In Search Of The Eagle

JMG reader Ken Schwencke has compiled a listing of current and demised Eagle bars around the world. He writes:

In at least nine countries and 15 U.S. states, you can find the Eagle. In Montreal, it’s called L’Aigle Noir; in Minneapolis, it’s the Eagle Bolt Bar; in New Orleans, it’s a room above another bird bar. But all of these places are unmistakably the Eagle: A family of gay bars with no formal relationship. Think black walls, Bud Light, bearded men and perhaps a large wooden cross with cuffs dangling off. It’s the closest thing gay men have to a global franchise. You can walk into one in many cities and know what you’re in for, like a gay McDonalds.

I’ve been to at least a dozen Eagle bars around the country. My favorite remains the late Fort Lauderdale Eagle, which was in a derelict strip mall next to a McDonald’s, a furniture rental store, and the DMV. Hit the link for the listing.

  • Michael Abbett

    My husband and I met at the 501 Eagle in Indy 13 years ago. Still there and going strong.

    • Larry Gist

      Hi Michael!!!!

  • sdnative1958

    Fascinating, I never really thought about that…and a shout-out to my own home town for San Diego’s!

  • Butch

    I’ve been in two on that list; now the closest bar is a 3-hour one-way drive and not worth the trip…..

  • sherman

    Shouldn’t some right-wing bigot patriots be complaining about owning the eagle, like they claim the rainbow?

  • bkmn

    I know the Minneapolis Eagle Bolt Bar has participated in Dining Out For Life at the 100% level for years.

    • JoeMyGod

      We’ve had two JMG reader meetups at the Minneapolis Eagle. Really fun bar and the staff was great to us.

  • Gene

    The Eagle Atlanta is still going strong. It was raided (!) a few year ago on trumped up drug charges, cleared, and had the entire city (even homophobes afraid of overzealous police) on its side. The community kind of “rediscovered” it, and its about the only bar, other than Burkhardts that I ever go to. (all hell still breaks loose on Thursdays..but, I tend not to be there on Thursdays 🙂

    • JoeMyGod

      The Atlanta Eagle was my first. I think we went there the first time we did the Hotlanta River Expo.

      • Gene

        ahhh…I miss the “fruit float”! But, come on down south some time. The Eagle is sitll friendly, and we would love to see you down here.

        • Gene

          good story of the Eagle. Here, it use to open as early as 5. not now. but it did, and I would go in right at open to see my favorite bar tender, a sexy half German half Japanese bear bartender. Often, had the place to myself to just calm down after a shitty day. Most often though, there was one other old guy there, very sick, AIDS. He was sweet, and nice, and the bartender and he would just talk about times before his or my time. the old gentleman was very very ill, not long for this world. He mentioned that “next Tuesday is my birthday” and, I noted it. I went to a place called brushstrokes and bought a card. no big deal, I was just being a mensch. I went to the Eagle, and found him there, with a beer and with a smile like a 4 year old, looking at the birthday cup cake the bartender had gotten him. Just one candle. He blew it out, opened his X rated card I had gotten him, and the three of us ate the cup cake. Soon after, he stopped coming. he was gone. But, his last birthday had a party, if only a small one.

          Many of you might have more FUN memories of Eagle bars…but, I think I might have the….warmest one.

          • jmax

            Beautiful. Thank you.

          • 2karmanot

            Wonderful story!!

          • EDinMCO

            I have fond memories of Sushi Bear and the Atlanta Eagle as well. One in particular involves a cooperative bartender, Jagermeister, poppers, candle wax, and my hairy ass. Ahh, good times.

          • Gene

            ah..you’re talking about Tony..
            you’re a sick twisted fuck…
            come sit next to me

            🙂

    • jmax

      My partner and I were visiting my sister in Atlanta and went to the Eagle not long after that raid. Actually had a really nice time – southern men are so friendly 🙂

    • Gene

      a bulldyke pal of mine (and no, she is not a lesbian, she is a self described BULL DYKE) told me this once “you fags have paradise on Ponce (the street its on). You got a Krispy Kreme with a conveyer belt kicking out donuts 24/7 on one corner and hot and cold flowing bear cock at the Eagle on the other. Lucky yous”

  • bdsmjack

    The Eagle in Minneapolis has a 3-4-1 Happy Hour on Fridays!

