'A GREAT LOCATION': Coyote Ugly Saloon to sling drinks in former Shed BBQ & Blues Joint location

Matt Algarin
A Coyote Ugly Saloon is slated to be the newest tenant at HarborWalk Village, taking over the space formerly occupied by the Shed BBQ & Blues Joint.

A Coyote Ugly Saloon is set to open along Destin Harbor.

"We finalized the lease two days ago," owner Joanna Olsen told The Log Thursday.

Coyote Ugly Saloon, which is slated to open in the former Shed BBQ & Blues Joint building, is an "interactive bar" that features women bartenders that serve up drinks and perform a variety of choreographed bar top dances.

The building has sat vacant since The Shed closed its doors back in late 2012. Olsen also owns the Coyote Ugly Saloon in Panama City Beach and Tampa.

"A lot of what's already here fits us and our style," she said. "It's a great location."

Olsen also said her Coyote Ugly Saloon at HarborWalk Village would be joined by another new restaurant, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, which would open its doors in the former home of the Lucky Snapper.

For months, rumors have swirled that the island-themed restaurant would be coming to Destin, joining Buffett’s beach hotel in Pensacola and Margaritaville restaurant at Pier Park in Panama City Beach.

According to its website, Margaritaville is “designed like the great old beach hang-outs that once populated the Gulf Coast … with the perfect blend of ocean breezes, great food, generous drinks and beach party music.”

Messages left for Legendary Inc. President and CEO Peter Bos were not returned by press time, while Jamie Hall, HarborWalk Village’s director of marketing, told The Log that she could not confirm or deny the Margaritaville rumors.

“There are a lot of new and exciting developments coming in the spring and summer,” she said.

When The Log interviewed Olsen last year, she said there were no plans for a Coyote Ugly Saloon in Destin, but times change. That decision was based on a stipulation that there has to be a 75-mile radius between bar locations.

When The Shed location became available, Olsen said they worked the numbers and determined that the saloon in Panama City Beach measured in at 76 miles away.

Olsen said work is currently under way and they are starting some interior demolition projects. Given the style of the past tenants, she said a "major" renovation wasn't necessary.

The original Coyote Ugly Saloon opened its doors in New York in 1993 and locations in Las Vegas, New Orleans, Tampa, Austin, Panama City Beach and others have followed. Olsen opened her Tampa location in 2003 and Panama City Beach in 2004. They are the only locations in Florida.

"When people go to Coyote, they know it's not anything like a strip club… it's all about woman power," Olsen previously told The Log.

Destin's Coyote Ugly Saloon is expected to open by mid-April.

"I can't wait," Olsen said. "We know that this market can do just as well, if not better than our saloon in Panama City."