Get into a cab in any big city and say “The Eagle” and you are likely to end up in a gay Leather bar. Amsterdam, Atlanta, Barcelona, Baltimore, Boston, Charolotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Guerneville, Hartford, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Castle, New York City, Paris, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, San Juan, Seattle, Tampa, Toronto, Tulsa, Vienna, and Washington DC all have or have had, their own versions of unrelated bars called The Eagle.
For the past thirty years, San Francisco has had the Eagle Tavern. Now it is slated to close at the end of the month. Concerns that the site would be sold for ultimate development into condos and shops have dimmed under the glare of the immediate crisis. The Eagle may go straight.
Community member slave jody attended Monday’s “Save the Eagle” organizing meeting and broke it down: “It is about the owner of the Skylark bar on 16th buying the business and turning it into a straight bar. Two separate transactions are involved with the sale of a bar, the sale of the business and sale of the liquor license.”
Former District 8 Supervisor and out gay mayoral hopeful Bevan Dufty is involved with the ad hoc group that is organizing an eleventh hour bid to save the beloved dive. Dufty reports: “Kyle DeVries and Anna Conda did great work turning out hundreds at the Eagle tonight for a rally focusing on saving the bar and then marching to the Skylark (whose owner is believed to be trying to force a purchase and change it from the Eagle) — there will be a rally tomorrow (Tuesday) on City Hall steps @ 1p.m. and then public comment at the Board meeting — Supervisors Kim and Campos expressed strong support for saving the Eagle and Supervisor Wiener met the crowd at the Skylark.”
For more on this unfolding story, including a mock-up of a building proposed for the site earlier this year and a short historical analysis of gentrification South of Market, click here.
Why did the liquor license sell without the business? Did the Eagle put it on the market and let it go t the highest bidder? What is that process?
Is the Gay & Lesbian Community of SF just going to take a “back seat” to this issue? Why is it that we have such a difficult time holding onto much of our historical roots? Would it be due to the present economy? To Gentrification? Or, is it because we plain just don’t care? It is with great sadness that I write this comment, not solely based on tremendous feelings of loss and disenchantment over the loss of another gay leather bar, but for THIS PARTICULAR Gay Bar (which will always be known to me as THE SAN FRANCISCO EAGLE) which holds a huge amount of history of great leathermen and women that have passed in and out of its doors on any given Saturday and Sunday; that have had HUGE fundraisers for their organizations and for their brothers and sisters who have fallen victim to the AIDS crisis; who strove to have this bar be the the major spot and hangout for a particular, select and unique crowd. I ask myself over and over again, not just why this is happening, but do we as a community really have no regard for our children; not just merely biological, but the ones who will come after us, who will want to know, investigate and understand our lives and lifestyles — are we only to be defined by a mere historical footnote?
Kansas City MO desperately needs its Eagle to return. There’s absolutely nothing nowhere to go for the Leather Bear community…unless it’s straight girls and twinks…plenty of options for that crowd.
Come home to KC!