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What's New in the Oxbow District

Napa’s Oxbow District adds new stores and a park to the mix.



By Barry Martin

Like an upscale Howell Mountain Cabernet, Napa’s Oxbow District gets better with age. The neighborhood east of downtown’s Soscol Avenue continues to welcome new attractions—including a park.


Napa Valley Distillery’s Tasting Salon and Bar Shop

Reservations are highly recommended on weekends at the Napa Valley Distillery’s tasting room at Oxbow Public Market. The salon opened in 2014 after California legislation was passed, paving the way for distillers to serve tastes of their wares like wineries do. You can taste up to six quarter-ounce pours of some of the distillery’s craft spirits, such as Napa Vodka and Old Hollywood Ginn. You can also sample from more than 400 different cocktail bitters, syrups, and shrubs. napadistillery.com.

 

Hudson Greens and Goods

Oxbow Public Market’s only produce purveyor got a makeover last August when it rebranded as Hudson Greens and Goods: Think of it as a year-round farmers market. The shop includes a juice bar that sells made-to-order juices, a toast bar with an assortment of toppings, and a section of various broths and grab-and-go salads with house-made dressings for sale. This retailer specializes in local organic fruits and veggies, and carries a variety of dry foods and home goods. There’s also a lovely selection of cut flowers from the local Monkey Flower Group. oxbowpublicmarket.com.

 

Courtesy of Napa Valley Distillery

Oxbow Commons

Form and function are on display at the new Oxbow Commons. Upon first glance, the area that’s lower than the surface streets but higher than the banks of the Napa River is a pedestrian-friendly park. But look closer, and you can see that the main purpose of the Oxbow Commons is to carry away floodwaters when storms threaten the city. When it’s not storming, the floodgates open, and the commons welcomes passersby with benches­ (coming this spring), open spaces, and a small amphitheater for city-sponsored musicians and special events. cityofnapa.org.

 

The Culinary Institute of America at Copia

After sitting vacant for seven years, the Copia building next to Oxbow Public Market will be a vibrant food and wine Mecca once more. The Culinary Institute of America bought the building to restore its original goal of providing culinary education and foodie experiences. The building will offer two restaurants, a 100-seat demonstration kitchen, a rare-book library, and an outdoor garden. The centerpiece of the new facility will be a museum in honor of Williams-Sonoma founder Charles E. “Chuck” Williams, which will feature both modern and antique culinary artifacts. enthusiasts.ciachef.edu/copia.

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