By Jennifer Huffman, Napa Valley Register
Copperfield’s Books is returning to downtown Napa – directly across the street from where it was once located back in the 1980s.
Part of the First Street Napa development, the new 3,665 square foot space will offer “tremendous ambiance, while staying true to its brick-and-mortar roots and continued commitment to literature, education and community,” said a news release.
The bookstore is currently located in Bel Aire Plaza next to Whole Foods.
The future home of Copperfield’s is located on the 1300 block of First Street across from Eiko’s restaurant. A toy store was one of the more recent tenants of that space. During the days of the Napa Town Center, it was the front the of the former McCaulou’s space.
“Being so community oriented, we’re delighted to be back in the vibrant downtown environment we once occupied,” said Paul Jaffe, president, Copperfield’s Books.
“With the renewal of the city center, we are ready to move back to the street where we opened the very first Napa Copperfield’s Books 30 years ago. We look forward to being part of the exciting retail environment at First Street Napa.”
“Copperfield’s return to downtown is a very welcome reunion,” said Joe Fischer of Strong & Hayden. Fischer is the commercial broker working on the First Street Napa project.
Jaffe explained that in the 1980s, Copperfield’s in Napa was once located at the corner of First and Main streets (across the street from Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Co.). Later, it moved to the other corner of First and Randolph streets (now Napa Square).
In addition to providing a full-service bookstore, Copperfield’s new downtown store will continue to host book clubs and story times as well as its events program, which offers readings, workshops and literary programs.
Planning to open in the summer of 2020, the store will have its children’s section, sections of fiction and nonfiction, gifts, greeting cards, magazines and more, said a news release.
“We warmly welcome Copperfield’s Books back downtown,” said Todd Zapolski, principal and managing member, First Street Napa. “This reinforces how the area is once again a lively, dynamic destination for our local community.”
Copperfield’s, headquartered in Sebastopol, also has a bookstore in downtown Calistoga. It has nine locations across Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties.
Jaffe said that Copperfield’s has always had a connection with downtown areas.
“That’s who we are,” said Jaffe. “That’s just part of our identity to be part of a vibrant downtown community. It just wasn’t there in downtown Napa when we left. So we went to the Bel Aire center, which is a very vibrant center. It’s not downtown, but it has Whole Foods, Peet’s and Trader Joe’s,” said Jaffe.
However, “I’ve always thought that our place was going to be downtown. Napa has just done a phenomenal job in so many different ways in the redevelopment of downtown. First Street Napa is a very exciting development,” said Jaffe.
“The fact that (Zapolski) took this almost eyesore and has redeveloped this to make it such an exciting retail experience; I think it’s very exciting. We wanted to be a part of that,” said Jaffe.
Napa’s other bookstore, Bookmine, is also planning a move – its future home will be at Register Square on the 1600 block of Second Street — just a few blocks away from the new Copperfield’s location.
Is there room for two bookstores in downtown Napa?
“I think so,” said Jaffe. “Napa has always had multiple bookstores. There were three bookstores in downtown Napa 20 years ago,” he noted.
“They are really good people,” Jaffe said of the Bookmine. Together, “We can help support the bookselling community in Napa.”
Spanning three city blocks, First Street Napa will feature 45 fashion and specialty retailers, innovative restaurants and wine bars, creative office space, and Archer Hotel Napa.
“Existing businesses are returning to downtown and new endeavors are jumping in and investing,” said Fischer. “Our downtown foot-traffic in the First Street District is now equal to Yountville’s Washington Street, and nearly equal to the Marin Country Mart,” he said.
According to Fischer, “I believe that all the spaces at First Street Napa Phase I (Compline west to the Andaz) will be contracted and in lease by Bottlerock 2020.”