Coyote Ugly will have to tone it down if it wants to hold onto its liquor license. The popular bra-strewn bar faced a bit of a backlash at last night's Community Board 3 committee meeting, where a litany of complaints portrayed the East Village dive as a noisy, inconsiderate neighbor. Coyote Ugly has received 79 311 noise complaints from between 2010 and 2014, the majority of which have come since 2013, including 19 between June and October.
Since opening in 1993, Coyote Ugly has been a mainstay among East Village dive bars, serving as the inspiration for the 2000 movie of the same name. Liliana Lovell, Coyote Ugly's founder, opened the place after she realized bartending could be more rewarding than her other job on Wall Street, ironically steering her life in the opposite direction from where the rest of the East Village has been headed. Today, there are 21 Coyote Uglys from San Diego to Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Fed-up local resident Bobby Gorman testified before the board, complaining of loud noise in his apartment, the installation of an excessively loud PA system, open doors allowing noise to flood onto the street, urinating and vomiting patrons blocking the sidewalk, and bouncers who responded to his complaints with mocking derision. Gorman described Coyote Ugly as "the worst neighbor I've ever had." Another resident complained, via a letter, of loud music—including a "bullhorn"—noise spilling through an open back door, which is linked to a shared courtyard with residents and other businesses, and similar dismissiveness from Coyote Ugly's management.
Coyote Ugly's director of operations and general manager came to plead their case and address the complaints, claiming that many of them were never called to their attention. They noted $200,000 of major renovations in June, including soundproofing, and that the back door is only used for employees taking out empty bottles for recycling. They also blamed some of the outside noise, urine, and vomit on the homeless.
After hearing both sides, the CB's SLA committee voted 5-1 to recommend renewal if Coyote Ugly agreed to the following stipulations: an employee must be sent out to conduct an hourly street sweep for cigarettes and trash, all employees are to forward neighborhood complaints to upper management, recycling is managed quietly and indoors, the bar installs a limiter on the sound system, and tighter restrictions on the doors. The management also agreed to enter local residents' apartments to monitor noise levels, as long as the residents allow them to.
According to Alexandra Militano, the board's SLA & DCA Licensing Chair, the committee's vote is an effective renewal as long as the stipulations are met. But the board's final recommendation to the SLA won't come until the full board meeting on Tuesday, October 28th. Until then, don't try not to go full Coyote Ugly: