nightlife, a bartender welcomes them with a hearty “hello” and a ringing of a bell mounted behind the bar. So many people have come through the doors of the historic Oberon Building where Joe’s resides, in fact, that the current bell is the third one since the tradition started.

The clang of that clapper has resided over many hearty meals, because Joe’s is not just a brewpub, but a great restaurant too. The menu digs deeper than most other pub eateries in the area. And it’s sounded over the creation of friendships borne out of people, both local and tourists, bending elbows over one of Joe’s hand crafted beers, a cocktail mixed and presented often with humor by one of the long-time bartenders. It also sounds over the ever-vibrant string of live bands that invariably infuse the joint with the kind of energy that has the dance floor filled with those new friendships, people young and old, moving to the beat, shoulder-to-shoulder.And in the end, the ringing of the bell is more than just a cute ritual. It’s the attitude behind the bell that’s important. It forces the staff to immediately take notice that someone new is in the house, that they see you, and in doing so are letting you know you’re going to be well taken care of. It also gives an immediate and pleasant surprise to the patron, making them feel at home right away.

The bell, you see, is a welcome. It’s a genial gesture that Downtown Joe’s founders started the business on: a warm and easy American style bar and restaurant that offers good, simple hearty food, well prepared; beer brewed on-site with the kind of ample flavors that only a quarter century of crafting ales and lagers could bring; service that rivals many of the more upscale spots in the city; and, all of this presented with a heavy dose of good, simple fun, and a lot of smiles.

It’s a welcome that’s more than just, “Hey, here you are.” It’s the kind of welcome that says, “Hey, there you are.”