The New Copa Room

Tropicale’s High-Profile Baby Sister Is Leading a Local Supper Club Resurgence

Posted By: Matt Link Friday, January 24, 2014
The Copa Room
Ever since Palm Springs’ perennial favorite restaurant Tropicale opened in 2008 on Amado Road - directly opposite Palm Springs’ Mid-century Modern main post office - some sort of lounge/nightclub/cabaret/discotheque/what have you extension had been in the back of the owners’ minds. And finally in late 2013, the long-anticipated Copa Room became a sparkling reality.

The sea green Midcentury-inspired exterior of the elegant but lively Copa Room matches nicely with the salmon brick facade of Tropicale right next door. The two sisters properties act as the new anchors to this once-derelict downtown block that is now home to an art gallery and other new businesses. January 26th, 2014 may mark the Copa Room's official grand opening, but this swanky nightlife addition got off to an incredible bang well before then.

Just prior to Christmas, Emmy Award-winning actor Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace, American Horror Story) sold out not one but three nights at the Copa with his hilarious one-man show “Unwrapped Southern Holiday Stories.” That was quickly followed by cult comedienne Judy Tenuta and her live show “Full Frontal Tenudity,” with the all-male classical string quartet Well-Strung ushering in the new year with their unique menu of Mozart, Vivaldi, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga.

Pretty impressive for a place that hadn’t officially opened yet! Copa Room’s brand-new 6,000 square-foot space exudes a slinky, sexy vibe with big upholstered booths, gilded cocktail tables, glass brick walls, red drapery, and a U-shaped bar fitting 60 leather stools facing an elevated catwalk stage.

Latin music busts open the dancefloor on Wednesdays, disco does the hustle every Thursday, and the place transforms into a full-fledge state-of-art DJ-fueled nightclub every Friday and Saturday night. Then things wind down on Sunday night with intimate live performances by singers, comedians, and other entertainers.

And there are even more big names on their way to the Copa Room soon:

February 6th-8th - “Marcovicci Sings Movies II”

For nearly 25 years, actress/singer Andrea Marcovicci rocked New York City’s legendary Algonquin Hotel with this dazzling array of movie songs from the 1930s through the 1990s.

February 13th-15th - Lainie Kazan

Tony and Golden-Globe nominated actress/singer Lainie Kazan (best known as the bride’s mother in My Big Fat Greek Wedding) will share cuts from her newest album Lainie Kazan - In The Groove.

February 20th-22nd – Spencer Day

Modern jazz singer and major cutie Spencer Day has headlined everything from the Great American Music Hall to the Monterey Jazz Festival to the Hollywood Bowl.

March 27th-29th - Randy Roberts

This famous impersonator of Cher and Bette Midler held court over his own theater show in Key West for ages, as well as working stages from Las Vegas to New York City.

What the Heck is A Supper Club, Anyway?

Copa Room’s lush interior, playful mood, and variety of entertainment evokes the bygone era of the supper club. From the 1930s up to the early 1960s, supper clubs were all the nightlife rage. Originating from the roadhouses and speakeasys of the Prohibition 1920s, a supper club was a multi-room, all-evening destination where one would head for happy hour drinks, and then linger for dinner and after-dinner drinks while enjoying live entertainment and dancing into the wee hours.

Chi-Chi in downtown Palm Springs nearly singlehandedly put the desert resort on the international map. An array of big Hollywood stars from the 1940s and ‘50s (think Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Desi Arnaz, Nat King Cole) not only graced the stage of Chi-Chi’s gorgeous Starlite Room, but they also acted as its main customers and audience.

With Tropicale’s excellent fusion menu of Pacific. American, and Asian dishes topped with Copa’s noteworthy line-up of performers, it’s now quite easy to relive the exact idea of a supper club by simply bouncing back and forth between these two almost adjoining establishments.

There’s somewhat of a rebirth of The Golden Age of Palm Springs Supper Clubs on its way with these establishments also recently reopened with new ones coming soon – watch this space!

Blame It On Midnight
The owners of the gay bar Score refurbished and reopened this longtime cabaret venue, spacious bar, and “supper club and trysting place” (as it describes itself) in the spring of 2013.

The Purple Room
The owners of Trio restaurant upgraded and retrofitted this 1960 Rat Pack favorite, which reopened in October 2013 at The Trinidad Resort in South Palm Springs - its signature purple velvet curtains still intact!

Bernie’s Lounge and Supper Club
Between last Christmas and New Year’s, Bernie’s debuted in the same venue where Davey’s Hideaway piano bar/restaurant made its home for 16 years. (Davey’s is scoping out spots downtown for its rebloom as a bona fide supper club sometime in 2014.)

Smoketree Supper Club
The Funkey Family, owners of Giuseppe’s Pizza & Pasta, will be making a splash with this unreal Steampunk-meets-Wild-West designer grill and live music venue opening in South Palm Springs in February, 2014. Stay tuned, y'all!


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