Tyler Florence retail store leaves Napa

2012-07-08T21:21:00Z 2012-07-08T21:25:17Z Tyler Florence retail store leaves NapaJENNIFER HUFFMAN Napa Valley Register
July 08, 2012 9:21 pm  • 

More than two years after it opened, the retail landscape at downtown’s Riverfront continues to evolve with the exit of a key tenant.

The Tyler Florence retail store at Napa’s Riverfront closed last week. A companion business, the Tyler Florence restaurant Rotisserie & Wine, officially closed in early June though it had been shuttered for some time, said Donna Perreault, a spokeswoman for the chef.

The retail store closed “because the shop lease and the restaurant (lease) were tied together as one, so the plan was to close the shop soon after the restaurant closed,” Perreault said.

The retail store first opened on Main Street in December 2010. Known as Tyler Florence West Coast Kitchen Essentials, it was marketed as an upscale shop selling a range of kitchen items — from wine charms to serving platters, mini whisks, and pots and pans. The store also stocked Florence’s own line of cookware, cutlery and cookbooks, along with other brands.

Today, paper covers the windows of the closed store.

“We want to consolidate and focus our efforts on our store in Mill Valley and our two restaurants, Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco and El Paseo in Mill Valley,” Perreault said. Florence also runs a restaurant in Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport.

“We were excited about (Florence) coming to Napa,” said Mike DiSimoni Sr., president of Channel Properties, the developer of the Riverfront.

“I think he had the concept that could have worked, but he didn’t stick with it long enough,” DiSimoni said. “Tyler Florence is a great chef,” he continued, but “to choose a menu and direction isn’t easy. It doesn’t always click.”

The decision for Florence to leave the Riverfront was mutual, DiSimoni said. “I told him, ‘It’s not working for you and for me.’

“He didn’t give it enough of his own time,” DiSimoni added. “If you are away and you have people running the place, you have to watch what they are doing.”

DiSimoni said he has four other groups interested in the restaurant space or retail space. “Some are pretty interesting,” he said, but did not elaborate.

A group from New York may open a wine bar and tasting room, the developer said. Frati Gelato Café is also scheduled to open on the Riverfront promenade.

“There are a lot of things going on,” DiSimoni said. “I think by the end of the year we should be fully occupied.”

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(26) Comments

  1. reason-ator
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    reason-ator - July 09, 2012 12:34 am
    They think they'll be fully occupied by the end of the year.

    They just didn't say WHAT year.
  2. glenroy
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    glenroy - July 09, 2012 7:17 am
    Mike’s done a heck of job…. changed the dynamics of downtown, and in my opinion, put it back on the map.
  3. Jump In
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    Jump In - July 09, 2012 7:39 am
    Where is Napa Local? These are locally owned-non corporate-non franchise businesses! They went out of business? Why? Did the Napa Local group fail to patronize them? Why is that? The Tyler Florence businesses are exactly what the Napa Local group wanted to restrict Napa with. But like the other kitchen store that went out of business 2 days ago...Napans won't support local businesses. Napans like people everywhere else shop in the mall in Fairfield, or Costco or shop on line...they don't go downtown Napa to shop or drink coffee or anything else. Napans avoid downtown for all the obvious reasons. That is the falacy of Napa Local and it is proven here - again..
    Thank god the city council was wise enough to ignore Napa Local's demands.
  4. napapapa
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    napapapa - July 09, 2012 8:06 am
    You’re off track. Restaurant was abysmal; food was greasy-awful, menu retrogressive and boring. Place was WAY too loud. Nearby venues prove that quality counts and common people understand value. The shop failed it’s because stuff costs too much or there’s poor selection. Glad to see it join stupid, snooty, perpetually ugly (worst building in Napa) and egotistical Copia. So long Tyler, find some other targets.
  5. Esiuol
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    Esiuol - July 09, 2012 8:24 am
    Have you been into that store? I feel, some of these "down-town" stores, are there for the tourist, not the locals, with their high-prices. How many locals does it take to support these "upscale" stores? With their $150 salad bowl sets. C'mon, how many of those do you actually need?