  • Prion

    A 2006 pic from San Antonio

  • The current incarnation of Chicago’s Eagle is just a couple blocks north of me, in a neighborhood that’s not particularly “gay” — in fact, it’s pretty mixed.

    The bar has gradually moved north over the years — I remember going there when it was more mid-North than far North, many years ago. Not really my kind of place — way too serious.

    • Ken Schwencke

      Is there still a Chicago Eagle? Everything I could find indicated that the last one had closed. Do you have any info on it?

      • Only that it’s on North Clark Street, a few doors north of Devon, which would put it at 6400 something North Clark; next to the Jackhammer and a small store selling “gear,” as far as I can tell.

        It certainly doesn’t look closed — the exterior of the building was recently redone, and they did have the whole facade covered with a rainbow flag for Pride Month.

        • Vista-Cruiser

          You’re thinking of Touché, a different leather bar. At one point, it and the Chicago Eagle were both in business on Clark Street, about two miles apart.

          • You’re right. Sorry about that.

          • Vista-Cruiser

            rmhunter: No problem at all. It’s fun reminiscing about all of these places. Wish there were more left.

  • Mark

    I don’t really want to talk about it…and i practice daily to keep those memories alive and fresh! mmmm…mmmm, good!

  • kcken

    The Black Eagle in Toronto is kinda fun. uhhh.. or so i’ve heard. 🙂
    PS. I need to go home and visit that place soon….

    • JP

      I think they do a nude night the third Thursday of each month. Might be there in September!

  • Rebecca Gardner

    I’m so glad the Eagle in SF, shown above, reopened.

  • The Larry Mac

    I’ve only been to two, the New York Eagle (with Joe!) and the Suncoast Eagle in St. Pete, which hardly did justice to the name. Guess I have some bucket list work to do.

  • Capritaur

    The current Denver Eagle is closing this summer because the property is being sold by the owner (a light rail station is gonna be built right next to it and the whole block is gonna become an office-shopping complex). Fingers crossed it finds a new home.

    • tomfromthenews

      Denver here also. Didn’t know about the Eagle closing but, yes, it’s located right where the new light rail is going. I hope it finds new home also.

  • JoeMyGod

    Eagle bars I’ve visited: Atlanta, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Miami, LA, DC, NYC, SF, Montreal, Minneapolis, Chicago, Guernville, London, Hartford.

    Egad. That’s 15.

    • Corsair Tact

      NYC, Fort Lauderdale, DC, Atlanta and SF for me. I tried to go to the ones in Minneapolis and San Antonio, but on both occasions, I couldn’t find a place to park..

      I miss the Eagle in DC. I lived in the general vicinity for about a year in 2000-1 and met many handsome gentlemen there.

      • i liked the one that used to be there when i lived there. a little later.

    • jmax

      Been to The Eagle in Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Tulsa.

      In fact, I’ll be in Tulsa next weekend for a niece’s wedding and I’m sure I’ll end up there again 🙂

    • Strepsi

      That’s right Joe, you came to Montreal! What did you think of Aigle Noir?

    • Duh-David

      That’s 18 for me. When I was touring the country around 2000, I always knew when I got to town that I could check the white pages for “The Eagle” and be assured of a start. Got to Seattle very late and went to the Eagle, which had no liquor license and was empty on a Friday night. The bartenders assured me this was The place and the crowd would arrive soon, so while everyone was packing Cuff, I hung with the staff at an empty bar, before calling it an early night.

      • Corsair Tact

        Damn! I’d forgotten about the Seattle Eagle. And, as you said, it’s because it was utterly forgetable. I was there in 98, I think.

        • Duh-David

          I like to imagine they got a full liquor license and became the goto leather bar several years after.

          • Corsair Tact

            Well, aren’t you optimistic? 😉

          • McSwagg

            Seattle has restrictive liquor laws, at least when I lived there. To get a full liquor license, the bar had to also serve food, and the food service had to make up a certain percentage of the gross receipts.

    • Gene

      there’s a fine line between tourist and bar fly you know
      😉

    • D. Gray

      You missed the Portland Eagle?
      RIP Johnny and the PDX Eagle…
      Sexiest Eagle anywhere.

