COPIA To Expand to San Francisco

Despite struggles, the Napa culinary center's reach continues to grow.

COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts, which has struggled financially for years and just last spring hired its third CEO in seven years, today announced it will open a new facility in San Francisco.


CEO Garry McGuire says it will be in the 40,000-50,000 square foot range, and if all goes well, COPIA might build "for-profit satellite operations across the country."


McGuire would not say where in the city the new COPIA will be, but Matt Holmes, the owner of Retail West, Inc., the real estate consulting firm that's helping COPIA craft the deal,  says the "momentum has gone to SOMA (South-of-Market) or the Ferry Building area" along the Embarcadero waterfront. The SOMA area south of Union Square is adjacent to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the new Contemporary Jewish Museum, and several smaller existing and planned museums, which adds to its attractive location, Holmes said.


It hasn't yet been decided whether to build a new facility or retrofit an existing one, according to Holmes. "With such a quick demand to open [in March 2009], there may be a temporary location until we get something permanent." As for expanding to other cities, Holmes predicted, "I would think you could see a rollout of COPIA wine bars."


The new facility will not include a restaurant. The original COPIA, in Napa, has Julia's Kitchen, which last week named the celebrity TV chef, Tyler Florence, as its new executive chef.

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