The Best Bar to . . . Network Without Spending Big Bucks: Copa D'Oro

This Santa Monica, Calif., hangout offers the kind of soft lighting and easy-on-the-wallet happy hour that can appeal to Gen-X startup founders.
This story first appeared in the July 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Join us at Entrepreneur magazine's Growth Conference, Dec. 15 in Long Beach, Calif. for a day of fresh ideas, business mentoring and networking. Register here for exclusive pricing, available only for a limited time.

Copa D'Oro | Santa Monica, Calif.

Step into Santa Monica's Copa d'Oro and it's obvious what matters: cocktails and conversation. For the first, a distinguished bar nearly as long as the room, accented by backlit displays of spirits and gleaming arrangements of fruits, vegetables and herbs. For the second, the absence of distracting screens; instead, a beat-driven soundtrack just loud enough to encourage lively chatter among the stylish late-twenty- and early-thirtysomething regulars from the local startup scene.

The soft lighting and antique metal-wood-leather scheme makes Copa a winner on looks alone, but cash-conscious entrepreneurs will appreciate the bar all the more for its extended happy hour--5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and all night Monday--featuring $5 cocktails, $6 paninis and $7 appetizers.

Copa is busy without the hassle, has a simple menu and is "quiet enough but still cool," says Patricia Handschiegel, serial entrepreneur and founder of Chic Market.

"Even if you can afford it, everyone loves a deal," she says. "And I always try to keep my overhead as low as possible." 

Order like a regular: Let the cocktail-savvy bartenders serve up a just-for-you drink. Pick a spirit and customize with a selection of farmers-market-fresh ingredients.
Go: 217 Broadway; (310) 576-3030;

The Best Bar to...
Show Off Your Classic Style in Louisville, Ky.
Celebrate a Big Win in Las Vegas
Hang With Hipsters in Portland, Ore,
Hide Out in Safe Haven in Nashville, Tenn.
Get Some Work Done in Seattle
Rub Elbows With a VC in New York
Rent a Stylish Meeting Space in Boston
Find a Behind-the-Bar Mentor in allas
Get Green Inspiration in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Get the Business Scoop From a Bartender in San Francisco
Related Articles
Bar Keep: How a Bar Becomes Your Own
Five Businesses Born at a Bar
Business and a Beer: An Entrepreneur Roundtable
Tips for Making Pub Quizzes a Team-Building Success
Knowledge on Tap: The Business of a Beer Sommelier


View Comments (0)