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The Locations

Filming commenced in New Jersey and in the meat district on Manhattan's lower West Side. The cast and crew spent the first month on location in Manhattan and in several other small towns in New Jersey including South Amboy and Sea Bright. Well-known New York sites such as the Bowery Bar, Mott Street and even the San Genaro Festival were used as backdrops for the action. Days before production was to move to Los Angeles, severe weather warnings were issued as Hurricane Floyd hit the eastern seaboard and Mayor Guiliani officially shut down Manhattan. The crew loaded trucks in the rain and quickly headed for the West Coast.

The bar and Violet's apartment were assembled on stage in Playa Vista. Other locations in Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Pasadena and San Pedro were also used.

The real Coyote Ugly, located on 1st Avenue in the heart of the East Village in New York City has been around for over 10 years. Although the fictional bar depicted in the movie is somewhat similar in design to the original, production designer Jon Hutman and set decorator Rosemary Brandenburg visited many establishments in Manhattan and surrounding areas as well as other venues outside New York to devise the look of the bar.

"We must have visited 120 bars," says Hutman. "We had research sent to us from Chicago, New Orleans, Austin and even a place in Montana. There was even a point where we thought we wanted to shoot the bar in a practical location in L.A., so we scouted at least 60 bars in L.A. But Los Angeles doesn't really have a bar culture like those other cities do.

"We tried to get at the essence of a gritty, down and dirty place where you go to hang out and have a great time – it's almost an anachronism," he says. "But if we could create something like that, the place in itself would become an event."

But the question remained -- how does a designer create something that feels like the ultimate neighborhood bar, when the neighborhood is, in fact, the entire city? The population at Coyote Ugly is really the crossroads for bikers, stockbrokers, models, wannabe's, students. Everybody feels comfortable in this place; it's the great leveler.

Hutman and Brandenburg started with various layers using a rough industrial framework, raw, exposed brick and cast iron columns and beams set against a beautiful bar and back bar. "But the finish on it is cracked and crumbling," Hutman further describes. "As the backstory goes, Lil found this place, dusted it off and left it the way it was, embracing the history of the place and embellishing it with all of this found stuff that felt like what you would have if you visited every great bar in the country. We borrowed elements from each of the places we visited in terms of set dressing – bumper stickers, pictures, we did a big logo on the wall out of beer bottle caps that says Coyote Ugly. Rosemary did what Lil would have done, which is to take this old, run down place we created and fill it with all that great stuff which gives it the kind of warmth and texture that makes it totally unique.

"I call this style ‘rings of a tree,'" he says. "The style reveals the history of the place, of the people who have been there before and somehow forecasts people who will come. It makes drinking a timeless social event and it makes the place in all of its reality, a special place where people want to be."

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