Wine Country Agenda: On The Urban Edge


There’s something about old buildings that by their sheer survival amidst modern design, gives a neighborhood a contemporary edge. In Downtown Napa, historic landmarked buildings co-exist with the new First Street Napa project, imbuing it with soul. 

The Old Napa Register Building on the corner of Coombs. Two centuries of commercial design on 1st.

The Archer Hotel Napa

The Archer, a five-story, 183-room boutique hotel designed by LK Architecture anchors the First Street Napa development, a 325,000 square-foot complex of retail, office, hotel and restaurant spaces. The modern design preserves the ca. 1929, 1 ½ story brick facade that mirrors the Gordon Building just up the block with Spanish Colonial Revival details of glazed terra cotta brick, spiral colonettes and floral detail on the courses and capitals. At the same time, the Archer’s stone detail and open rooftop canopy speak to the 19th cent. Goodman Library directly across, designed with massive Napa fieldstone and a unique castellated parapet.

Inside, it’s all modern lux, with many of the guest rooms offering private balconies, fireplaces and lounging in addition to Downtown Napa’s highest rooftop with a full spa, ledge pool, outdoor bar and dining, and gorgeous 360-degree views.

Charlie Palmer Steak

Interior images by Andy Berry Photography, food and beverage images by Paige Green Photography

Completing Wine Country’s latest destination is a proper steak house in the 212-seat, Charlie Palmer Steak restaurant, lounge and bar. Dining is spread generously on the first floor of the hotel, benefitting from the light-filled, 2-story high atrium in the lobby, while the circular bar beckons with intimacy. Now a Wine Country native, seasoned hotelier and Michelin star restauranteur Charlie Palmer said “after living here for over 15 years… I knew downtown Napa – with its singular capacity for wine country urban growth – was where I wanted my next California project to be.”

Come here for the prime steaks and chops – the 21-day dry aged, bone-on Ribeye is mouthwateringly delicious – but Executive Chef Jeffery Russell also dishes up modern takes on classic seafood, salad and vegetable dishes, and the dessert selections are irresistible. For the unexpected and addictive, make sure to order the Pig Ear Pad Thai. Dining and lounging is complemented by a 400-selection Napa Valley and international wine list, a large wine-by-the-glass program, craft beers including their house brewed CP IPA, and classic cocktails infused with local Wine Country flavors.

Charlie Palmer Steak in the Archer Hotel is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus weekend brunch, daily Happy Hour and a $20, 5 Dot Ranch burger and beer combo at the bar. Check the website for details. 1260 First Street, Downtown Napa

Compline Compleat

All Compline photos by Kali Kirschman

Nestled among the storefronts on First Street is the new Compline (Comp-LYN), a 90-seat restaurant, wine bar and retail concept.

Along with wine classes led by owners and hospitality vets Matt Stamp, MS and former Charlie Trotter wine director Ryan Stetins, visitors can enjoy a complete, but convenient Wine Country experience in town.

The 3,000 square-foot space was designed by Wine Country architect Sasha Janev of SMJ Architecture with free-flowing spaces connecting the dining area and bar with a 26-seat outdoor patio.

The shareable menu at Compline is ingredient-driven, locally sourced and simply prepared by Chef Yancy Windsperger.

Compline is open daily at 10 a.m. for lunch and wine tasting with dinner ending at 11 p.m., bar at midnight. 1300 First Street #312, Downtown Napa

More news: