NEW YORK – The Big Apple’s legendary Copacabana night club, which opened its doors for the first time in 1940, this week is beginning operations in a new location and kicking things off with the music of salsa giant Willie Colon.
The Copa’s fourth home is in Times Square.
The new establishment will house the Copacabana Supper Club, where the second-floor kitchen is headed up by Cuban chef Alex Garcia, with the third level reserved for the dance floor, which – according to what the owners have said – will have modern sound and lighting equipment.
The Copacabana remained for more than 50 years in its original location and on its stage performed many of the old time greats, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. – who signed his contract with Decca Records after making his debut at this club – Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Harry Belafonte and Bob Hope, among other artists.
In the mid-1970s, it transformed itself into a discotheque and after the death of its owner it closed its doors for the first time. Three years later, however, it reopened and in 1992 its owner at the time sought a new location for the dance hall, although it remained in Manhattan.
In 2001, the club was forced to move to yet another space where it remained until 2007, when it had to close again due to the expansion of a subway line.
Also performing at the Copacabana, which reigned as the home of Latino music, were Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, the legendary Estrellas de Fania, Eddie Palmieri, Marc Anthony, Oscar D’Leon, the Gran Combo and Victor Manuelle, among others. EFE