Part-time Salsa dance club, part-time tex-mex dining establishment, Copa (@ 217 Congress Avenue) moves to the beat of many a drummer. Since my dancing skills are reminiscent of Elaine Benes at a company party (“like a fully body dry heave set to music”), I chose to visit Copa at lunch, lest I be tempted by Salsa rhythms, thereby making the other patrons lose their collective appetite.
And it was pretty decent, if I do say so myself. I walked in to a warm, cozy environment where brick walls and arches dominate the scene. There’s three areas downstairs: the front area which seems dedicated to dining, the middle bar area, and a third, large and mirrored room with a small stage that’s dedicated to dancing. There’s also an upstairs and a small patio (of which I did not get any pictures – sorry) Here are some photos:
The architecture is well-done in my opinion, but I’m a sucker for free chips and salsa, and Copa “brings the pain” so to speak, in that department. My waitress was prompt with hot tortilla chips and mild salsa, and the refills didn’t stop throughout the meal. Yum! And, my meal was easy to choose because the menu is only a one-pager of reasonably priced food. I ended up ordering the fish tacos, which my server, Joanna, explained was her favorite item on the menu. At $8.95, they were a pretty good deal – deliciously seasoned and generously portioned:
As I mentioned, Copa also hosts Salsa lessons. Not having taken lessons there, I can’t speak to the quality of them, but the reviews of the lessons from other folks are generally pretty good, though there seems to be a widespread disdain regarding the fact that they do charge a cover for these lessons.
If any of our readers have been, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts!
Overall, I’d recommend giving Copa a try (at least for lunch or dinner)!
217 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
I used to go to this place about ten years ago for salsa dancing with some of the best latin bands in town. From your pictures, the interior seems to have changed very little- but I think the food is a nice addition! I just can’t remember what it was called back then, and it’s driving me crazy! 🙂
Around 10 years ago, I believe it went by “Palmeras”….