Greater Oklahoma City is in the geographic center of North America equidistant from the east and west coasts and major trade partners of Canada and Mexico. The ten county region is at the crossroads of the U.S., sitting at the heart of three major national highways on the NAFTA corridor.
There's a reason Greater Oklahoma City is such a great place for business: Location. The ten county region is positioned within a day's drive of the rapidly-growing south-central region (OK, TX, AR, LA) projected to grow more than 44% during the next 25 years.
Construction is nearing completion and auditions are scheduled for next month as the Coyote Ugly Saloon prepares to bring its dancing bartenders to Bricktown.
The bar at 121 E California along the Bricktown Canal joins the recently opened Michael Murphy's Dueling Pianos as the entertainment mix continues to evolve in the century-old warehouse district.
Saloon founder Liliana "Lil" Lovell, who had been featured in a series of reality shows overseeing auditions of attractive female bartenders who dance on bar tops, will be interviewing Bricktown employees June 13 and 14.
"Oklahoma City is a great fit for Coyote Ugly," Lovell said. "Bricktown has been on our radar for a while now. With the arrival of the Thunder professional basketball team though, we felt the time was right. I look forward to many great years in Oklahoma City."
Lee Killingsworth, head of marketing for the saloon, said the chain sees a lot of similarities between the location in Bricktown and a saloon along the RiverWalk in San Antonio.
"We really like that one a lot," Killingsworth said. "We look at cities with more than 1 million people, and I really do specifically target entertainment districts."
The bar was set to open in March, but Killingsworth said the project ran into delays because of licensing requirements. The bar is set to open June 24.
A tour of the bar area Tuesday revealed construction is almost complete. A gift shop area is at the canal entrance, while the saloon's trademark long bar top is already in place. A second-floor bar area also is in place for busy nights and special bookings.
The entire former digs of J. Frank's Bar was gutted, and even the bathrooms were rebuilt so they could be handicap accessible.
Killingsworth said the saloon will be open seven days a week, usually from about 5 p.m. until 2 a.m.
Bricktown Association Director Jim Cowan said the piano bar is already a "smashing success" and he looks forward to Coyote Ugly expanding the district's bar scene beyond dance clubs for 20-somethings.
"It's always a positive to have a national tenant move into Bricktown," Cowan said. "And it will help us add to the entertainment mix so that Bricktown has something to do no matter what your age is."