    • Gerry Fisher

      Providence, Boston, DC, SF, Minneapolis, Hartford

    • FancyThat

      Last chance this spring/summer to open Denver’s magic door. Property sold to condo/transportation development for $10m.

  • Corsair Tact

    I really loved the original Eagle in NYC. It was next door to The Spike, which was also quite, er, lovely.

    On Ken’s awesome list, I see that there’s an Eagle in Salzburg. I think I need to visit. Perhaps I’ll find myself a lonely goatherd…

  • Ah – the salad days of my tender youth were spent there — looking for sexy daddies but overhearing the latest tips on fabulous brunch recipes instead. The Eagle — where leather kink and Martha Stewart first came together!

    • Gene

      …a patent leather bar?
      🙂

      • PLEASE – we are speaking of San Francisco here, and only the real thing graces the bums of the leather boys here!

    • boatboy_srq

      SFO’s leather scene as best described to me: wear cowhide; collect crystal; dish opera.

      • hiker_sf

        The were two leather scenes. The one you describe and another that preceded it, in bars like the Ambush, which was a bit less about pageantry.

        • KP

          Ambush home made poppers that knocked you on your ass. I miss it.

          • Chris Baker

            I guess these days that would be called “local, handcrafted, small-batch poppers”?

          • William

            … locally sourced nitrates.

          • pch1013

            Gluten- and cruelty-free.

          • hiker_sf

            Artisanal

          • 2karmanot

            Techi leather made by Dolce and Gabbana.

          • Acronym Jim

            Fee range.

      • RKitty01

        I remember one night I was going to the Lone Star, I think. I was crossing the street close to the Eagle and this guy in a full leather police uniform walked past. Not to femme shame but he should have been carrying a purse with the outfit. That sort of turned me off of leather.

        • swimboy

          I remember meeting a guy at l’Aigle Noir in Montreal. Looked like the Marlboro Man with jet black hair, deep blue eyes, chiseled jaw, cowboy hat and painted on 501s. He spoke less English than I did French, which wasn’t much, but after figuring out that he wanted to take me home, I made the mistake of asking what he did for a living. He was a florist, and he started *gushing* about flowers for 15 minutes. My fantasy was completely dashed and I ended up leaving alone. Luckily for me, I met a big hunky forest ranger from Vancouver at the baths 30 minutes later, and forgot all about the Marlboro Man.

          • Cousin Bleh

            This story reminds me of my favorite passage from Dancer From the Dance…

            The two woodsmen got up to dance; at their rising, two other boys in black with tired, beautiful eyes, sat down immediately and began discussing the men who had just left: “I call him the Pancake Man,” said one. “He doesn’t use makeup!” said the other. “Oh, no,” the first replied. “The opposite! Because he’s the kind of man you imagine waking up with on Saturday morning, and he makes pancakes for you, and then you take the dog out for a walk in the park. And he always has a moustache, and he always wears plaid shirts!”

            “I agree he’s gorgeous,” said his friend, “but someone told me he has the smallest wee-wee in New York.”

            And with that, as if the boy had snapped his finger, the big, blond woodsman standing by the dance floor in all his radiant masculinity, crumbled into dust.

          • swimboy

            Yup, to have all your fantasies dashed in an instant is like a slap in the face. Luckily, I have another Eagle story that has a much happier ending:

            I was at the Eagle in Detroit, and for those of you who’ve never been there, they have railroad ties as rafters that are about 8 ½ feet off the ground. I walked in one night, and there’s a huge intimidating guy, built like an offensive lineman (they’re the biggest guys on a football team, for you non-sportsball types) standing there, 6’8″ tall, head to toe in leather, resting his hands on top of the rafters, with his drink sitting on top of the rafters too.

            I wasted no time, “accidentally” bumping into him and saying “Excuse me” thinking maybe I could take him home for the evening.

            Fast forward almost 20 years, and that damn trick has never left. 😉

          • 2karmanot

            The Detroit Eagle was my first leather bar…..Won ‘Mr. Tail’ there one night…..no sash though lol

          • BlueberriesForMe

            I love an unexpected, happy ending.

          • Christopher Smith

            I’m surprised someone as infinitely shallow as you appear to be a) tells such a story and b) expects us to believe it. LOL

          • 2karmanot

            And so it went in the day…….

