Jan. 10: Coyote, Leeds AL

drive-in screen with foreground car

screenshot from the Coyote Drive-In YouTube channel

It’s Day 10 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and my travel distance was a nice round 200 miles. (I only count it from drive-in to drive-in, not including restaurants or hotels.) After the previous day’s drive-in that sat between small towns near a highway interchange, it was a huge difference to pull into the Coyote Drive In Theater and Canteen at The Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds AL.

This place is one of the newest drive-ins, opened in May 2016. The company’s first new-wave drive-in opened in Fort Worth TX in 2013; this was the second. This Coyote has a full-service indoor/outdoor restaurant, bar, and mini golf.

The restaurant serves a chicken caesar salad. I was so grateful to eat something green after a week and a half of drive-in fare. They even had hummus available as a side dish. The only slight disappointment: I had to finish my beer within the bar area instead of bringing it back to my car.

The Coyote has four screens, and one of them had an early movie I hadn’t seen. There are reasons why Underworld: Blood Wars ranks so low on the Tomatometer, but at least it was new to me.

Miles Today / Total: 200 / 904 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Underworld: Blood Wars / 8

Nearby Restaurant: One interstate exit east, on a street full of chain restaurants, I was glad to see the El-Cazador Mexican Grill. Local flavor and even a few vegetarian options? Who would have guessed that Mexican food could be so healthy!

Where I Virtually Stayed: The Hampton Inn Birmingham / Leeds was right across I-20 from the Coyote, though the highway layout made that just a little tricky. Quiet, moderately priced, and with a nice free breakfast. No brainer.

Only in Leeds: According to AL.com, last February, a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy arrested a 51-year-old man for DUI around 8:30 on a Saturday evening. The man, who also had an outstanding felony theft warrant, was in full clown costume. The sheriff’s office said he told the deputy that he had just had a few drinks at a local restaurant, but offered no explanation for his attire.

Next Stop: Cinemagic Drive In Theatre, Athens AL.

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