The building that houses Novo was a cigar factory in the late 1800s that produced hand-rolled cigars, sold under the brand name “Pioneer Cigars.” The original owners, the Kluvers, turned the space into a tobacco store in the 1920s. When the building sold, it was converted to an elegant restaurant and bar, appropriately called The Cigar Factory Restaurant. Since then, three other restaurants have occupied the historic space. When Robin took the structure over, he wanted to preserve the building’s unique heritage and honor its architecture. A few years after opening Novo, Robin remodeled the outside patio. The renovation raised the patio, making it easier for the wait staff to serve, and it expanded the space so that more guests could enjoy the beautiful creek.
If you ask people what one word they associate with Novo, the answer you’ll most likely receive will be “patios.”
Novo’s creekside patios are famous, and Robin has taken careful steps to ensure that the patio space is comfortably heated and aesthetically designed. The patio, and the space, are a treasure for the San Luis Obispo community, and Robin recognizes the honor of being a proprietor of a famous public landmark.
THE LATIN PATIO
The Latin patio is easy to recognize. Colorful chairs and tables (they’re French, actually, not Latin, but that’s another story…) sit underneath a palatial, old oak tree. Close to the creek, the Latin patio offers a beautiful view of the bridge that crosses over to Mission Plaza and Monterey Street. In the day, enjoy the added color from the nearby angel trumpet flowers and geraniums. In the evening, antique bird cages, filled with lights, add a special glow. This patio is available for private bookings for a full patio buyout, only.
THE BRICK PATIO
The most intimate patio is the Brick Patio, which sits tucked next to a brick wall of our neighboring building. Fifty-year old camellias climb the walls, and lush greenery completes the ambiance. The Brick Patio space can be booked for parties of up to 50 people, making it perfect for larger parties that desire a unique outdoor venue.
THE GRAPPOLO PATIO
The largest creekside patio has been coined the “Grappolo patio” after an Italian restaurant that used to use the space. Dining on Grappolo is a stunning outdoor experience, and it is a favorite among guests who sit outside because of its proximity to the creek and the surrounding potted plants and native vegetation. In the evenings, flickering candlelight and warmth from the heaters make Grappolo an especially stunning space to gather and enjoy a delicious meal. This spacious patio can be booked for private events ranging from 50-70 guests.
Downtown sights, a mix of high tables and low; a large, beautiful window, letting in just the right amount of light. A classic bar. This is the Novo lounge. The space is available for dining on the weekdays, and during the weekends, it’s used as a late-night lounge, complete with DJ and dancing.
This intimate setting is perfect for watching passersby, the farmers market festivities on Thursday nights, or simply gathering with friends while one of our talented bartenders mixes up a drink, perfectly suited to you. The lounge can be booked as a private event space with a full restaurant buyout, only.
If you’re in the mood for an intimate gathering with friends, or if you just want to escape to private atmosphere away from the bustle of our dining patio, the Novo cellar is what you’re looking for.
While you’re enjoying your meal or drink, pause for a moment and look around. You’ll notice the details. Each has a story.
Robin frequents antique malls, San Francisco warehouses, and local galleries. He fills the Novo spaces with his treasures.
On the wall, almost 20 mirrors expand the space and offer a perfect contrast to the subdued walls. The lamps were gifts, from a friend’s trip to Syria. In the corner, tucked near the brick wall, you’ll notice a giant safe, which was an original piece from the cigar factory. Decorations on top of the safe rotate. Currently, the safe is decorated with copper impressions of a Chinese man and woman. The piece was a present to Robin and Shanny, and for years it resided at Robin’s Restaurant in Cambria.
Tucked toward the street side—it is actually built underneath the sidewalk—sits the wine cellar. Over 2,500 bottles of Novo’s extensive wine collection are stored in this space. Curious about the collection? Peruse the wine menu.
Interested in booking an event with us?
PRIVATE DINING & EVENTS MANAGER: Natalie Van Belleghem — firstname.lastname@example.org