NOVA First Friday

First Friday at NOVA 535 in Downtown St. Pete

Hi, I’m Audrey and tonight was my first experience at NOVA First Friday at the 5 star event venue, NOVA 535. It may have been the CPR I needed for my St. Petersburg First Friday experience! NOVA’s First Friday has been hosted successfully by a fellow local Burger, Jeff Copeland, for over 5 years running.


As a born and raised “St. Petean”, I’d say I’ve had my fair share of experiences all across the board in this eclectic little big town of mine, First Friday being among them. While the monthly event is a fun and exciting way to explore the downtown area with St. Pete natives as well as its abundance of visitors, it can also become a little bit repetitive at times. For those of us who enjoy downtown St. Pete on a regular basis, it can be nice to venture outside of the typical 3 block radius where some of our most fabulous vendors and hangouts exist.2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-22

And for those who are new to the area, it’s exciting to experience new spots that may be a little less obvious than others – kind of like unexpectedly finding your favorite song as it’s just starting on the radio.2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-16

NOVA First Friday was just like that for me.

First and foremost, the huge NOVA 535 antique brick paved courtyard was lined with walls of bamboo and colored lights that were a pretty good first indicator that I was about to step into an innovative and well thought-out venue. While the groundings were covered with cleanly-laid brick that spoke of a classic appeal, the color-lit bamboo provided a more modern effect, which was all so new and so appealing. I was liking it already.2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535

When I walked in through the building doors, I found myself immediately surrounded by positive energy. Everyone in the venue seemed to understand that when you walk through those doors, you check your bad moods and rough work weeks before you enter. The people were dressed to the nines, each with their own confident flare of style, and the bartenders were already working to create an even more fun atmosphere with fast and friendly service, slinging drinks made with only the best of beer, wines, and liquors.2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-82016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-18

All the while, the DJ was throwing a hot mix from the most recent hits lining our playlist these days to the best throwback hip hop jams we all know the words to. I was diggin’ it, to say the least.


Downstairs was basically the largest dancefloor I’ve seen open at any of the venues I’ve been to downtown, and it was filled with some of the biggest smiles and most impressive (and not so impressive) dance moves. Walking through the crowd down there was so much fun, because I caught my hips multiple times mistaking me for someone who can dance… I had to put them in check in order to avoid an accident and any bodily harm to others, but I loved the feeling I had of almost not caring and just going with the rhythm that surrounded me.2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-242016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-21

As I ventured upstairs, I was overcome with awe for the eclectic décor, the incredible view I was able to enjoy overlooking the dancefloor, and the great vibes I was continuously surrounded by here. With a separate small bar and bartender there to continue serving guests and tables lined with classy décor of simple black linen, it felt good. This indoor loft area was also directly linked to an outdoor balcony that overlooked my beloved modernly classic courtyard, so it was a really nice way to really round-out the experience of venue exploration.


People were sprinkled throughout the entire bit of the venue, all laughing and having what seemed to be the time of their lives, but despite the massive turnout, it never once felt crowded or overwhelming. Each area spoke to a different transition of feelings and vibes that a person could hope to experience in their night out on the town, including the impeccably clean and absolutely stunning individual bathrooms that each included a gorgeous piece of trendy art to be enjoyed while guests… freshened up.2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-12

I never once felt bored or lost, and instead was constantly intrigued and engaged by my surroundings. Overall, it was a pleasant new way to enjoy NOVA First Friday in St. Petersburg and I would recommend anyone I know to step out to a new experience and try it out.2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-152016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-42016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-72016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-262016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-30 2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-31 2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-322016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-35 2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-42

Thank you, NOVA 535, for providing an innovative 5 star space for everyone in our town to enjoy one of our favorite nights of the month! See you all next month… this time, I’ll be bringing my dancing shoes (so watch out).   You can always find out more details about this monthly event at or you can call / text Jeff Copeland for VIP seating and more at 813-310-4641. Until next NOVA First Friday!2016-10-07-first-friday-at-nova-535-29

You can always find out more details about this monthly event at or you can call / text Jeff Copeland for VIP seating and more at 813-310-4641. Until next NOVA First Friday!