Coyote Ugly Saloon
The Coyote Ugly Saloon is an American drinking establishment and the namesake of a national chain of bars. It served as the setting for the 2000 movie Coyote Ugly.
The original Coyote Ugly Saloon opened January 27, 1993, in New York City, after New York University alumna Liliana Lovell declined an internship on Wall Street for a career as a bartender. Lovell held several bartending jobs during college and perfected a routine of dancing on the bar, singing, and challenging customers to drinking contests. Applying a business model learned from her former boss, Tom McNeill, she began hiring young women and training them in the wild routine, which included such antics as chugging alcohol, setting it ablaze, then breathing fire. While some of these "Coyotes" were good at singing, others good at dancing, and others good at yelling, Lovell found that not all the women were talented in each of the three aspects, so she often paired women with complementary abilities.
In 2001, the second Coyote Ugly Saloon opened in Las Vegas at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino, as a franchise operation. In 2002, a new company-owned bar opened in New Orleans' French Quarter. In 2003, Lovell relocated from New York City to New Orleans, and is today primarily involved in the day-to-day corporate operations of the company from there.
In June 2009, the first new Coyote Ugly in three years opened in Oklahoma City. In 2005, Coyote Ugly expanded into Europe. The company has opened two new locations: in Germany and in Moscow, Russia in November 2009. Since then, new bars in Milwaukee, Key West, and San Diego, along with an additional four bars in Russia and one in Romania have opened, bringing the number in the chain to 22 (as of 2014).
The newest USA location opened in San Diego on February 5, 2014. A fifth bar in Russia opened in Novosibirsk on October 3, 2012, while the first bar in Romania opened in Constanța on October 11, 2012.
The bar reached national prominence in 1997 when former bartender Elizabeth Gilbert wrote of her experiences in an article for GQ magazine, titled "The Muse of the Coyote Ugly Saloon". Producer Jerry Bruckheimer's company bought the rights to the story from Lovell, and he produced the movie Coyote Ugly, based on the article. The film was shot on a set in Los Angeles, with exteriors filmed in Manhattan. Coyote Ugly opened in August 2000 with Maria Bello in the role of Lovell and Piper Perabo as an aspiring songwriter in New York City who becomes the newest "Coyote". It grossed more than $100 million worldwide.
From 2006 to 2008, CMT ran three seasons of The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search produced by Touchstone Television. The first two seasons saw a group of prospective employees paired with a serving Coyote in the hope of getting a job at the bar and a cash sum for them and their partner. The final season changed the format with the contestants competing to get a place on the traveling Coyotes troupe – five Coyotes who could be booked to bartend and entertain at corporate, sports, and music events.