Be Bubbly Lounge & Bistro in Napa

By Published On: June 12th, 2024

Visit This Downtown Napa Favorite for a Sparkling Experience

Nestled in the heart of downtown Napa, Be Bubbly Bistro & Lounge stands out as a unique gem, holding the distinction of being the first dedicated Champagne and sparkling wine lounge in Napa Valley. This chic establishment, opened in 2020 by Chief Bubblehead Erin Riley, offers a refreshing alternative for wine enthusiasts and casual sippers alike.

Owner, Erin Riley. Photo Courtesy: Be Bubbly Bistro & Lounge.

Be Bubbly provides a delightful haven for those looking to cleanse their palates or simply indulge in the effervescence of finely curated bubbles, enticing cocktails and scrumptious bites. Named one of the top 10 bubbles bars in the United States in 2023, this hotspot, popular with locals and visitors, has quickly become a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a sparkling experience in Napa.

Offerings

Be Bubbly boasts an impressive selection of Champagne and sparkling wines, organized by flavor profile on its menu, from 10 countries, with 75% of their offerings from France, and various domestic options, particularly from California. Options include by the glass, half bottles, 750mls and magnums, vintage and non-vintage.

For example, guests can go big with a magnum of 2008 Louis Roederer ‘Cristal’ Champagne or 2002 Champagne Delamotte, BdB, ‘Grand Cru’, splurge on a standard size 2005 Billecart-Salmon ‘Le Clos Saint Hilaire’ or a 2013 Salon Blanc de Blanc Champagne, opt for a 375ml from a notable Champagne producer such as Diebolt-Vallois or Duval-LeRoy.

Or wine lovers can support small California producers, such as Las Amigas, the first Latina-owned sparkling wine in Napa Valley, go with the more familiar Schramsberg or sip by the glass a Breaking Bread Zinfandel Rosé Pet Nat from Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma or a Graham Beck “Bliss Nectar” demi-sec from South Africa. “We can meet all palates and pocketbooks,” Erin says.

Plenty of bubbles available. Photo Courtesy: Be Bubbly Bistro & Lounge.

Three Tasting Flights ($45-65), each with three 2.5 ounce pours and served with chips, allow guests to explore the nuances of different sparklings: “Champs” (all Champagne), “Sparkles” (a mix of Champagne, French and Austrian sparklings) and “Fizz” (all domestic). 

By the Glass options are plentiful with nine to 12 selections, rotating between flights and two Sommelier Selections. While some premium glasses range from $40 to $50, there are also more affordable options at $18 to $20. Erin is flexible with her offerings, even accommodating requests for glasses from expensive bottles: “Bring a bestie, pick a bottle and buy two glasses,” she says.

Sabrage Experience ($75) is a historical and exhilarating activity, offering the opportunity to learn the art and technique of sabrage dating back to Napoleon. Select a bottle of bubbles and watch a Sabreur expertly saber it with a sword. Or, become a Sabreur, saber your own bottle and receive a personalized certificate from the Confrérie du Sabre d’Or. Price includes cheese and charcuterie board or Regiis Ova caviar bites but excludes the bottle and certificate.

Saber event. Photo Courtesy: Be Bubbly Bistro & Lounge.

Be Bubbly also offers still wine by the glass or bottle, spirits, beer and spritzers. Highlights on the newly expanded bistro bites menu, curated by Chef Ari, include duck fat fries, crispy chicken, croque madame, grilled cheese sandwiches and seasonal salads plus a Sunday Brunch. Menus consider those with dietary restrictions and the sober curious with mocktails, zero-alcohol and alcohol-removed bubbles available.

Bubbles and bites. Photo Courtesy: Be Bubbly Bistro & Lounge.

Inviting and Relaxed Setting

Be Bubbly goes beyond sipping a glass of bubbles. The focus is on creating a memorable and enjoyable experience for every guest, whether they are enjoying a $500 bottle or a $50 one. As Erin states, the lounge is “where you come to have fun,” offering incredible service and comfort to ensure everyone feels welcome. Emphasizing inclusivity, she encourages guests to “Be You and Be Bubbly,” regardless of their background or preferences. 