          • nocadrummer

            Body by Jake,
            Voice by Ross Mathews.

      • Captain Jack

        .that’s what it turned into.

      • Corsair Tact

        Back in the day, you could toss on a sweater on Wednesday night and have drinks at the Alta Plaza in Pacific Heights aka the Alta Plastic.

        • BobSF_94117

          Little ‘ole 122 lb. sophomore me made the mistake of walking into there in the late 70s wearing a pastel blue cashmere sweater over my shoulders (what can I say, my sister was extravagant with her gifts). I think it was the only time in my life I’ve had a whole room turn to give me the once over.

          • Corsair Tact

            THAT is something I would pay cash dollars to have seen.

          • BobSF_94117

            I don’t do well with that much attention, so I was soon pastel pink. I’m sure it was something to see…

          • Corsair Tact

            Awww…

        • 2karmanot

          Then there was the LION for Gucci gatherers

          • Corsair Tact

            The Lion! Once I made enough money to dress the part, I went there a couple of times in about 1991. It was quite elegant but I just wasn’t old enough or snooty enough to click with the clientele.

      • Seattle’s El Gaucho has/had chinchilla lined booths AND the Huntsman’s breakfast (all you can eat starting around 1:00 in the morning). I always wore shorts when I ate there; they moved – not sure they kept the booths.

    • Strepsi

      Ah – the toss-my-salad days of my tender youth…

    • hiker_sf

      I saw Connie Francis perform there once.

      https://youtu.be/Rk4ZKVKP7Vc

    • CPT_Doom

      My favorite night at the DC Eagle on NY Ave was the day the 6th Harry Potter book had come out. There were a whole bunch of guys who hadn’t finished it yet (I read the whole thing in one day) and didn’t want to hear any spoilers. I had them going for 20 minutes describing a fake story line concerning Hermione’s abortion.

      • Gene

        That is sick and twisted
        you get an A+ and win the internets today with THAT one!

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      • Lionel Leston

        I tell people who have neither read the books or seen the final movie that Snape is Harry’s father.

    • 2karmanot

      So true!

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      You weren’t standing next to me. I can assure you.

      • Post a hot photo please preferably with your shirt off. 🙂

  • Steverino

    Hubby and I seldom missed the Sunday beer bust at the SF Eagle (before it became the Eagle Tavern) back in the 80s and early 90s, usually in full leather, of course. I will never forget the look on California State Senator Milton Marks’ face when on a campaign stop there, he beheld hubby decked-out in skimpy leather and chains! Precious… Wish I had been able to take a pic of the spectacle…
    ; )

    • D. Gray

      I loved when politicians would wade into the Sunday afternoon crowd at the beer bust, and glad hand everyone. I remember Willie Brown had two bodyguards who were very amusingly trying not to touch anything or anybody.

      • Steverino

        Milton had his handlers (so to speak) there to happily ‘splain the goings-on to the perplexed senator.

  • pickypecker

    For those traveling, The Egle in Vien (Austria) is a good stop. Have had more than my share of good times there. 🙂
    http://gaycities-listing-images-production.s3.amazonaws.com/medsq_bars-301925-Eagle-Bar-Vienna-9d9dc.jpg

  • Lakeview Bob

    The first D.C. Eagle was on 9th Street in Washington D.C. It has since moved twice. The orginal Eagle was one of my first bars. I cannot tell you how many Saturday nights I drove around the bar watching leather men go in. It scared the hell out of me but I was drawn to it Next door was an inner city furniture store filled with tacky furniture but it had a large display of crystal in the window. I once walked by as two leather men were discussing which crystal pattern they liked best. It changed everything. I was so expecting (and disappointed) that I would be raped when I walked in the door. It was glorious with an elegant wide staircase down the middle with a restaurant on the third floor and a store on the second. I remember eating there once when the waiter bent over to my ear and pointed out another dinner at another table. He told me he had a butt plug inside him. I never quite understood how that was appropriate dinner conversation from a server but I didn’t mind. LOL

    • jmax

      Love the butt plug story. Hahaha.
      We were in DC last July but didn’t make it out to the Eagle. It seemed to be in a sketchy area of town and we didn’t have a car. Did we miss out on much?

