the underbelly

Where have all the cowgirls gone?
February 6, 2008, 2:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Coyote Ugly was a terrible movie. Really, really terrible. But before the movie drew in all the tourists it was a darned good bar. And why wouldn’t it be? Who doesn’t like a girl dancing on a bar wearing more leather than the average cow? Who doesn’t like skipping the shot glass and having booze poured directly into your open mouth? It’s not for every day of the week, but it certainly has its place in the circuit.

I did some research and was surprised to find out that this type of bar is a dying breed in New York. There’s Coyote Ugly, of course, there’s Hogs and Heifers, there was the Village Idiot, though that’s now gone, and then there’s my favorite, the most subtle of the bunch: Yogi’s.

Even as a female, or perhaps especially because I’m a female, I love some good attention from a cute female bartender. It’s a nice change from the usual desperate attempts we have to make to just get a glance. I am much more willing to tip a girl who offers me shots of whatever she’s having (because yes, she is drinking, which could be why she’s so darned friendly) than I am willing to tip a bar maidy who is only concerned with the I-bankers in the corner.

Let’s go through the Yogi’s experience a bit and maybe you’ll all see that these types of bars are a good thing, even if they do inspire really terrible movies.

Yogi’s is on Broadway in the seventies. I know, not the place you usually find such a bar. There’s no sign that says the name, only a large neon sign that reads “BAR.” The only indication that this really is Yogi’s is the large, wooden bear outside the door. You walk into a slim room with a bar and stools flanking one end. Behind the bar and your friendly barmaids who quickly take your order (go for the $6 pitchers of pabst, don’t kid yourself on where you are) and even fetch you a bowl of peanuts if you’re peckish, which you are free to shell and toss onto the floor if you are so obliged.

A quick side note on the pitchers. During one trip to Yogi’s in my younger days I met a man who I believe personifies what the bar can be. Snap shot: scruffy guy in his early thirties carrying around a pitcher of pabst, drinking from it using a straw. When asked why he responded that his girlfriend of six years had broken up with him. The bar ladies had decided that that merited a straw with his pitcher. See? Compassion.

Anyway, so you order your pitcher. You sit down. You drink. Ten minutes later you’ve become pen pals for life (ppfl) with the couple next to you (the last time I went the couple was British, Hi Paul, Hi Sarah!), you’ve really gotten good and shelling peanuts and, after a couple of complementary shots with your bar maid, you know not only where she’s from but where she got her latest tattoo. The last time I checked these ladies (who do on occasion pour from the bottle into the mouths of patrons) earn over $300 in tips a night. That’s more than I make a week.

Forget the fancy cocktails, I’ll take a cheap pitcher and a drunken bar maid from the Bronx any day of the week.

So why aren’t there more of these bars in the city?

I’ll leave you with that question, a couple of links about other such bars, and pictures. Note the signs, sassy, no?



A little history of Coyote Ugly

Some conflict between the bar dancing chicas

No Dancing!

A hard rock take on the old stylings


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