St. Petersburg’s Sebastien and Maxim Thuriere detail Copa lounge ahead of October opening

Sip, smoke and relax on Central.

click to enlarge LOUNGIN’: Brothers Maxim (L) and Sebastien Thuriere. - ALEXANDRIA JONES
LOUNGIN’: Brothers Maxim (L) and Sebastien Thuriere.

UPDATED 10/2/19 10:20 a.m.

Brothers Sebastien and Maxim Thuriere fuse their world travels with wine to bring a new kind of atmosphere with their forthcoming concept, Copa, which sits at 1047 Central Ave. in St. Pete’s EDGE District.

Copa is the duo’s first venture together. Prior to entering the restaurant industry, the two were in very different fields — literally. Sebastien played professional soccer for nine years; he made international rosters including Malaysia’s and Haiti’s, and played on squads right here in Tampa Bay. Maxim’s skills saw him open a sustainable jewelry and accessories business, Enbois Originals. Now the two are back in the ‘Burg and wanting to mix things up with their new concept.

“St. Pete is home; we grew up here. The city has definitely grown over the years and changed for the good. Being away for so long made me appreciate it,” Sebastien tells CL. Putting their heads together, they decided to create an escape for locals through food, wine, and a little smoke.

“St. Pete doesn’t have something like this right now. We’re unique and I think it’s something people here can appreciate,” Maxim says, adding that the menu and wine list is meant to take guests on a trip around the world.

“We’re trying to implement a little bit of where we’ve been from the foods to décor to music. It’s a taste of different cultures,” Sebastien explains. The décor is a mix of Mediterranean, Caribbean, and rustic vibes. Initially, the brothers were striking out searching for venues near the 600 Block. But when Genaro’s Café’s former location became available, Sebastien said they couldn’t help but jump on the 1,400-square-foot parcel.

Soon enough locals will be transported through bites and booze at Copa, which has seating for 40 guests inside. Guests sitting on the 20-person outdoor patio can chase a buzz with nicotine-free herbal hookahs while people watching from beneath umbrellas. Not a smoker but want in on a little mood enhancement? 

“We’re playing a lot with the wine cocktails. You’ll find traditional spirits like gin, vodka, rum and tequila in them; they’re less strong alcohol-wise but still have the same flavors,” Sebastien says. COPA’s drink menu includes a variety of wine, cocktails, a few local beers, and champagne. Tapas-style dishes will be paired with specific wines to make it easier for guests to have a full global experience. Vegan options like salads and hummus are also available, and menu prices range between $5 for a beer to $40 for a large charcuterie board. 

“Even with our small dishes, we’re trying to implement one dish that’s Caribbean-themed and one dish that’s Asian-themed. It’s like a little piece of everywhere like a fusion of cultures,” Sebastien explains. A grand opening is set for mid-October, and the Thurieres will host a soft opening for small private parties for friends and family in the next week or so. Not much longer until St. Pete gets a new spot to sip, smoke and relax.

When it opens, Copa’s house will be Tuesday through Thursday 4 p.m.-midnight, Friday and Saturday 4 p.m.-2 a.m., and Sunday noon-11 p.m. Sunday brunch is scheduled to launch in the near future after the bros get all the kinks worked out.

Follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter to get the most up-to-date news + views. Subscribe to our newsletter, too.

Scroll to read more Openings & Closings articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.