For about forty years, downtown Napa was dead. Through several redevelopment efforts, the domination of many downtown locations being used by Napa City or County for their offices and the many floods, downtown was just the place not to be after dark for it was dead. Then came the flood control project and a flicker of the light at the end of the rainbow. From just a handful of restaurants, many vacant storefronts and constantly closings of long established businesses it has become the place to be.
Eventually this hope and rebirth spread to all areas of downtown, one of the last to happen is called the West End. This will require a post all its own. From almost a vacant and barren commercial area, this West End has recently been written up about ten time recently in the likes of the New York Times. They even have their own winter event called West End Wednesdays as depicted in a Napa Register article by Jennifer Huffman. Here are a few excerpts to give you the idea of what they are doing.
"A small group of downtown merchants have banded together in an effort to draw more midweek business to their end of the city center.
Dubbed West End Wednesdays, the new weekly event begins this Wednesday. Starting at 5 p.m., select stores will offer specials, discounts and other promotions, said Elizabeth Cameron who recently opened a retail store, West End Napa.
West End Napa opened in July and business has been good, she said. Even though she’s located next to a hotel, the majority of her customers are locals, said Cameron, who will be giving away a free burlap wine bag with a peacock feather when the event kicks off.
Chalkboard easels at each participating business will alert pedestrians of specials being offered inside."
However successful this revitalization has been it still has many that are doing great such as the Oxbow Public Market, but it still has had a few succeed to the down turn in the economy. The most notable of these been, Copia. Once the dream of Robert Mondavi and many investors, it now sits empty for the last three years. Hopefully soon to be be brought back to life by Keith Rogal who just entered into a lease agreement and the recent purchase of the downtown mall, the old Napa Town Center.
For now, I will start with this to whet your appetite for it is truly a fun area to explore and go be the foodie junkie most of us are. Enjoy yourself and if every asked, please tell them Curtis sent you. cheers and bon appetit!
Here are a few useful links: