Born in the halcyon days of the original South Street Renaissance 37 years ago, the Copa has become a true Philadelphia institution with generations of loyal fans. Starting as a tiny pub with a kitchen in the window the restaurant has grown over the year to include five storefronts and a outside sidewalk cafe — and now a separate new wine and beer bistro.
The menu — which pioneered gourmet burgers, fresh lime margaritas and the original Spanish fries — has grown, too. The signature burgers, fries and margaritas remain the big draw but the menu now includes imaginative tapas and dinners with a tropical flair. A long parade of "best" awards have honored the Copa over the years including the most recent Zagat's guide. Long a hangout for South Street's bohemian artists and musicians, the Copa also attracts a diverse mix of young professionals, neighborhood residents and tourists from around the world.
Located on the corner of Fourth and South across from the equally famous Jim's Steaks, the Copa is a popular spot for concertgoers to the nearby TLA and Legendary Dobbs venues. Founder former Inquirer Columnist Bill Curry has been joined by his nephew Dan Christensen and longtime manager Joe Cucolo to maintain the Copa as one of South Street's great landmarks.