“I like the project; I don’t like it here,” he said, pointing to the plan’s reliance on Copia’s former south parking lot and its frequent use by a variety of businesses and visitors. “The math doesn’t work for me. To set aside 28 spaces for a daily population of 200 to 300 people is going to put a burden on all the other surrounding businesses, and that really concerns me.”
But all four of Massaro’s peers voted their support, with Gordon Huether saying the property has been zoned and equipped for guests since the late Robert and Margrit Mondavi first opened Copia across First Street two decades ago.
“The space they designed wasn’t used as much as it could and should have,” he said of Oxbow Yard’s long-dormant site. “We’re bringing something that’s already there back to life.” Even under new management, he added, ‘it seems totally consistent with what was originally intended.”
Members of Napa’s land-use authority approved much of St.Helena-based Oxbow Yard LP’s project, which aims to bring dining, live music and event spaces into a park-like setting along a bend of the downtown Napa River. The development will create a beer garden and outdoor restaurant within the existing garden space east of Copia’s original south parking lot, across First Street from the revived CIA at Copia and the Oxbow Public Market.
Oxbow Yard’s creators have proposed to bring five 40-foot-long cargo-style containers to the property – two for use as kitchens, two for storage and one to house a bar. One of the containers is to host a 50-gallon micro-distillery producing liquor that will be served at a tasting room on the premises. In addition, the center will incorporate fixtures carried over from the Copia era, including a pavilion with a stage, fireplace, pizza oven, outdoor kitchen and restrooms. Fire pits and pergola-covered seating will be added to the site.