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.
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“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.”