If you’re looking for a bit of New York movie history, head over to the East Village and the infamous Coyote Ugly Saloon. You won’t find Tyra Banks grinding on the bar, but you will find the usual scantily clad bartenders with whips keeping their very eager customers in line.
The Hollywood movie Coyote Ugly is (un)surprisingly based on a real bar in New York. And there is actually a real Lil (the owner). The original bar opened in 1993, after New York University alum Liliana Lovell declined an internship on Wall Street for a career as a bartender. Having bartended during college, Lil perfected a routine of dancing on the bar, singing, and challenging customers to drinking contests. She took this model and turned it into a business, hiring and training her female bartenders into “Coyotes”. And it’s this bar and the antics that inspired the movie.
Now to clarify, this place is a dive bar. Don’t expect models for Coyotes. Don’t expect a nice, little Manhattan cocktail bar. What you’re going to get is slightly dirty, slightly dodgy, but a whole lot of entertaining. Yes there are girls dancing on the bar. Yes you can dance on the bar if you want to (ladies only). Yes you can do shots off the bartenders body parts ($10 a shot). But expect one really disgusting bathroom, and if you’re going to do that body shot, be prepared to be yelled at, written on with a sharpie and later whipped with a belt.
Coyote Ugly isn’t for everyone. If you’re easily offended, slightly prudish or just can’t relax in a dirty bar, this isn’t the place for you. Fortunately I like cheap beer, am easily amused by crazy people and personally loved the movie. Can I be a Coyote for just one night?
Coyote Ugly Saloon 153 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009