View Single Post
Old Posted Jun 29, 2007, 12:27 PM
NYguy's Avatar
NYguy NYguy is offline
New Yorker for life
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Borough of Jersey
Posts: 45,679

Last dance at the Copa
City rolls a 7 & hot spot's 3rd version to fold

Desi Arnaz and wife Lucille Ball dine in 1946 at club's E.60th St. incarnation.

June 29th 2007

The storied Copacabana will close its doors tomorrow night - forced out of its plush West Side digs by the city to make room for the No. 7 subway line extension.

"It's like you're being evicted from your apartment with no place to live," said club owner John Juliano. "They just come over and throw you out."

The three-floor, 50,000-square-foot building at 34th St. and 10th Ave. will be razed to make way for a new subway terminal.

"We gotta have a Copacabana," Juliano said as he contemplated the ornate white palm trees and crimson seashell carpet in the club's main room. "I'll pass it down to my children and my grandchildren."

Many notables have passed through the Copa since it moved to its West Side address five years ago - after spending some 10 years at W. 57th St., and about 50 years at its original home on E. 60th. St., where it opened in 1941.

Juliano recalled the time former President Bill Clinton took to the stage in the main room last year and told the crowd that he'd rather play sax at the club than be out on the campaign trail.

And the time several months ago when Marc Anthony leaped onto the stage for a surprise performance when he and wife Jennifer Lopez came to see Johnny Pacheco. "That was fun," Juliano said, beaming.

The club owner said he hasn't yet found a new facility to house the Copa, which was the inspiration for Barry Manilow's 1978 hit song "Copacabana."

Juliano said he's hoping to be in a new home by the end of the year and has been eyeing potential properties with more than 30,000 square feet in Manhattan and the Bronx.

"We'll find another spot, and people will follow us," he said. "We have the biggest nightclub name in the world."

Latin megagroup El Gran Combo is slated to be the final act tomorrow. Juliano said he will host Copa acts several nights a week at his upper West Side club, Columbus 72.

"It will be sad," said Claudia Olivares, 29, assistant to the general manager at the club. "We've felt like this for a few months now. It's a sad countdown for us."


Sunday, July 1 is the last chance to dance at NYC's legendary nightclub, the Copacabana. In January, owners announced that the club would have to move by July 1 to make room for an expansion of the 7 subway line.

This is not the first time the nightclub has changed locations. This 1946 photo shows doorman Harry Schwartz in front of the original location at 10 East 60th Street.

... then-Vice President and Mrs. Richard Nixon in 1954 ...

In 1999, Jose Alberto performed for Salsa Night at the Copacabana's second location: 617 West 57th Street.

Tito Puente also came to the West 57th St. location, for the 1999 Suited For Success (Welfare to Work Initiative) benefit.
NEW YORK heals.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
Reply With Quote