After a few years of scoping out possible new digs, one of Novato's best-loved delicatessens has found the perfect location.
Western Novato's loss will be downtown's gain when leaves the Square shopping center and takes over the spot currently occupied by at the Downtown Novato shopping center at Seventh Street and Grant Avenue.
Peet's is moving about a mile to the east to a new spot on Redwood Boulevard as soon as (at the site of the former Mills Restaurant), and Tagliaferri's will be moving about a mile to the east as well.
Brian Tagliaferri, a Novato resident who founded the deli with his father, Al, in 1997, said their lease was up at the Square in October and the time was right to cut ties with the shopping center, which lost its main tenant three years ago and is more than half vacant.
"We had a lot of offers around town ... people contacting us about whether we'd like to move here or there ... but we wanted to stay as close to our existing location as possible," said Brian Tagliaferri, 43. "We want to be able to serve the customers who have supported us forever."
Good visibility and plenty of parking were other attractive traits of the Peet's location, he said. The father-son team looked at several other spots but decided against them mostly because of parking issues.
"We're primarily a lunch spot, so people have got to be able to get in and out," he said.
Al Tagliaferri, 64, grew up in upstate New York and spent 22 years in the mortgage business. The family moved to Novato in 1985 and the deli was opened 12 years later after Brian finished with studies at Long Beach State and worked in the hotel industry for several years. Most of the deli's Italian recipes are straight from Al's grandparents, Brian said.
Greg McCollum of Hoytt Enterprises, the property manager for the Downtown Novato shopping center, said he believes Tagliaferri's will be well-received in the 1,600-square-foot spot adjacent to .
"They're going to fill a need and benefit from the visibility, so we feel pretty good about it," McCollum said. "They have an established track record, and the relocation here is going to create some new possibilities for them that they don't have now."
The Peet's building was constructed specifically for Noah's and Peet's in 2000, McCollum said. Although the space is smaller than the 2,400 square feet Tagliaferri's has at the Square, the kitchen and cafe areas will be about the same size. The new spot won't have a huge walk-in refrigerator or a big office. "We don't really need this much space," Al Tagliaferri said Tuesday while working behind the counter at the deli.
Brian Tagliaferri said the Peet's location would just need a coat of paint and some redecorating to make Tags customers feel at home. The cooler cases and shelving will be hauled to the new location.
It will not be an emotional departure from the Square, Brian Tagliaferri said. The property manager and owner have not made much progress in finding a new anchor tenant over the past three years since , and more businesses at the center have .
"We never thought we'd be moving, but sometimes you've got to make a change," he said. "We'd like to say thank you to all the neighbors in that area for their support through the years, and hopefully they'll follow us to our new spot. It's only about a mile away."
The new lease starts Nov. 1 and the target move-in date is the middle of November, Brian said.