An uninvited guest disrupted business at a Loop sub shop Tuesday afternoon. A coyote wandered into a Quiznos sandwich shop and took a seat in the beverage cooler. That sent all the customers out the door.
We've had coyotes on the breakwater. We've had coyotes in the river. We've had coyotes in backyards. This, however, may be the first coyote to ever walk into a Quiznos in the Loop and stay a spell, about 40 minutes.
The day was nice. The front door at 37 E. Adams had been propped open and in walked the coyote. At first the workers thought "it's a dog." Then someone said it looks like a wolf. But a coyote it is indeed.
The manager assures us the visit was not part of marketing a new sandwich.
"The coyote just came in and tried to jump over the cooler," said Bina Patel, restaurant manager.
"It didn't make any sounds, just tried to get. Apparently it was scared," said Ray Zabala, restaurant employee.
The coyote chose to settle in next to the Gatorade in a front cooler -- perhaps because it felt good on a leg wound that was apparent. But then, where else do you sit when you're a four-legged creature in a sandwich shop, and dozens of people are standing outside looking in the window at you and taking your picture with their cell phones.
"This one will definitely go down to be remembered forever. A coyote in downtown Chicago," said Rick Torres, restaurant employee.
Despite its failed attempt to leap the sandwich counter, which might have yielded a food bonanza, the coyote was quite passive -- until animal control arrived with pole hook. This is never a fun way to leave a restaurant, but leave the coyote must -- off to get checked out by the city's Animal Control vets.
Mr. Coyote is believed to be about a year old, 35 pounds. The vets think he may have just wandered away from his family. He is in good health, and he will be released, as are all Chicago urban transplanted coyotes, to the Flint Creek Wildlife center in northern Lake County.
This story was originally published by ABC News affiliate WLS in Chicago, Ill.