Nearly 100 eager beavers turned up Tuesday evening for a ribbon cutting ceremony at Novato's new downtown wine bar and working winery — even though the place won't open for about three more weeks.
The Novato Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed Trek Winery to the former Tresch Electric building at 1026 Machin Ave., just one block north of the Old Town district on Grant Avenue.
Marin County Supervisor Judy Arnold, City Manager Michael Frank, Mayor Denise Athas and Novato Council Council members Madeline Kellner and Jeanne MacLeamy were on hand to egg on winery owner Andy Podshadley as he wielded the oversize scissors.
Although the building isn't ready for prime time just yet, Trek hosted its first unofficial event last week when a regional group of city managers and council members held a meeting there. Frank said it was a huge success and the place met rave reviews.
"I am excited to welcome Trek Winery to downtown Novato," Frank said. "I want to thank Andy Podshadley for working with the city to find a location for his winery and I wish him the best success for his business. I anticipate that Trek wine bar will be a great new attraction to bring people downtown so they can sip a glass of wine at Trek, stroll and shop along Grant Avenue, and enjoy one the many great restaurants in the downtown area. Cheers!"
Podshadley, a Novato native, has repeatedly said it's been his lifelong dream to open a winery in Novato after more than 20 years of making wine elsewhere, including at home and in Sonoma. He was in negotiations with three other Novato locations before he reached an agreement on the former Tresch building, and it's taken about a year to transform the 70-year-old structure into shape.
Podshadley said it was hard not to get emotional when he credited all the volunteers and financial partners who helped Trek along the way. Only one professional contractor was hired out during the renovation of the building, he said — otherwise it was all friends and inspired volunteers.
Check these videos to hear what Podshadley, Arnold and Athas had to say.