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Franchise watch: Meet the original Coyote

Franchise watch: Meet the original Coyote

The most famous bar owner on the planet affirms this company’s message of empowering strong women

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25 years after opening the first Coyote Ugly Saloon in New York City, founder, Liliana Lovell is still on a mission to expand the brand and empower women across the globe. “50 is the new 30! I spent so many years thinking of diet and exercise as a means to simply ‘look good’,” says Lovell.

“At 50, I looked at myself in the mirror and truly thanked my body for carrying me through life. This little 5’1’ vessel has carried me over millions of miles, held and then nursed my son for years, sheltered me from any severe sickness, and after all that, I kind of have a six-pack!”

The core of Coyote Ugly is about giving strong, talented women an opportunity to shine and earn a living while embracing their personalities and having fun. To be a Coyote is about channelling your strengths and talents whether it’s dancing, singing, telling jokes, or any other unique skill set to create an environment where patrons can cut loose and have fun.

“We’ve expanded to seven countries and it’s amazing to watch how our brand is received. The social aspect of our bars and having fun is the universal language that connects us all,” says Justin Livingston, vice president of global development for the brand.

“No matter where we are, what the cultural differences are or what language is being spoken, the need to connect with friends and the desire to get lost in the culture and atmosphere of Coyote Ugly translates perfectly.”

Unstoppable force
Born from the original small bar with the huge personality in the East Village of New York City, the concept developed by Lovell in the early 90s still rings true today. The mission of finding “Coyotes” across the globe and empowering them to be an unstoppable force is maybe more important now than ever.

Former Oklahoma City Coyote Emily Elgin remembers back to when it all began. She says: “Lil is a force that can change the direction of your life. I was just 22 years old the first time I met her. I was auditioning to become a Coyote and she was strong, beautiful, funny and extremely successful. I’d never seen a woman who carried herself with such confidence and empowerment. And this little Oklahoma girl was completely in awe and more than a little intimidated.

“Throughout my six years with Coyote Ugly I gained confidence and strength of character. Lil lit a fire within me that burns to this day and as I watched her navigate running a tough business, I started to believe that I could become a successful entrepreneur, too. Fast-forward to today. I’m successfully self-employed and I’m running my own business. I’m a full-time musician with my first record coming out this year. I’ve gone from singing on bar tops at Coyote to performing on stages in Nashville. And I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the influence that Lil and Coyote Ugly had on my life. She painted a picture for me – of a strong, successful woman and gave me the strength to turn my own dreams into reality.”

The impact that Lovell has on the lives of the world-wide Coyote staff is key in the brand’s expansion. When a Coyote Ugly Saloon opens in new markets, girls come from all-around to meet the founder and throw their hat in the ring for the chance of being a world-famous Coyote.

“It’s amazing how much of an impact one woman and one bar can have on hundreds of women, myself included,” says Lizzie Jones, regional manager and international trainer. “I have grown personally from day one to now. It is both impressive and a blessing to see the transformation of Coyotes all around the world. We are strong, confident women who can take on the world – thank you, Lil!”

Here’s to 25 years of Coyote Ugly, hard work, being the best party in any town, and to the next 25 years of challenging, inspiring, and lifting up strong women to change the world.


Name of franchise: Coyote Ugly Saloon
Established: 1993
Number of franchised outlets: 16 franchised and 10 corporate-owned
Location of units: US, Germany, UK, Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Japan
Investment range: $500,000-$1,500,000
Minimum required capital: $250,000
Contact: Justin Livingston
+1 720 442 7777

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