Eating, drinking, staying and playing in Napa Valley is as popular as ever, and wineries, restaurateurs, and developers are taking advantage of the boon in tourism to open new establishments and expand existing venues.
Although commercial permits issued in Napa are slightly down in 2016 — 126 compared to 129 in 2015 — the overall valuation of permits are up by $3 million, to $20.3 million.
“Businesses related to the wine industry are sustainable and are always growing and expanding,” said Robin Klingbeil, senior project coordinator, Economic Development Division in Napa. “The past couple of years we’ve seen chefs with businesses elsewhere looking to expand or test the waters in downtown Napa.”
According to Visit California, a state tourism agency, visitors to Napa spent $1.27 billion in 2014–2015, a 9 percent growth rate over the previous year. That’s the highest of any tourist region in the state, the tourism booster said. Spending included $355 million for accommodations (up 15 percent over 2014); $331 million for food (up 10 percent); and $224 million in retail sales (up 7 percent).
Here’s a sample of recently opened and upcoming restaurants, wineries, hotels and other venues:
In fall 2017, Silverado Resort and Spa (www.SilveradoResort.com) expects to open 30,000 square feet of outdoor space includes vineyards, stage and a 5,000-square-foot pavilion, located adjacent to the resort’s conference center.
Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer (www.harvestinn.com/stay/vineyard-view-collection) in St. Helena launched its revamped Vineyard View Collection rooms in September. The new tier of 22 recently renovated guest rooms and suites offer western-facing views of vineyards and the Mayacamas Mountains.
Las Alcobas (www.LasAlcobasNapaValley.com), a Luxury Collection Hotel, will open in St. Helena in late 2016 as a sister property to Las Alcobas in Mexico City. Las Alcobas will feature 68 guest rooms and suites with terraces and outdoor fireplaces; Acacia House, a signature Chris Cosentino restaurant; Atrio, a 3,500 square foot spa; an outdoor swimming pool; and meeting and event facilities.
Archer Hotel Napa (www.archerhotel.com/napa) in downtown Napa is set to open in spring 2017. The five-story hotel will feature 143-rooms and 40 suites with balconies, 15,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. The rooftop will feature a spa, fitness studio and ledge pool with cabanas and fireplaces.
The Corner Napa restaurant and bar (www.cornerbarnapa.com) opened in downtown Napa in July. The restaurant features a large wine list, craft cocktails, and more than 200 whiskeys. The restaurant features American cuisine and local producers.
Kenzo Tsujimoto (www.kenzoestate.com) will open his authentic Japanese sushi restaurant in downtown Napa on Nov. 16. The restaurant will feature a fixed menu for Kaiseki and sushi featuring fresh fish delivered from world-renowned Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, paired with wines from Kenzo Estate along with an array of Japanese sakes.
The Charter Oak restaurant (www.thecharteroak.com) in St. Helena will open early 2017, owned by Chef Christopher Kostow and Nathaniel Dorn of the Michelin-three starred The Restaurant at Meadowood. The Charter Oak will be centered on a casual dining experience.
Charlie Palmer Steak (www.charliepalmer.com) by chef Charlie Palmer, owner of Harvest Inn and Harvest Table in St. Helena, will open at the upcoming Archer Hotel in downtown Napa in spring 2017. Palmer and team will also oversee the culinary direction of the rooftop bar, poolside and in-room dining, as well as private events for the Archer Hotel.
Miminashi (www.miminashi.com), Napa Valley’s first and only Izakaya-style Japanese pub opened in downtown Napa in May. Chef and owner Curtis Di Fede’s menu features a variety of ramen bowls and a large selection of yakitori. Miminashi offers Japanese beer, local and international wines, a diverse sake selection, and classic cocktails.
Basalt (www.basaltnapa.com) opened in April in the Riverfront in downtown Napa. Chef Esteban Escobar’s seasonal California cuisine draws influences from the earliest traditions of Mexican and Spanish cooking.
Johnny’s Restaurant & Bar (www.johnnyscalistoga.com) opened in March in the Mount View Hotel & Spa in Calistoga. The new restaurant is loosely modeled after the 1919 restaurant that was originally there. The new Johnny’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Covert Estate (www.covertestate.com) opened in the Coombsville area of Napa in spring 2016. Covert produces cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc on its 12-acre estate.
Freemark Abbey (www.freemarkabbey.com), which has been in its original location since 1886, completed an extensive renovation in July, including a revamped patio courtyard. The historic winery building now offers a variety of educational visitor experiences and a new restaurant, Two Birds One Stone, a California-inspired yakitori restaurant by chefs Douglas Keane and Sang Yoon.
RiverHouse by Bespoke Collection (www.bespokecollection.com/riverhouse/) opened in September in downtown Napa with Blackbird Vineyards, Recuerdo, and Resolute wine tastings, and a curated selection of fine art, antiquities and objects by ÆRENA Galleries & Gardens.
Stewart Cellars’ new tasting salon and café (www.stewartcellars.com) opened in Yountville in August. Arcanum Architecture designed the space and Ken Fulk Inc. designed the interior. Gather Café is a fast-casual eatery with a fresh juice of the day, greens, grains and breakfast.
JaM Cellars (www.jamcellars.com/JaMwithUs) opened in downtown Napa in May, offering wine flights, by-the-glass and by-the-bottle for Butter Chardonnay, JaM Cabernet and Toast Sparkling. They are also featuring a number of guest wines and special releases only available at the downtown tasting room.
Davis Estates Winery’s (www.DavisEstates.com) tasting room in Calistoga opened in May.
Durant & Booth (www.durantandbooth.com), a tasting room located in the restored historic Victorian building adjacent to Oakville Grocery. The wine program highlights blends that incorporate less common varietals, including Friuilian favorite Ribolla Gialla and Rhone varietals Roussanne and Grenache.
Liana Estates (www.lianaestates.com), from the family behind Peju Province Winery opened Oct. 1 in the Carneros region in south Napa. The winery offers experiences and culinary programming such as “Brunch and Yoga” overlooking the San Pablo Bay.
Fieldwork Brewing Company (www.fieldworkbrewing.com) opened a taproom in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market’s main market hall in October, with an ever-changing tap list of new releases.
Stone Brewing (www.stonebrewing.com) is set to open a downtown Napa Tap Room and Pilot Brewery in the historic Borreo Building in spring 2017. The new tasting room will include a pilot brewing system, restaurant and Stone merchandise.
NEW THINGS TO SEE AND DO
The Culinary Institute of America at Copia (www.ciaatcopia.com) is opening in stages this fall in downtown Napa with wine tasting, culinary demonstrations and classes, world-class dining, shopping, community events and more.
Blue Note Napa (www.bluenotenapa.com) opened on Oct. 25 offering live music seven days a week in downtown Napa. The club occupies the first floor of the historic Napa Valley Opera House, and will present national and international artists, Bay Area and regional favorites, and the region’s wines, craft brews, cuisine, and classic cocktails.
The Kitchen Collective (www.kitchencollective.club) is a cooking club that is scheduled to open Nov. 1 in downtown Napa. It will provide resources for members to cook meals in a shared kitchen and the intimate environment of a social club to bring people together and share their passion for good food and wine.
Feast it Forward (www.feastitforward.com), the online network and lifestyle brand, will open its headquarters in downtown Napa across from the Oxbow Public Market in early spring 2017. It will offer live studio events with national chefs and musicians. It will feature a cultivated garden and outdoor entertaining in partnership with Sunset Magazine, musical entertainment with Gibson Guitar, a retail lounge, demonstration kitchen, tastings and educational events by 16 wineries.
This article was originally published in The North Bay Business Journal.