For almost eight decades New York City's Copacabana nightclub has earned itself both notoriety and infamy thanks to a litany of now legendary performers and gangsters who passed through its doors.
The New York club has since taken over several spaces around the city and now exists as a kind of living museum cum tourist trap in Times Square. The Fort Lauderdale Copa, which opened Sept. 14, is the famed nightclub's first location outside New York City. Owners Paul Curry and John Cestare, among others, searched South Florida for three years to find a location and although they explored Miami Beach, they finally settled here on Andrews Avenue near Las Olas Boulevard. Sure the crowd is mostly middle-aged, looking like they're out for their annual night on the town, but don't let that sway you.
While some might call it tacky, The Copacabana is also a stark reminder of how nightlife has changed in the last half century. Instead of tuxedoed maitre d's you get 300-pound bouncers who look ready to kill you at a moment's notice. Instead of live entertainment you get an androgynous DJ pressing play for an endless stream of untz-untz-untz music. Instead of dinner and good service, you get aloof bartenders pouring weak, high-priced cocktails.