National Register of Historic Places in Napa County

National Register #74000540: Sam Kee Laundry Building in Napa, California 23 November 2010
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National Register #74000540
Sam Kee Laundry Building
1245 Main Street
Built 1875

This attractive but unassuming, false-front Italianate building, built of locally quarried sandstone, is the oldest stone commercial structure in the town of Napa.

It began life in 1875 as the Pfeiffer/Barth Brewery and became the Stone Saloon in the 1890's. The Stone Saloon is reputed to have run a brothel upstairs, but I can't vouch for this. It sometimes seems that people want to believe that every old building in California was a brothel at some point. Even my former residence in San Francisco had many years ago been a brothel according to the neighbors.

The saloon remained in business until it was shut down by Prohibition. The Sam Kee Laundry, in a fitting metaphor, occupied the building. The laundry thrived for more than fifty years, its shingle still hanging over the door when the building was designated a national landmark in 1974. The Andrews Meat Company and Deli replaced the laundry and remained in the building until 1999.

The building is now the Vintner's Collective, a tasting room for some of Napa Valley's most prestigious boutique wineries: Ancien Wines, Buoncristiani Family Winery, Patz & Hall, Judd's Hill, Melka Wines and others.

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