NEW YORK -- OK, first things first. It's not on East 60th where the original was. And, it's not on 34th Street and 11th Avenue where it once was. But, dammit, the Copacabana is back!
For those of us of a certain age, the Copa was the height of New York nightclub fashion back in “the day.” The headwaiter, Manny, lived across the street from me in a Long Island suburb, and his status was as great as that of any rock star in those days before the term “rock star” was the epitome of fame. His wife, Eleanor, ran the coat check concession and even she was at least a minor deity.
The Copa dancers, the fascinating orchestras, the pretty-good-for-a-nightclub food, the fantastic cocktails ... . It was all a whirl of colors, flavors and fashion. Barry Manilow's anthemic "At the Copa" hit some years afterward captured a bit of the excitement.
Last night, the Copacabana officially opened in its new Times Square location with Willie Colón as the headliner.
This spot at 268 West 47th Street, in the former China Club space, is the fourth Copa reincarnation. It's on the fourth floor with a dance club, restaurant, rooftop cocktail/dining space. A VIP room is scheduled to open in September.
The Copa dates to 1940, when it opened at 10 East 60th Street, welcoming such performers as Frank Sinatra, Nat "King" Cole, Tito Puente and others over the years.
The new Copa is offering live Latin music nights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and has revived its famed Copa Dancers, guys and gals specializing in everything from salsa to merengue to bachata and cha-cha-cha.
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