Playing off its sister restaurant a few blocks away, this newcomer on Geneva’s downtown dining scene is gaining plenty of notice for its casual atmosphere and its classy event venue.
He knew a good thing when he saw it.
For years, K.C. Gulbro, the chef and co-owner of FoxFire Restaurant in downtown Geneva, was asked about hosting events at his popular steakhouse, but events weren’t logistically or financially feasible.
“The restaurant is too busy to close for private events,” he says. “We were watching good opportunities walk out the door.”
So, when a new spot became available a few blocks away, Gulbro and his father, Curt Gulbro, who’s also his business partner, jumped at the opportunity to expand. In April 2021, Copper Fox opened for business at 477 S. Third St.
“It was a win-win,” says Gulbro. “It gave us a chance to have a venue nearby, in the heart of Geneva, near so many great local shops.”
With an upscale craft kitchen and bar up front and an events space in the back, Copper Fox brings together all of the elements for a planned or casual night out.
For dinners and receptions, the newly renovated venue offers two individual spaces for meals and celebrations. The banquet room, with its stunning chandeliers, state-of-the art sound system and lighting array, gives wedding and event planners plenty to work with. Seating between 75 and 200 guests, the room also features a private bar and a bridal suite.
The more intimate board room is designed for smaller affairs, like rehearsal dinners or showers, though it’s also equipped with an audio/visual system.
Up front, Gulbro and his team offer the casual diner a relaxed pub and supper club vibe. Fans of FoxFire will find some of their favorites have migrated to the menu, with a few new dishes to savor, as well. The beef Wellington is a big hit, featuring prosciutto-wrapped certified angus beef tenderloin and mushroom duxelles in a puff pastry, topped with bone-marrow demi-glace.
“Copper Fox is kind of our play kitchen,” says Gulbro. “But people know Foxfire for its steak, so we wanted to keep that as an option as well.”
In fact, there are plenty of ways that Copper Fox and Foxfire benefit each other.
“We’re doing a lot of beer and wine dinners, and seasonal events, like a Swedish Days breakfast that we hosted last month,” says Gulbro. “They give our staff a chance to try new things. Sometimes, those items end up on the menu.”
Along with seasonal events, Copper Fox frequently hosts live music, both indoors and on the patio, with upcoming events listed on its social media.
Bar patrons will appreciate the local-forward draft list and delicious cocktails, like the Toronto, which combines High West Double Rye with Fernet Branca, simple syrup and bitters.
With a menu that incorporates both classic and complex dishes, Gulbro has mixed disparate ingredients into a fixture in a city known for its culinary creativity.
“Geneva is an amazing town,” he says. “There are no restaurant chains here. It’s the perfect place to go to eat local and have a unique experience.
Copper Fox is open Mon.-Thur. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. to 11 p.m.