Coyote Ugly Saloon is a woman's world, says brand's founder
First Coyote Ugly Saloon opens in S'pore; chief of brand says being a Coyote is empowering
While the #MeToo movement sweeps across the world and with the rise of feminism continue apace, the Coyote Ugly Saloon brand is going stronger than ever.
There are 26 outlets of the bar-restaurant in the US, Russia, Britain and Japan, and its first outlet in Singapore officially opened yesterday at Clarke Quay.
US entrepreneur Liliana Lovell, the chief executive officer of Coyote Ugly Saloon, traded in her job as a Wall Street apprentice to open the first outlet in New York City in 1992.
It inspired the 2000 movie Coyote Ugly and famously featured female bartenders and dancers called Coyotes in a fun drinking environment.
Joining the Singapore team on a regular basis here will be Coyotes from the international outlets. First up will be women from the US and Ukraine taking over the bar top this week.
In town for the Singapore launch, Ms Lovell said that being a Coyote is an empowering position to hold, and the women do not feel objectified.
The 52-year-old feminist told The New Paper in an interview on Tuesday: "I don't think #MeToo has affected the brand. It is a women-run business - I never even thought they were related. Coyote Ugly is a woman's world, you know."
Ms Lovell stressed that it is not about the male gaze any more.
She said: "I think owning your sexuality is a plus, not a negative. But you need to be a strong person inside first to feel strong on the outside.
"Ninety per cent of the women employed by me are getting their degrees, whether it be graduate or undergraduate. These are strong, intelligent women."
Ms Lovell added: "To me, #MeToo is about women stepping up and standing up for themselves in a world where men are dominating. In my universe, women dominate.
"It is about getting equal pay and equal respect, and in my world, this is already happening. If you go to some of my bars, you will find that we encourage all personalities - we have the hot, sexy girl, the funny girl, the geeky girl.
"I like longevity, knowing that half of my bars have been open for over 10 years. It is about management, having good procedures in place.
"Internationally, demands have changed. Over here, they don't allow bartenders to be dancers. So we have to acclimate to different cities and audiences."
At the Coyote Ugly Saloon here, singles can participate in the Man Auction on Valentine's Day and recreate the scene from the movie where women get to bid for their hunk of choice - and win an immediate date with him.
Or sign up for the Coyote For The Night package for a hen's night to remember, during which the bachelorette and her girlfriends get to play Coyotes alongside the professionals on the bar top.
Even though the movie - which starred Piper Perabo, Tyra Banks and Maria Bello - is 20 years old and Ms Lovell has seen it only once, she still hears about it all the time.
She said, with a chuckle: "People seem to love it. I feel it is almost like a cult classic.
"I always get asked about it and that stupid (theme) song Can't Fight The Moonlight.
"My gym trainer tells me she and her friends have a Valentine's Day tradition.
"Every year, they get together to watch the movie and drink beer. They still do it, even though they are now married."