Coyote Hardware Bar, Harrisburg, Penn.



“Girls on the bar; tools on the walls.”

Five years ago, you could have seen tumbleweeds rolling through the abandoned streets of downtown Harrisburg. Today the only thing that’s abandoned is the cars clubbers would drive to Philly or Baltimore for their nighttime activities. Prominent restaurant, club, and business owners have joined forces, rapidly renovating forgotten buildings into swanky, urban hot spots, complete with canopies, martini menus, and outdoor seating. At the end of Harrisburg’s Second Street “restaurant row” is a cluster of nightclubs. Eclipse was one of the first dance venues downtown, providing clubbers with two floors: The first, the Lunar Lounge for casual, moody socializing; the second, an all-out dance club fashioned with cages, DJs, and ample space to move. The new Coyote Hardware Bar (Remember the movie Coyote Ugly, featuring Tyra Banks gyrating on top of a bar? Of course you do!) has rounded out this attractive threesome with an affordable 3-for-1 cover, live music, and a decor that gets just as much attention as the girls who dance on its bar tops.

Stalker #1:
Walking into Coyote’s Hardware Bar, I found an incredibly well-thought-out design concept and the friendliest “Coyotes” this side of the Mississippi. The bar stretched long and wide, complete with pool ladders to hoist eager drinkers up to its top for dancing. At the far right corner sat the famous dentist’s chair – a throne in which young men were served strong shots of their favorite liquor by one of the sexy Coyotes working the joint. This process got a little steamy with arm rest straddling and teeth-to-teeth cherry passing. Most amazing was how every bartender and Coyote stayed stapled with a smile. No attitudes, no trash, just fun (and a little bit flirty) girls. Synchronized dance routines placed all of the Coyotes up on the bar in their cowboy hats and jeans. A live band rocked the stage, talked to the crowd, and kept everyone happy. The decor, although simple, was intelligent and artistic. Even the neon beer signs were twisted and sculpted into saws, hammers and wrenches. Bar shirts, with the slogan “Get hammered, nailed and screwed” hung next to tools of the trade: paint buckets, sprockets, and other handyman doodads. The Hardware Bar definitely had that “everyone knows your name” appeal.

Stalker #2:
We arrived at the Hardware Bar at 5:30 p.m. to load up our equipment for our show that night. We gave the owner a copy of our set list, and he cut back a lot of what we hoped to play. He wanted to keep an ‘80s theme in the bar, and didn’t want a bunch of new music. It was rough since we usually mix things up. The place had its own sound system, a nice, medium-sized house system that was adequate for the space. The sound guy gave us a really good sound check; we were happy with him. They could use a couple more lights, but the stage had plenty of room. It ended up being packed! One comment I got was that a lot of times if the band isn’t good, the crowd will drift and watch the girls on the bar. The crowd stayed with us all night, which was nice. There was more of a mix in ages than I expected. You had everything from your rich yuppies to your...well, not so yuppie crowd. The bartenders and Coyotes were all very nice. The owners were good guys. They definitely capture a certain atmosphere with the place. The raw floor, with a sort of raunchy bar: It’s not your typical black with gold trim. Coyote definitely sets itself apart.

Copyright 2002 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2002 TESTA Communications