The Culinary Institute of America Greystone campus in Napa Valley, California is one of the premiere centers for culinary education in North America. Located about 20 miles NW of downtown Napa, the 120,000 SF campus is located within a beautiful building that was previously used as a winery, and is well over 100 years old. The CIA has seen continued growth in its programs over the past decade, and the requirement for more space.
This has allowed it to purchase a building in downtown Napa that was previously the home to Copia (The American Center for Food, Wine and the Arts). Copia, although quite interesting in concept, had incurred a tremendous amount of debt and closed in 2008. The CIA will be using the 80,000+ SF building for a satellite campus of Greystone, which will house many components including:
- CIA School of Food Business
- Demonstration Kitchens
- On-site Restaurant
- Retail (cooking equipment, culinary books, specialty foods)
- Outdoor amphitheater
- Event space for culinary events, weddings, private corporate events, etc.
- Public outreach and education
Last week, the CIA received approval from the Napa Planning Commission for renovations and the transformation of the Copia building. A full renovation is expected to be complete by 2017, although various components will open earlier, with the restaurant expected to open in Fall 2016. The project is officially titled CIA at Copia. This will be a great example of a Culinary-Oriented Development that brings together culinary education, restaurant dining, retail, event, and entertainment space.
The site is adjacent to the very cool Oxbow Public Market, which is like a scaled-down version of Vancouver’s Granville Island, or San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Oxbow Public market has approximately 20 merchants ranging from the obligatory wine and cheese, to modern Japanese and charcuterie.
The combination of the Oxbow Public Market with the new CIA at Copia will create a true culinary destination for people visiting downtown Napa. I’m sure the economic spin-offs for the City of Napa will be very beneficial in the long run.