At Coyote Ugly, It's Bellies Up On the Bar
"I didn't give a [hoot] about anything," she says.
"Every girl loves being the center of attention," says advertising saleswoman Vicky Pettinaro, who also danced on the bar. Coyote Ugly may trade on women's sexuality, she says, but "there's a difference between sexy and trashy."
The mysterious woman in black reveals herself to be Cassandra Eckert, who runs an online social-event publication. How did she feel onstage?
"Coyote Ugly" was a movie based on the antics at a bar in New York, and the film has spawned several Coyote Uglys (Uglies?) across the country. Jennifer Worthington, owner of the Las Vegas franchise, will have her official grand opening here in Washington tonight, after a couple of shakedown nights for media and VIPs.
Is Washington too conservative for her bar?
"That's precisely why we're going to work in Washington. We came into this market because there's nothing like it. This is a place where girls can go crazy, guys can go crazy. It's like the ultimate fraternity party on steroids," Worthington says.
She insists that even the most conservative-looking women will unleash their inhibitions when given the chance. She notes that her old boss, action-film producer Jerry Bruckheimer, used to call movies the transportation business, saying, "We're taking people out of their world for 21/2 hours." True for movies, true for Coyote Ugly.
Does she dance on the bar?
"No," she says. "I'm the worst dancer in the history of mankind."
With all due respect, isn't this basically a PG-13 strip club?
"It's provocative and it's sexy, without crossing any lines. Absolutely no nudity, no stripper-style dancing," Worthington says.
Which is a cue to get back to the Coyotes. There are 30 of them, and they're all fabulously attractive, selected from a thousand applicants, Worthington says. She wanted strong women, sassy, smart -- "tough, sexy broads." She describes the perfect Coyotes: "The men want to sleep with them, the girls want to be friends with them."
See, it's really a feminist thing, according to the PR pitch. It's not about giving guys something to gawk at, or women a chance to be quasi-strippers for a night. It's about women taking charge. It's practically a matriarchy. One rule is paramount: Only women can dance on the bar.
"It's about making women feel like they're in control," says Cristi Meyer, one of the Vegas Coyotes imported to help the local Coyotes get into gear. "It's all about women. We embarrass guys, we cut off their ties." The Coyotes, she says, "don't take [guff] from anybody."
They are not skimpily dressed, at least not exactly. They wear long pants, for gosh sakes! That said, the jeans are so tight, they're epidermal. There is no flashing of thong straps, but that carries with it another tantalizing implication. This one lass, she's got a horizontal tear in her jeans right at the rump line, and one begins to ponder the possibility that some of these young ladies aren't -- how to say this politely? -- wearing much in the way of drawers.
(Face it: Just reading this story is a form of misbehavior. There will be repercussions.)
If one could make a complaint, it's not that the Coyotes haven't worked out all the kinks in their dance routines, it's that they all have pretty much the same body. Another oddity: Coyote Ugly has no lower gears. No downshifting allowed. It's always in overdrive. The dials on the sound system go up to 11. Tired of loud music and dancing Coyotes on the first floor? Go up to the second floor and there's more of them, and more on the third: Three full floors of go-go-Coyote. You will have fun, you must have fun, and if you don't have fun you'll feel guilty for not having fun.
And then there will be congressional hearings on why you didn't have fun.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company