Be Bubbly: Because There’s No Better Place to Be
“There’s no place I’d rather be,” said Erin Riley, proprietor of Be Bubbly Napa, “and thank goodness, we’re still standing.” Raise a flute to welcome Napa’s first and only dedicated Champagne and sparkling wine lounge, right in the heart of historic downtown Napa.
Be Bubbly Napa was planning to cut the ribbon and host a grand opening when, unfortunately, 2020 delivered an unexpected global pandemic. Instead, a fun block party on Second Street is planned as a “Grand Opening 2.0” in August 2021.
How did Be Bubbly Napa come to be? Surprisingly, Napa Valley’s glorious wine country had been lacking a destination for relaxing and enjoying what some consider the best wine of all, the sparkling kind. “I was looking for a certain type of place where I could hang out,” said founder Erin Riley, Chief Bubblehead. “And I soon realized that my personal brand of European inspiration fused with genuine Southern hospitality was a niche that hadn’t yet been filled. The three foundational pillars of my vision are simple: global bubbles, local bites, and great service.”
The path from her hometown of Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Napa was not a straight one (but it was a fabulous one nonetheless). Business and pleasure took Riley on the road around the U.S. and abroad, providing plenty of opportunities to scout out favorite labels, refining a love for Champagne and sparkling wine along the way. It was a taste developed early. “Since my parents were fine dining restaurateurs, by the age of 14, I considered caviar and champagne served at home to be ‘de rigueur.’”Back in Arkansas, Riley’s parents, Judy and Nick, were known as consummate hosts. Attention to menu selection, fine wines, and their guests delivered an exceptional experience, word of which traveled far and wide. That special touch was passed on as their daughter builds the beta model for a future franchise of Be Bubbly hospitality.
Is there a pandemic silver lining? Yes, indeed. It’s a local one. Be Bubbly crowd-funded a membership with benefits, met a target of 150, and added another 75 before moving to a waiting list. Because the Downtown Napa Association and the local community “had our backs throughout 2020 and beyond, the mural on our wall and art in our booths is really a tribute to them,” said Riley. The core message, “Everyone Is Welcome,” comes through loud and clear in three framed art pieces—Unity, Love, and Bliss—inside curtained booths. There’s also a private room for up to 18 and outdoor parklets with another 12 seats.
The local story continues with an array of tasty bites from selected partners: Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam cheese, Tarla hummus, Chef Thomas Keller’s Regiis Ova caviar, and on Saturdays, sliders from Cochon Volant in Sonoma.
Drop-in for a glass and expect to be asked: “Are you having fun?” And, “Are we taking great care of you?” because Be Bubbly wants every guest to feel that there’s no place they’d rather be.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
1407 Second Street, Napa, CA 94559 // 707-637-4532 // BeBubblyNapa.com
Article By: LAURIE JO MILLER FARR // Photos courtesy of Be Bubbly