Napa’s Copia has long sat dormant, 80,000 square feet of space ready to be filled. Now, the Planning Commission has officially approved the Culinary Institute of America’s plans to turn the building into a satellite of the Greystone campus in St. Helena. CIA bought the property for $12.5 million, and will further sink much more into the project to create demonstration kitchens, a new restaurant, and an outdoor amphitheater. Food and wine events will be held there, too, as well as private events such as weddings, business events, and the like.
What will perhaps be most exciting for Napa residents are plans for a shop with cooking equipment, books, and specialty foods, and a revived restaurant in the old Julia’s Kitchen space led by CIA chef Victor Scargle. In fact, Scargle will oversee all culinary operations of this new campus, including "wine-tasting experiences, food enthusiast programs, and other special events."
As far as aesthetic changes, the building will remain largely the same, but the amphitheater will receive upgrades, including shade and more comfortable seating at concerts and public events. Gardens will get a greenhouse, and there will also be a Chuck Williams (Williams-Sonoma founder) tribute museum.
The plan is to open the restaurant, store, and demonstration theaters in late September, followed by a full redo by the end of 2017.