      • Cousin Bleh

        The DC Eagle is in a very sketchy part of town now and has almost no parking. I’ve been a few times and always take Uber. It’s been a work in progress so you probably didn’t miss much last summer.

        But they did just open the long-promised dance club on the second floor and they’re having a big party this Saturday night. I anticipate it’s going to be crowded and festive.

        • CPT_Doom

          Their opening night of the new dance club was amazing, but the weekends are hit or miss. Cabs have finally figured out how to find the place (it’s down an access road)

          • Cousin Bleh

            The first time we went, our cab just drove around that area on both sides of the river for like 20 minutes until we finally figured out how to get to it!

          • Strepsi

            Ummm… I think the driver wanted a hand job.

          • Cousin Bleh

            He coulda just asked!

          • Lakeview Bob

            Yikes, the Potomac separates Virginia from D.C. and the Anacostia River is miles and miles away!

          • Cousin Bleh

            It is indeed on the other side of the Anacostia.

          • Lakeview Bob

            Not sure what you mean by the other side of the Anacostia. The Anacostia cuts through N.E. and S.E. Washington D.C. The Eagle is very much in the N.W. side of the city. North of all the monuments and museums. The Anacostia River is well south of the the monuments and museums. I was born in D.C. went to school at the University of Maryland and lived many years inside the city limits.

          • Cousin Bleh

            Bob, the DC Eagle moved last year. It’s not on New York Avenue in NW anymore. It is now located on Benning Road in the NE quadrant across the Anacostia River.

          • Lakeview Bob

            Oh, I did not know that. I am in California now and a bit out of touch.

        • JoeMyGod

          We tried to go last month but even the locals couldn’t tell us how to get there. It was $40 on Uber from Capitol Hill so we took a pass.

          • Lakeview Bob

            You probably saved good money Joe. It is just not the same as it use to be. It is not at all hard to find though. But parking is miserable.

      • Lakeview Bob

        It is not really such a sketchy part of town anymore. The last time I was there I was driving through that neighborhood having come from visiting a friend in Annapolis. A few blocks before I reached the Eagle I got a double flat tire on my rental. While I was waiting for the tow I walked into the very quiet Eagle. I swear with 10 minutes the only hot guy there had my dick in his mouth in the bathroom. I don’t know how that happened! I was getting close to coming and the tow truck driver called to tell me he was at my car. Damn. It spoiled the fun.

      • Lakeview Bob

        You really did not miss much. I don’t get there very often but it is not like the old days.

    • another_steve

      Great comment, Bob. Enjoyed it.

      The Eagle on New York Avenue was there so many years that I don’t remember New York Avenue without it. The man and I recently drove by the remains. That whole stretch looks like it’s getting ready for redevelopment — just as other stretches of the avenue have already been redeveloped.

      • Lakeview Bob

        The NY Ave bar is not bad but the 7th and then 9th Street version were better and more fun.

      • Dale082

        Oh, how I miss that place! So many fond memories!

        • another_steve

          So many wonderful DC clubs and bars, now gone. The Lost and Found on L St, SE. La Cage Aux Folles on O St, SE. The list goes on and on.

          I cried when they demolished the latter to build that stupid baseball stadium.

          • Dale082

            Lost and Found, La Cage, Tracks, Mr. P’s, Badlands, Frat House, The Circle, DC Eagle, 12″ Dance Records, Melody Records, Lambda Rising, Sala Thai, Cafe Japone … All gone. We used to go up to DC a lot back in the 80’s and early 90’s.

          • another_steve

            Lambda Rising’s closing was very sad, as was the closing of its sister bookstore in Baltimore. Casualties, both, of the general demise of brick and mortar bookstores.

            I live roughly midway between D.C. and Baltimore, so their closings were, for me, a double whammy.

          • Lakeview Bob

            You forgot InExile and the bookstore around the corner on NY Ave. Was it called Man’s World?

          • Maggie 4NoH8

            The Green Latrine (Lantern)!

    • Gerry Fisher

      During gay softball tournaments in DC during the 90s, I frequented their back porch. [ahem] 🙂

      • Corsair Tact

        Been there, done that. Had the best bar-side extended grope and make-out experience at that bar.

