Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
Published on April 25, 2023
Copas in the Castro pivots to more casual Mexican concept featuring Tijuana-style tacos

A little over 18 months after its 2021 debut, Castro restaurant Copas (2223 Market Street) has decided to make a pivot. After a brief closure that began April 16, in which its owners told Hoodline the restaurant would be "evolving," Copas is reopening Thursday, April 27, with a new menu and a fresh focus on more casual Mexican fare, inspired by the restaurant's chef.

Owner Jessica Kapoor brought the news to Eater this week, saying that chef and partner Julio Aguilera's experience is integral to the change. "We really wanted to start paying tribute to his journey as a chef, and really build this bridge from Mexico to California," Kapoor says.

Kapoor further explains that the pivot makes sense because of her family's history operating two Pedro's restaurants in Los Gatos and Santa Clara, and Aguilera's past work as the chef at La Urbana, which lived on Divisadero in the space now occupied by Beretta for several years in the last decade. The food at La Urbana took its cues from the taco-heavy food culture of Mexico City, and Aguilera also operated his own taco pop-up after that.

It also can't hurt that the neighborhood just lost another, relatively popular, casual Mexican spot, Tacorgasmico, which closed in early April. Perhaps Kapoor and Aguilera sensed an opportunity — and Copas has been a pretty easy table to get in recent months, so there's that too.

As many residents of the neighborhood will remember, this space at 2223 Market has been under a bit of a curse since the closing of the popular 2223 over a decade ago. The names of spots that have come and gone here in the years since include Jake's on Market, Pesce, Nomica, and Izakaya Sushi Ran.

Copas opened in September 2021 featuring a somewhat elevated menu of Spanish- and Mexican-influenced cuisine. The slightly unfocused early menu featured things like a New York strip steak, bone marrow with beef tartare, oysters, and a delicious take on arroz con pollo.

The new menu at Copas will feature Tijuana-style tacos, as they tell Eater, featuring mesquite-grilled carne asada and guacamole, as well as street-food favorite items like esquites (Mexican-style grilled corn salad), and Yucatan-style chicken. 

Also, they assure us, the smashburger that had been popular on the original menu is sticking around.

The bar program is also changing and getting more casual, with a Tommy's-style margarita front and center, as well as a more classic and simplified margarita, and a pina colada. 

Also, like a number of spots in the neighborhood have done or continue to do, they will be doing drag brunch on the weekend. And there will be a happy hour featuring $1-off tacos, and a Thursday "all-you-can-eat tacos" deal.

The full menu is not yet online and the Copas website remains down, but check back here in the coming days for details.