    From what I know, and what is in this article, Tyler Florence wasn't even managing his store. It was just his name, hoping to bring people in.
  6. Esiuol
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    Esiuol - July 09, 2012 8:30 am
    I am excited to see, Frati Gelato Café coming in. Anthony makes the gelato himself!
  7. RweJustaLittleCrazy
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    RweJustaLittleCrazy - July 09, 2012 8:53 am
    Jump in, you are so right dude, I love the truth!
  8. Hamid
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    Hamid - July 09, 2012 8:56 am
    The Napa Local crowd is teaching us. So now the stores and restaurants that open in downtown have have lots of new rules to agree to? Lets see, businesses that come to downtown must be locally owned; the owner must operate it and be there every day; not a franchise; not a corporation; if its a restaurant the menu needs to be acceptable and quiet and not greasy; if its a store then the stuff can't be too expensive; they can't sell $150 salad bowl sets; there must be a great selection; and finally, according to these posters any new business cannot be for tourists...only locals who don't go downtown!!!
    I agree with Jumpen Thank god the city council ignored Napa Local.
  9. glenroy
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    glenroy - July 09, 2012 9:05 am
    I think the RF is more, much more, tourist focused. That's what the City wanted and that's what the city got....it's cities Napa that drive out the small local businesses.
  10. Trebinje
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    Trebinje - July 09, 2012 9:11 am
    Can't start any business successfully - much less a high-touch restaurant - with absentee executive management. Tyler & Tolan Florence's empire is better suited to Mill Valley anyway.
  11. Esiuol
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    Esiuol - July 09, 2012 9:52 am
    I shop, eat, and spend my money downtown weekly. As a lot of us locals do. You just can't expect the "locals" to support these expensive places. The rich in Napa, would rather buy their kitchen items in France while they are on vacation. You can't get mad at us locals because these businesses fail, due to bad planning and management.
  12. rel
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    rel - July 09, 2012 10:30 am
    As a matter of clarity I believe that some of these blogs are referring to the organized group called "NAPA LOCAL" not to we individuals who are local and shop locally but have absolutely no connection to the "NAPA LOCAL" group and their philosphies.
  13. napayocal
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    napayocal - July 09, 2012 11:23 am
    Not seeing the correlation between Florence's failed empire adventure and Napa Local, sorry. Over-priced, no value, no direction = fail. FYI I shop at Shackford's any time I need any thing of quality. Too bad to see the other kitchen store close, bad location and didnt ever seem to invite me in Local family been around for some time. Not affiliated with Napa Local either, they do have some valid points however.
  14. frelxk
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    frelxk - July 09, 2012 12:10 pm
    Trebinje says Florence's empire is better suited to Mill Valley anyway. That sounds like sour grapes.
  15. Trebinje
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    Trebinje - July 09, 2012 1:42 pm
    Sour grapes? Hardly. Anyone who has lived in both Napa and Mill Valley, such as myself (for many years, each), is qualified to draw a comparison between the markets for goods and services.

    What works in Mill Valley won't automatically work in Napa ... and vice versa.

    That analysis was the part of the due diligence process the Florence's likely overlooked.

  16. napablogger
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    napablogger - July 09, 2012 4:17 pm
    jumpin, you are completely misconstruing Napa Local and what they stood for. They were against Starbucks. They are not against all chains. No use arguing it all again but they are the only community group demanding quality and they ought to be at least listened to. They have been treated terribly by a lot of people.
    Report Abuse
    REPUBLICANKID - July 09, 2012 5:20 pm
    We have a far better Downtown than we did in 1988. It is just not a Downtown for locals,We Trancas and Jefferson or that
  18. Crosscountrykid
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    Crosscountrykid - July 09, 2012 6:39 pm
    One word for how to do it well and successfully in downtown Napa: Gillwood's.
    Report Abuse
    REPUBLICANKID - July 09, 2012 7:23 pm
    yes great food
  20. Jane Eyrehead
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    Jane Eyrehead - July 09, 2012 8:20 pm
    Let's hear it for Alexis Baking Company, Pizza Azzuro (sp?), Norman Rose, Pearl, Cole's and Celadon, all of which manage to entice both tourists and locals. A couple are definitely on the splurge end, but so what--live a little on an anniversary or a birthday. These businesses are run by locals, hire locals, and they contribute in many ways to the community.

    Let's stop the negativity and count our blessings.

    Apologies to any restaurant I didn't mention, but these are my favorites.
  21. Jump In
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    Jump In - July 10, 2012 7:34 am
    I agree with Jose Hurtado. Those are good restaurants. But don't forget Uva, my favorite.
  22. garretth37
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    garretth37 - July 10, 2012 11:30 am
    How many kitchen stores do we need, we don't have a strong retail base in downtown. I find it hard that someone visiting here will buy a 150 dollars set of dishes then have to get them home. We have to get the tourists who drive into Napa from somewhere local or get the Napa local to buy. We have to find retail for the local, the in-state local and the tourist who is willing to buy goods.
  23. Jump In
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    Jump In - July 10, 2012 12:45 pm
    To Garretth37 - Why do we have to jump through so many hoops and wring our hands over this issue. We have a successful free capitalist economy that is very capable of sorting out what business will succeed in any location. Its called risk vs reward. Why don't you just step back and let it work?
  24. Esiuol
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    Esiuol - July 11, 2012 10:04 am
    If money is not an option, tourist will buy these expenisve items and spend the money to get them shipped home. Nothing like being asked, "That's beautiful, where did you get it?," "Oh, on my last trip to Napa at the Tyler Florence store." It does occur. Just not as often as these stores require.
  25. Grape
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    Grape - July 12, 2012 9:54 am
    Couldn't part of the problem be the restaurant was located on the back side (possibly actually called the front side) of the building where nobody could see it and/or be reminded to eat there?
  26. nevarpl1
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    nevarpl1 - July 12, 2012 11:02 am
    Tyler...you're too expensive! Not everybody is rich.
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