      • Maggie 4NoH8

        ahem… That back porch just so happened to be the locale of my 1st ever “O” from oral stimulation.

    • Dale082

      That was my first leather bar! I was 21 years old and my boyfriend (now husband) and I had dinner there. That is the Eagle where I discovered my love for leather and Daddies.

  • chris james

    I remember the D.C Eagle back in the 70’s. Had a great restaurant on the second floor, always crowded despite the neighborhood. Any man with a beard got the eye on the way up the stairs. (Blush)

  • JVB

    The Eagle in Columbus Ohio was in fact mostly a twinkly bar, sad to say. The owners of that bar opened a Eagle in Exile that was leatherish. They even had a St. Andrews cross. Sadly it closed and moved to another location from what I heard and is a shadow of its former self.

  • Octavio

    The Eagle in Las Vegas is . . . meh. But the one in Barcelona is a wonderful place. 🙂

  • Cousin Bleh

    The first time I ever bought a cockring was at The Eagle in Atlanta. The clerk behind the counter insists on coming into the dressing room with you to help find your appropriate size. I was but a naive gayling at the time and pleasantly startled.

    • cowboy

      I had a similar experience there too. Very accommodating staff and one of the best experiences of southern hospitality. Even the parking lot was fun.

      • Cousin Bleh

        I think I’ve told this story on JMG before, but one time when I was at Backstreet very early in the morning, it was extremely crowded as it often was and you couldn’t move through the crowd without stepping on people’s toes. As I pushed my way past people, I said “pardon me” and “sorry” like I always do because my momma raised me right. A few minutes later, this guy made his way over to me on the dancefloor and said, “They’re so polite here! No one has ever told me sorry before in a nightclub.” So I took him back to his hotel room and banged him.

        • jmax

          But did you say “Pardon me” when you were done?

        • Corsair Tact

          You obviously were raised right. A good friendly fuck is one of the best ways to show you care.

        • William

          Atlanta had a nice cluster of gay bars on Peachtree until they were bulldozed to ‘improve’ things for the Olympics.

    • perversatile

      Me too, had some bloke measure my inseam with his tongue, and all I wanted was a bottle of poppers.

  • JoeMyGod

    Speaking of gay bar franchises, there was the Old Plantation which had outposts in Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and I think a couple in Texas too. The Tampa OP was a regularly Sunday t-dance excursion for the Orlando UCF boys in the early 80s.

    • Rex

      I went to a bar in Akron Ohio called the Old Plantation, in my early “coming out” days. First big gay bar I had been too. I remember the first time I just stood in awe that that many gay men were all in one place.

    • JoeMyGod

      The Old Plantation in Orlando was actually in Casselberry across from the Seminole jai alai fronton. It was a former Spaghetti Station made out of four railroad cars. Later became the (briefly) wildly popular Central Station.

    • Chucker999

      I was 20 years old and innocent as a lamb when I first went to the Tampa OP! That didn’t last long!!!

    • royinhell

      There was an Old Plantation bar in Toledo when I was in college there in the early 80s- when I came out, my straight friends would come dancing with me there, as it had the best dance floor & music. I haven’t thought about the OP in a long while!

    • RKitty01

      I have a very fond memory of the Jax Eagle involving a pool table and the bar manager. Check one thing off my bucket list!

      • royinhell

        My bartender/pool table after-hours memory was at Dick’s Bar in the East Village- you got nothing on me there!

        • Corsair Tact

          Dicks!

    • Corsair Tact

      The Old Plantation on Cedar Springs in Dallas is still there but it’s now called OP4.

  • David Teager

    On a walk around Hyderabad, India, (don’t ask why) with a co-worker, I spotted The Eagle Restaurant and Bar and thought, “hmmm?” But no, despite the indicia, it seems it was just a hangout for regular businessmen… or was it? My co-worker thought it funny that I would peg a gay bar just on its name.

  • Duh-David

    Around 2000, two buddies who owned the leather shop and produced the leather contests in Cleveland were planning on opening Eagle Cleveland. They said it wouldn’t happen until their lawyers negotiated the rights to the name. Months later we saw the ad in the bar rag that the Eagle was opening on Madison the next month, so that weekend I congratulated Greg on his new bar. He sadly explained it wasn’t his — Eagle, Inc. had misled them into thinking they owned the name everywhere, and while they were negotiating, somebody else registered the name in Ohio and was opening the Eagle. It didn’t last 6 months, but is remembered for the long, long lines to get into the upstairs, dress-code, weekend backroom and for being one of the few leather bars with a full dance floor.

