Club Scout

Coyote Ugly

"Girl caught giving head to guy in bathroom" -- excerpt from manager's log during the first days at Coyote Ugly, the club that opened last week in the Denver Pavilions.

Sounds about right for the Coyote, which one Club Scout operative used to frequent back in New York City, where the original club occupied a space about the size of a closet -- but had an outsized reputation for its babelicious dancing bartenders. Although the Mile High outpost has been open only a few days, it's generating lots of material for owner Liliana Lovell's blog at www.coyoteuglysaloon.com.

For example, there's the drama of hiring a good manager for the Denver club: "Back to square one on the manager front. Just a quick rundown. Applicant 1: drug charge, DUI and abuse charge. Applicant 2: employees at old job described this person as 'stalker.' Applicant 3: lied on resume and was going to be fired from last job for 'suspicion of theft.' We are batting 1000."

Then there were the bartender candidates: "Denver girls with some white trash moments this week. One girl already had to call in and switch her shift because she was in the slammer. The funniest story so far is a girl who was on Judge Judy. Her ex-boyfriend sued her for money he spent on her boob job. He won … I'm concerned about the Denver girls. They are missing a certain energy that you just can't teach them. I'm hoping when the veteran girls come in, it lights a fire under the Denver crew. Sometimes pretty isn't enough, and I'll tell you there are some very very pretty girls in this Denver crew."

It's got to be hard to find enough girls with the requisite balls, brains and beauty to fill a 6,000-square-foot Coyote Ugly. The original hole-in-the wall in the East Village could handle maybe three bartenders on a slammed night, women who'd work their asses off, dancing on the bar and raining whiskey shots down upon the patrons. It was right across the street from the Village Idiot, the original badass country bar in the big city, where the owner hired only sassy female bartenders, and drinking and dancing on the bar were a required part of employment. Lovell worked there before she opened the first Coyote, which also happened to feature sassy female bartenders and drinking and dancing on the bar.

Our operative began frequenting Lovell's joint in 1998, when it had already attained legendary status, and enjoyed three solid years of drinking, dancing and debauchery at the Coyote before things got ugly. That was in August 2002, when the movie Coyote Ugly was released and all of the regulars were forced to flee as tourists flooded the bar, eager to tell their friends that they'd been to the "real" thing. Problem was, by then there was nothing "real" left about the Coyote. It had all become a show.

And now the show's going on at the Pavilions, which has had trouble finding tenants who can pay their way -- but may make a pretty penny off of Coyote Ugly.

A dozen blocks but a world away, the Brendan's Pub space at 2009 Larimer Street has been acquired by the owners of the nearby Giggling Grizzly and rechristened the Marquis Theatre. While the clean sight lines and dark-wood interior that made Brendan's so welcoming remain, some seating has been added, and more significant changes are being made backstage. The green room has been revamped to give acts more privacy and space; if current bookings are any indication, those acts will range from local to national talent. The venue -- which had a long history as a pawnshop before the Brendan's folks relocated there from Market Street -- officially reopens on Friday, April 8, with a VIP party featuring Polytoxic from 5 to 9 p.m., followed by an all-star jam.

 
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