Sights (Or Bites) and Sounds of the Chamber

Coming and going at the Andaz: Congratulations to Greg Nomura, a great friend of the Napa Chamber of Commerce while serving as general manager of the popular downtown hotel.

Greg recently accepted the same position at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina, and will be moving to San Diego in the coming weeks. His very accommodating and energetic style will be sorely missed.

I’d also like to welcome Eron Hodges as the incoming GM at Andaz, joining us from Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. Eron has spent 16 of his 23 years in the hospitality industry with Hyatt Regency and will be moving to Napa with wife, Cindy, and three children (Madeline, Gwen and Caden). Welcome to your new Napa Valley family!

Not so traditional lunch at Traditions: Not sure how you can be a best-kept secret after being in business for 22 years, but Cheryl Richburg has managed to do so. Well that probably won’t last much longer as locals now have a chance to grab lunch at The Proper Sandwich.

In what appears to be the “ultimate business collaboration,” Cheryl has enabled partners Ryan Harris and Kevin Folan with an opportunity to become local entrepreneurs “without incurring debt.” The kitchen sits in the back of the store — located at 1202 Main St. — and produces some of the best handcrafted sandwiches you’ll find in the valley.

Nearly every item on the sandwich is made in-house (meats, pickles, spreads, etc.) and if it’s not, it’s sourced from a top local artisan. Ryan’s attention to detail comes from his experience of cooking at Meadowood, and for the Strategic Hospitality Group in Nashville, Tennessee.

I actually met Ryan at a small private dinner where he cooked for John Schwartz, wine business partner of Heidi Barrett, and proprietor of Amuse Bouche and Au Sommet. Ryan served an amazing pork roast with a host of side dishes made exclusively from the home garden of John’s beautiful wife, Carrie. Our meal was fantastic and the wines were incredible. Not exactly sure how I made the very short guest list, which also included Patrick Chapman of Screaming Eagle, but I was happy to be there.

Actually, John is a longtime Golden State Warriors season ticket holder and we were neighbors in Oakland. I’ve known him and his family (kids Sam and Rebecca) for many years. He had a lot more influence on my final decision to move my family here to Napa than he’d ever realize. I’m forever grateful.

Great news for Carpe Diem: Word on the street is that Carpe Diem — a favorite local restaurant/hangout — will have a chance to get back in the building that suffered extreme damage during the August earthquake. They’re hoping to be back in business by the end of June. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. In the meantime, pay them a visit at the Oxbow Market.