Empty for Years: What Should Replace Napa Wherehouse/f.y.e.?

The former entertainment store on Jefferson Street across from the Grapeyard has been closed for years and continues to stand empty. What business should locate there next? Share your visions for this vacancy.

Nobody in Napa really liked the Wherehouse when it was open, and we liked it even less when it became f.y.e. and then closed.

Years later, the former music, movies and games store at 3219 Jefferson St., next to Wells Fargo and across from the Grapeyard shopping center, remains vacant.

The freestanding store has 7,000 square feet and plenty of parking. It's for lease at $24 a square foot, per year, through Michael L. Holcomb of Strong & Hayden Commercial Real Estate at (707) 226-2661 x203. A listing sheet accompanies this article.

What business would you like to see come to this vacant store? Share your vision with us in the comments section. And if you have memories about the old Wherehouse/f.y.e., feel free to share those too.

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Pam Birdsall November 05, 2012 at 12:03 AM
I'd love to see a Marshall's/TJ Max or Home Goods store!
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau November 05, 2012 at 12:04 AM
I'm hear ya, Michael. Get all jacked on caffeine and count money. Sounds like a Republican wet dream.
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau November 05, 2012 at 12:11 AM
That sounds exactly like a "Chuck-E-Cheese" pizza place. Although it's a haven of bacteria and germs and the food is disgusting it might actually work in that space.
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" November 05, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Steve Coffee and money go great together. I was always suspicious of a Pizza Place with a Rat mascot. It is a great place the rent is way to high.
Scott Yeager November 05, 2012 at 01:24 AM
I am not sure if your comment of Patch being unfriendly was directed at me or not because of my comment about a couple of thousand people who would shop like you do but it wasn't meant to be unfriendly at all. Unfortunately I don't think there are enough people to keep a record store afloat in this very small city. Almost everyone under 30 doesn't even understand the concept of paying for music and it doesn't matter what format it is: digital download or music or movies, cd, vinyl or dvd or blu-ray. There aren't any record stores opening now but there are plenty closing down every year. Places like Best Buy are reducing the amount of cds, dvd and blu-rays they carry, not increasing stock.
Cmmrn November 05, 2012 at 01:27 AM
@ Steve.....I hve never been a fan of chuck e cheese, however it isn't as bad as it used to b, however chuck e cheese is geared more for young kids & not the Pre teen- teen group! If I had the $$ I would really consider doing something kid friendly as I mentioned before! The ages 10-14 are such an awkward age that having something for them to do in one location with multiple choices would be great. I have the ideas & plans but not the $!!! Bummer!!
Mary Richardson November 05, 2012 at 01:36 AM
My husband has worked in the music business for a long time, and he's heard of Rounder Records and worked a handful of the artists who are on their roster. He says: "Cool!" He assures me that we have 4 turntables, and three of them still work! It is true, though, that we have not bought vinyl in a long time.
Scott Yeager November 05, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Right next door to it was Tower and down the street Rasputin's and Amoeba. The latter two still exist, but barely. I have been in both on a Saturday recently from about 11:30am to 1:30pm and you can almost count the number of customers on one hand. Literally. College students don't buy music anymore.
Scott Yeager November 05, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Vinyl has made a big comeback but it isn't making up for the erosion of CDs and illegal downloading. Unfortunately, it is a very small piece of the pie even with the recent resurgence. People like David Byrne, as an example, can't really make any money from royalties anymore and have to license their music to make a living. Although he doesn't license his music for commercials. In order to do that you have to own and control your publishing which a lot of people don't have, from certain decades especially.
Donna Rae Fortenberry November 05, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Many of us were here before our valley and wine became so popular. Napa has always been a great place to live. Who would want to move.
tamie November 05, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Napa had a Chuck E Cheese on Soscol Ave in the same strip mall as Quizno's.
Mary Richardson November 05, 2012 at 06:47 AM
Yes, Scott, sadly, times have certainly changed, and you are right about the college students. I enjoyed Leopold's. I remember picketing Tower Records when they were first moving in. I still have the Tommy record Leopold's gave me for my efforts. Now, they're both gone. We do still shop at the Rasputin's in Vallejo. Sometimes it's crowded and sometimes not, but you can find good deals if you're willing to take the time to shop for them.
Wendy McCall November 05, 2012 at 07:51 AM
Michael's or a Hobby Lobby!
JParingit November 05, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I agree with a micheals or hobby lobby
Lori Duncan November 05, 2012 at 02:57 PM
A really nice furniture store!
