James F. Mills
Palm Springs was the playground for Hollywood royalty in decades past. But here’s a chance for regular folks to enjoy a taste of what that royalty experienced. Copley’s on Palm Canyon is a fine-dining restaurant that occupies the former Cary Grant guesthouse.
“We had been open for a month or two when the owner of the building’s mother told us about Cary Grant,” recalls Greg Butterfield, co-owner of Copley’s, located at 621 N. Palm Canyon Drive. “So, we put a respectful picture of him in the restaurant, but it was a surprise to us when we found out.”
What may come as a surprise to first-time guests is what an incredible dining experience awaits them at Copley’s. Serving contemporary American cuisine, the restaurant is elegant but not stuffy, classy but not haughty.
“We provide excellent service, great food in a casual indoor-outdoor environment,” says Butterfield, a Garden Grove, Calif., native. “It’s a really fun place to enjoy a meal or just have a drink and appetizer at the bar.”
One of the most popular items on the appetizer menu are the ahi tuna tacos served with avocado, green onions and a ginger soy dressing in sesame taco shells.
“It’s been on the menu since day one,” says Butterfield. “It’s very delicious, very fresh. It gets your tastebuds going.”
Another popular item is the caesar salad served with pineapple croutons rather than bread croutons. They fry pineapple slices with bread crumbs in a wok, adding an unexpected fruity taste to the salad.
Also popular are the lobster pot pie, grilled beef tenderloin and the herb crusted rack of lamb
Open since December 2004, Copley’s is the venture between husband-and-wife Andrew and Juliana Copley and Butterfield. The three hit it off while working in the restaurant business in Hawaii, saying they should open a restaurant together some day.
While Juliana was in Palm Springs visiting her parents, she came across a former Persian restaurant that was for rent. After exploring the idea a bit more, all three moved to Palm Springs and Copley’s was born.
“I still miss Hawaii, but Palm Springs has been very good to us,” says Butterfield, who is gay. “This is an excellent location in a fantastic city with amazing people.”
Butterfield manages to get his fix of Hawaii every summer, returning for six weeks while Copley’s is closed.
“We’re closed this year from July 8 until August 31,” says Butterfield. “It’s the heat of the summer and business is slower, so it lets us all recharge our batteries and come back fresh for another season.”