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A Different Kind of Wining For American Chopper Star Paul Teutul Jr

It seems there comes a time when the striplings must stretch their wings, leave the nest and at least temporarily, spread their wings and take flight to parts unknown.

And so it is with the namesake of the American Chopper dynasty. Paul Teutul, Jr., is taking in the sights out California way and considering a move to the west coast.

The Borreo Building. Photo by Jess Knubis

Teutul the Younger was spotted recently sizing up the two-story Borreo building in the California wine country as a possible location for a move to the left coast. Teutul Jr., the owner of Paul Jr. Designs and the second-fiddle co-star of the Discovery Channel’s reality show “American Chopper,” has been eyeing the 124-year-old riverfront building at Soscol Avenue and Third Street as a possible site for a new shop where he would build his custom motorcycles and film his portion of the reality show.

“We just started really looking because we figured we’re at a stage in our business where we’re ready for expansion,” Teutul said.  “Ideally we would like to do some of our filming here and building of the motorcycles, like we’ve done for the past decade in New York. We’d probably mix it up between here and New York, so we’d bring the show ‘American Chopper’ to Napa.”

Teutul has enlisted a local artist, Gordon Huether, to help him put together a proposal for using and renovating the building.

“It’s like putting a sculpture studio in here that’s open to the public,” Huether said. “At Borreo, you’d be able to watch artisans crafting these incredible works of art. Art and culture is breaking out all over Napa, so the timing is just beautiful.”

In past incarnations, the ancient two-story building has been used as a grain and feed store, a winery, a yacht club office, a library and perhaps in a move that foreshadowed the future, a motorcycle repair shop. The building was last occupied  in April 2001.

But it won’t come cheap, not that Teutul Jr. is hurting for cash.

At 9,600 square feet, the building was recently appraised at between $400,000 – and you can toss in an traditional $1 million if the buyer wants to take over some  parking in a nearby public lot.

Teutul, Jr’s problem might be the same one his dad is always complaining about – lack of experience.

“We want to work with an experienced developer who has a team assembled with experience in comparable development who has a good track record and would be a good steward of this building,” said a local official.

The building does have other advantages for the younger Teutul, it’s located directly across the street from Napa Valley Classics, a motorcycle repair and service shop. Napa Valley Classics owner Ron Kane is all for the idea.

“I think what it’s going to do is be a shot in the arm to motorcycling in the area,” Kane said. “I think it would create new enthusiasm. If anything, it might help my business.”

If all goes as planned, Teutul said his company build up to five custom bikes at the Borreo building location every year. He also likes the idea of filming segments of the show in the surrounding area.

“If we get our riding shots or just cut away to commercials, they would show the Napa Mill, different locations, some of the vineyards,” he said. “You’d have the local area airing globally.”

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