Inside iconic bar where thousands of women ripped off bras in drunken debauchery

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    The notorious New York gin joint where staff dance on bars and customers rip off their bras to leave them as mementoes has just celebrated its 30th birthday.

    Coyote Ugly, immortalised in a cult 2000 film, reached the landmark age on Friday (January 27).

    Since the original bar was opened in Manhattan's East Village, it is estimated that tens of thousands of women have drunkenly whipped off their bras and donated them to the collection hanging on the walls.

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    In an interview with the New York Post, however, bar owner Liliana 'Lil' Lovell revealed that many, who have woken up with that all-too familiar feeling of regret about the night before, have rung up to ask if they can have their undergarments back.

    "It was almost like the Call of Shame," Lil laughed. "'I left my $90 Victoria’s Secret bra. It’s, you know, a 34C. Could I get it?'

    "So they’d come back to pick up their bra, get drunk again, and leave the bra they had on."

    Lil also revealed to the New York Post that, when the bar was renovated in 2014, all the bras that had been "donated" up to that point were bagged up and lost by a porter.

    "We had to start from scratch," she added.

    The numbers soon racked up again, though, and they now hang on the back wall of the city's new Coyote Ugly site on East 14th Street, which opened in 2021.

    Lil first opened the original bar in 1993 with her now ex-husband Tony Piccirillo.

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    All the staff were women and they were expected to dance on the bar and wear cowboy boots.

    "Women just made more money… it’s as simple as that," she pointed out. "I’d like to pretend it was some feminist agenda, but that’s just not true."

    At the last count, there were 27 Coyote Ugly venues around the world and the brand has generated more than $1billion (£808million).

    "I opened in Kyrgyzstan," Lil smiled. "I didn’t even know where Kyrgyzstan was."

    Lil was played by Payback and A History of Violence actress Maria Bello in the Hollywood movie Coyote Ugly.

    It grossed more than $113million, helping establish the brand's global reach today, but the 55-year-old brunette has disclosed that not everything portrayed in the film was accurate.

    "There’s one part where she buys the whole bar a round – I would f****** cut my finger off before I did that," she declared.


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