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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Coyote Ugly Bars Furloughed Managers Rather Than Pay Them With Coronavirus Aid Funds They Received

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2020 at 8:57 AM

  • Instagram / coyoteugly_san_antonio
“Let's Make Bad Decisions,” declares the Instagram bio of Coyote Ugly San Antonio. The line seems tone deaf in light of news about how the company has used federal coronavirus relief money it received.

Nine Coyote Ugly bars applied for Paycheck Protection Program loans in March, “because they were there,” Jeff Wiseman, the company's general counsel, told the New York Times. By the time the applications — ranging from $40,000 to $120,000 — were approved in mid-April, Coyote Ugly bartenders and security personnel had already been laid off, and it was clear the bar industry wasn't going to recover as quickly as many had hoped.

On April 18, Coyote Ugly founder and chief executive Liliana Lovell notified managers that they were being furloughed just as word of the loan approvals got out, the Times reports. Managers across its locations were furious. Lovell said she understood her employees’ frustrations, but added that she and Wiseman “didn’t see the point in paying managers to sit around in empty bars,” according to the paper.

Rather than rehire employees and pay them with PPP loan money — the intention of the PPP — or return the funds, following the lead of aid recipients such as Taco Cabana, Coyote Ugly is opting to sit on the money, according to reports.

Perhaps compounding the frustration for employees, Coyote Ugly corporate locations are hocking pre-sale tickets to End of Lockdown Extravaganzas, saying the proceeds will "keep our staff afloat in this time of need."

Although the $20 tickets for the San Antonio party are for sale on the bar's website, the date for the event is listed as "to be determined."

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

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