Lorie November 05, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Louisa Hufstader 8:47 am on Sunday, November 4, 2012 Lorie, an arcade is an intriguing suggestion. --------------------------- What's intriguing about suggesting an Arcade?
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) November 05, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Lorie, maybe I am easily intrigued but I just thought it was interesting because we don't have anything like that in the neighborhood, and because somehow I keep finding myself in arcades elsewhere: I have been to three this year, on Martha's Vineyard and in Salem, Mass., and at a sports bar in Petaluma that had an Elvis pinball machine (!!). The one in Salem Willows had some very strange games ("Fruit Ninja," anyone?) and the one on the Vineyard had the fortune teller from "Big."
Scott Yeager November 05, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Amoeba has 3 stores.
Scott Yeager November 05, 2012 at 04:48 PM
You have a better chance of being hit by a meteor than you do of Amoeba opening a store here:)
Lorie November 05, 2012 at 05:01 PM
LOL!...my mind wonders a lot too. I thought it'd be great precisely because we don't have anything like it in Napa (except a handful of machines at the Cinedome and the Bowling alley), but every time I find myself in one, or walking by one (Santa Cruz Boardwalk the most recent one) I see tons of people of all ages spending tons of money...I guess it's addictive *.*
Scott Yeager November 05, 2012 at 05:01 PM
How are arcades doing with so many people playing home video games?
Lorie November 05, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I guess it's the thrill of accumulating tokens/tickets and then redeem them for whatever it is they're shooting for (pun?).
Mary Ellen November 05, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Napa Patch is friendly enough. Unfortunately there are a few commenters who like to feel in charge and intimidate. Don't let them discourage you Elaine, there are still many of us who welcome a different view.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) November 05, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Is there a place in Napa to do Dance Dance Revolution? That's much more fun when there are people around to laugh at you.
Tom Davidson November 05, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Can you IMAGINE a Napa without the wine bars and wineries ? Without the tourists, the chef-worshippers, the failing restaurants, torn-up roads,and a government who ignores the residents to pander to weekend visitors and the tourism-business owners, it was a beautiful place to live. Back when there were only 20,000 people who lived in Napa that appreciateed the peace, beauty, and solitude, it was a GREAT place to live. Now we have a whole bunch of new people who want downtown to vibrate and wonder why we don't like their failed vision for a Disney valley. But we just do what we can to ignore the wine bar and winery lovers and the potholes that they love. It's still a nice place to leave if you can get away from the tourists and those that worship them. I just can't get over these people who think this valley was ALWAYS this screwed up. But what do you expect in a world that looks at a place with an airport, a navigable waterway with railroad tracks and decides that's the PERFECT place for MORE HOUSES ? The new Napa Valley built for the tourons. What's not to love ?
Lorie November 05, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Now, you're talking! I would settle for a DAILY morning (8:00 am) Jazzercise class and dance my stress away!!!!
Scott Yeager November 05, 2012 at 07:49 PM
"Back when there were only 20,000 people who lived in Napa that appreciateed the peace, beauty, and solitude, it was a GREAT place to live." I would imagine when there were only 20,000 people living in the city limits of Napa there were a few billion less people on the planet at the time. I believe someone wrote a blog post recently about overpopulation and what you are describing you can point directly to an ever increasing population. It's not like Napas population grew but California, the U.S. and worldwide population didn't grow at the same time.
Mary Richardson November 05, 2012 at 08:04 PM
OK, still going down memory lane a bit .... Above Leopold's on Durant Avenue in Berkeley was Silver Ball - one of my very favorite hangouts growing up! It was alive with buzzers and bells and the excitement of winning that extra game! In an adjoining alcove was Pong and the newest technology in video games. You could hear the "Smack smack, smack, SQUEEL!!"as someone beat a worthy opponent at air hockey! Downstairs you could buy music at Leopold's, and just up the street you could get a bite to eat at Top Dog ...... So jumping forward to Napa and reading these comments, It'd be cool to have part of the space converted into a dance/jazzercise space in the mornings, and an arcade for kids to hang out in after school and on weekends with a snack bar, and a music store all wrapped up in one. If you sectioned the space out properly, it just could work! I'm dreaming? Well, probably, but that's part of what life's about!
Mark Mathews November 06, 2012 at 01:19 AM
A Chick-fil-A
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) November 06, 2012 at 01:36 AM
LOL Mark. The place could hold an entire food court, for that matter; but retrofitting would be needed (kitchen, exhaust fans etc.).


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