Owner, Erin Riley. Photo Courtesy: Be Bubbly Bistro & Lounge.

Updated in 2024 to brighten the look and feel, the lounge oozes the essence of Erin’s southern roots. Born in Memphis to a musician father, she attended school in Nashville and lived in New Orleans. For Be Bubbly, she envisioned a music-filled space that balanced warmth, elegance and comfort. “I wanted people to feel like they could come in their flip-flops or four-inch heels,” she says. 

Patio seating. Photo Courtesy: Be Bubbly Bistro & Lounge.

The décor features rich jewel tones, with emerald greens, velvets and champagne-inspired gold touches. A long bar serves as the focal point, booths provide privacy and accordion windows open onto Second Street, allowing for a seamless flow from indoor to outdoor seating. “Press for champagne” buttons by each booth and that ring behind the bar provide a touch of playful elegance. Colorful pieces by 3D artist Seandale, featuring performers like Bob Marley, add to the vibrant and eclectic feel while music wafting through the speakers contributes to the lively vibe. 

Décor features rich jewel tones and champagne-inspired gold touches. Photo Courtesy: Be Bubbly Bistro & Lounge.

A Champagne Room offers groups of up to 21 people a private space to sip, munch and relax. 

Regular events range from a singer/songwriter series to comedy, drag shows and karaoke nights while educational tastings often include entertainment as well, such as a German wine tasting featuring sparkling and still wines from Germany and a German deejay.

History

Drawing inspiration from bubbles bars like SIGH in Sonoma and The Riddler in San Francisco, which closed in 2020, Erin opened Be Bubbly on August 20, 2020. At a crossroads in her life after enduring a divorce, her child leaving for college and surviving breast cancer, she gathered financial backing from good friends in Sonoma to bring her vision to life.

“I was chasing happiness,” she recalls. “It was the intersection between inspiration and desperation.” The idea for the lounge took root during a Tony Robbins conference, where during lunch she talked about her idea for a bubbles bar. “Someone said, ‘It sounds like you just want to be happy. Why don’t you be bubbly?’ That was it. I grabbed the name that afternoon on the phone, secured it and decided that I was going to be bubbly.”

Be Bubbly quickly gained a reputation for offering a unique and lively experience in downtown Napa. In 2023 it was recognized as one of the Top 10 Champagne Bars in the US by the Champagne Bureau.

Owner, Erin Riley. Photo Courtesy: Be Bubbly Bistro & Lounge.

Philanthropy

Erin’s dedication to Be Bubbly extends beyond creating a fun atmosphere; it’s also about giving back to the local and surrounding communities. “When you’ve been given opportunities, you also have to give those back,” she says.

Be Bubbly’s Be Generous campaign has supported organizations like Cope Family Center, LGBTQ Connections and Black Vines. “You can’t feel good about receiving unless you’re giving. And our community needs a lot,” Erin notes. Her humanitarian efforts focus on raising money, awareness and creating connections to support those in need.

Celebrating Pride Month.
21 Seeds passionfruit rainbow-tini.

Best Downtown Napa Tasting Room

Be Bubbly delivers on every level whether guests are looking to refresh their palate after a day of tasting Napa Valley’s famous bold, red wines, celebrate a special occasion, or simply want to add a little pop to their day in a relaxed and inviting space.

Writer, Kelly E. Carter at Be Bubbly. Photo Courtesy: Kelly E. Carter

With bubbles offerings to fit any budget and palate, still wines, the recent addition of cocktails, an expanded food and drink menu that caters to guests with specific dietary needs and teetotalers and an array of event offerings, Be Bubbly checks all the boxes. Add Be Bubbly’s commitment to support small California producers and its philanthropic efforts, and it’s easy to see why this lounge sparkles.

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