There is no slowdown in sight for the EDGE District. As more residents move into the neighborhood, new businesses are sprouting up left and right. Today, we introduce you to Copa, a wine cocktail lounge coming soon to 1047 Central Avenue, formerly home to Genaro’s Cafe.
The concept is being brought to life by two brothers from South Saint Petersburg, Maxim and Sébastien Thurière. One of their goals is to offer a refreshing spin on wine and beer cocktails. Besides sangria, most people have a limited experience blending wine with other beverages, but Copa wants to change that.
Maxim and Sébastien also want to redefine your definition of a wine bar. “When you think of a wine bar, you typically think of a dark, cave-like space,” says Maxim. “We want to bring an upbeat ambient vibe to the wine bar — something to attract the younger crowd.” Both Maxim and Sébastien are pretty young themselves, both under 30 years old.
The wine list will contain around 50 to 60 bottles, ranging from red to white and rosé to riesling. Copa will also serve beer, but only a limited menu as The Independent, a European beer bar, is located next door.
As for the food menu, “My mom is Haitian and my dad is French,” says Maxim. “We’ve always been exposed to different cultures and a lot of delicious food.” The menu is still being developed, but it will definitely have culinary influences from France and Haiti, as well as other global cuisines.
In addition to indoor seating, Copa will provide guests with an upscale outdoor patio with hookah service and live music.
“Copa is about infusing different cultures together, taking what we’ve experienced over the past couple of years and bringing it all together in Downtown St. Pete,” says Maxim. Although the brothers were born in St. Pete and graduated from USF Tampa, they’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world for the past ten years. Maxim has spent time in the Caribbean and South America and Sébastien in Southeast Asia.
Maxim is also the founder of Enbois Originals, a company that specialized in jewelry and accessories made from some of the most renewable and sustainable materials across the globe.
Sébastien is a professional soccer player and has played for clubs in the United States as well as Bangladesh and Malaysia.
In fact, the name ‘Copa’ is a nod to Sébastien’s ties to soccer. Some of the largest soccer tournaments around the world use ‘Copa’ in the title, such as Copa America. Also, ‘Copa’ translates to ‘Cup’ in a few Latin languages.
“We are just so happy to be here [in St. Pete],” says Maxim. “We left for a while, but now we’re back.”