From the age when the glamorous club attracted stars for a night of dinner, dancing and a show; to the television era where icons came to perform and mingle; to the disco days when the spirit of salsa and tropical rhythms overtook the city; the Copa, as it’s known, is the place where it?all happened.
It’s part of a grand tradition of Latino supper clubs that spans from the golden era of Havana, Cuba, to present day Los Angeles, where show stopping performances by beloved artists share top billing with dishes that strive to connect patrons to the traditional favorites of the past, as well as to modern flavors.
“People come to Copacabana to spend a night enjoying a good show, good food and a great atmosphere, all inspired by Latin America,” said its Cuban-born chef Alex García, whose dishes represent the complex and mixed community of New York’s Latin roots, a diverse community made up of Latinos from every background.
“We tried to create something special to represent each Latin American country in the menu. We were inspired by some of the most traditional dishes, but added new ingredients, and created new versions,” said García, whose favorite dish on the menu is the Ecuadorian ceviche.
In big cities like Chicago, Miami, Houston, not to mention New York and Los Angeles, supper clubs represent a glamorous celebration of Latino flavors be they tropical, South American, Pan-Latino or Mexican, and the same goes for music. Clubs throughout the country feature artists new and old and from nearly every Latino genre.
As music and tastes evolve, so too does the Copa and its contemporaries throughout the country. Artists take the stage and rock rhythms in Spanish, salsa, merengue and more.
The changing faces, styles and culinary stars of places like the Copa is a testament to the enduring nature of Latino influence in the country. No matter the era, people still come together to celebrate good food and good music.