More sights (or bites) and sounds from the Napa Chamber

Leads Over Lunch: I just returned from the best Leads Over Lunch program that I’ve attended since arriving last July.

An all-time high of 44 attendees were at the event, which featured a five-minute presentation by David Williams and Jill Altman of Community First Credit Union. They just opened a new branch at 2375 California Blvd. It’s situated right between Little Caesars and Subway, so it makes it really easy to get dough before you “get your dough.” Sorry about that but I couldn’t resist.

Thank you Nicholas: I was very humbled by the opportunity to finally meet Nicholas Dillon at the Napa Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Luncheon. He made an appearance simply to say thank you to everyone for the well wishes, prayers and support he and his family received on his road to recovery.

Nicholas suffered severe pelvic injuries during the quake but proudly walked unassisted into the Westin Verasa ballroom to deliver a heartfelt message that was immediately met with a standing ovation from luncheon attendees.

Visit Vintner’s: Vintner’s Collective recently reopened its tasting room doors despite the ongoing repairs taking place on the exterior of the building. The damage suffered by the old Pfeiffer Building served as the poster child for downtown businesses in the immediate aftermath of the quake.

Garret Murphy, managing partner of the business since it opened in 2002, has had to show plenty of patience while trying to grow the online business and getting the tasting room back up and available. He’s thrilled to be back in business, and looks forward to seeing his thirsty local supporters saddled up at the wine bar again … please visit Vintner’s Collective at 1245 Main St. Go to for details on hours of operations.

Welcome to Napa, Thomas Keller: I had a chance to enjoy Ad Lib on a couple of occasions since its opening at the Silverado Resort and Spa. I hope that our Napa pop-up lasts as long as his last temporary restaurant. Ad Hoc temporarily opened in 2006 and is still making the best fried chicken in the valley eight years later.

The Keller team seems to be enjoying themselves and the vibe they’ve created in the old Royal Oak room, as much as their guests. On my visits, that guest list included the likes of Johnny Miller, Jimmy Vasser Sr. (and family), chef Richard Reddington, Groth winemaker Michael Weis and Silverado managing partner John Evans and his wife, Deborah.