Here’s the main headline: Napa is changing owners, and a new concept will debut by summer’s end.

Actually it has been only six months since Craft Culture Concepts, the restaurant group that took over Napa Valley Grill in 2020, launched a rebranding campaign.

Napa sheds “River Grill” and redecorates for a new menu

Interestingly, a cursory browsing of the internet reveals a variety of ongoing aliases for this long-standing restaurant located at 1211 Herr Lane in Graymoor/Devondale: Napa Valley Grill, NAPA, Napa at Westport Village, and Napa Louisville (among others).

Apparently Craft Culture Concepts found the rebranding problematic, but for Louisvillians, “Napa” pretty much always said it all, anyway, except it won’t for very much longer, because all this uncertainty over identity is about to be conclusively resolved.

Jared Matthews, emerging food and drink “mogul” of St. Matthews, is taking over Napa today (Tuesday, May 30) and installing a new concept: Osteria Italian Seafood.

In Italian, “osteria” translates as tavern. The restaurant will continue to do business as Napa for two to three months while the changes are implemented. According to an information release:

Matthews is excited to mix all the things people love about Napa and his new concept, Osteria Italian Seafood. The new concept will open by summer’s end. Dishes will be light, fresh, creative, and, as the name suggests, Italian inspired. From Cioppino (Seafood Stew), Lobster & Shrimp Fregola, Bucatini with Clams and Garlic, to White Clam Pizzas, and Local Brewery ATG’s IPA Infused Mussels, the menu offers much comfort food. Happy Hours will be alive and kicking as will food specials and events.

Chef Seth Butkus will remain on board. Matthews elaborates:

“I love meeting staff who display much passion and love for their restaurant, commitment to customer satisfaction and attention to detail. Napa has several employees that have been employed for over a decade and are excited about the new vision of the restaurant. I couldn’t be more excited to have Chef Seth stay on board with us, his background is Italian and seafood, so this couldn’t have been a better match. I very much look forward to bringing our new concept mixed with all the things you love about Napa to Westport Village.”

And, Don Robinson of Craft Culture Concepts is given his own “portfolio” coda, revealing that his group understandably must direct its resources toward the chosen goal of national franchising for the Parlour pizzeria brand.

“Having NAPA in our portfolio for the last 3 years was a real honor. From the incredible team that stuck with us and NAPA for all of these years to the amazing guests that have supported the brand, it has been wonderful for our team. Jared Fox Mathews and his restaurant group have commitment and the caliber to take the reins of NAPA moving forward. Jared will do incredible things and will certainly take care of the team that has been in place for several years. This changing of the guard will allow us to focus on growing the Parlour brand as we get ready to franchise across the country. I can’t wait to continue visiting this location as a guest and support Jared and his team.”