  • RealityBass

    I moved away in 2008, but I don’t think people in New Orleans really call the upstairs at the Phoenix ‘the Eagle,’ do they? Everyone I knew just called it ‘upstairs at the Phoenix.’

    • Corsair Tact

      It’s listed as “The Eagle,” but I think the locals call it Upstairs at the Phoenix.

  • friedpikmin

    I have been to Houston, Dallas, and NYC Eagles. Love them all, but the Houston one (which recently caught fire) was a bit peculiar. They used to rent out an underground straight bar in downtown that provided an awesome vibe. Eventually they moved into Montrose, and while it is (was?) one of my favorite bars, it just feels so much more mainstream when compared to the other Eagles I’ve been to. Ripcord in Houston is probably closer to your stereotypical Eagle now.

    • Corsair Tact

      Ever go to The Montrose Mining Company? Loved that place.

      • friedpikmin

        I go every now and then. Pretty dead every time I go :-/.

        • Corsair Tact

          Damn it

    • William

      The Houston Eagle used to be the 611 Club. That’s the only place I’ve had straight couples try to pick me up. Okay, maybe not so straight.

      • Corsair Tact

        Did you ever go to The Crossing on Red River and 7th in Austin? It closed in 89 or so. It was my first leatheresque spot.

        • William

          The Crossing was my second gay bar. Oz was the first, when I was 16. I spent a lot of time at the Crossing.

          • Corsair Tact

            My first was Papillon in Lubbock! In the basement of the Pioneer Hotel, downtown. Was 17 and a senior in high school and it was amazing. There was touch dancing (a la San Francisco in 1972. This was 1984).

            My first in Austin was Dirty Sally’s. Then I found Hall’s and that’s where I mostly went. But eventually I ventured into The Crossing. It was scurry… and exciting! Didn’t spend nearly enough time there.

          • William

            I fried a lot of brain cells at Sally’s beer bust. Other nights, the DJ Warren did Oldie’s Night. I scored a lot of free drinks on ‘Name That Tune’.

          • Corsair Tact

            Sorry we never met!

          • William

            We might have!

          • William

            Did you ever join in on a singalong out on the Sally’s patio?

          • Corsair Tact

            No! I must have missed that bit of culture!

        • William

          The original Chain Drive was right around the corner on 7th. It was across the creek from APD headquarters.

          • Corsair Tact

            Yes indeed. It certainly was. I was just 20 when it opened. I left Austin and never went into that location. I did find my way to the one south of 1st Street when I moved back and spent many, many hours there.

          • William

            That location closed in the last year or two. There was a new location nearby on the I-35 frontage road for a short time.

          • Corsair Tact

            I’m not really sad about this. I had a roommate in the late 90s who worked there for a while as a bartender and his stories about the owner are ones I won’t repeat as I don’t want to be sued…

            Although I technically live in Austin (it says so on my tax return and that’s where I gets my mail), I haven’t been there in almost a year. And I haven’t gone out there in probably 8 years. So much has changed, no doubt.

          • William

            Most of the gay bars are gone. There’s the Iron Bear at 8th and Colorado, and I read about Cheer Up Charlie’s, at the old Chance’s location. It opened on borrowed time, a boutique hotel is slated to be built on the site.

            I moved out of Austin to the boonies 18 years ago. We go out to a gay bar about once a year.

          • Corsair Tact

            Iron Bear. Have been there. Forgot about that. Didn’t you say once that you live out in Bastrop Co.? Any bluebonnets out yet? It’s getting to be that time…

          • William

            Yep, Bastrop County, the Hillbilly Riviera. It’s suffering from an influx of Californians who only sold their homes out west for only a million or two. Our local HEB has turned into a freak show. There are some bluebonnets out now, I’m hoping for more. The last few years of drought has cut their numbers.

          • Corsair Tact

            Hayes County, particularly along 290, is much worse, IMHO. I have some “friends” who sold their house in Orange County, CA, and bought a house JUST over the Travis County line so they wouldn’t have to be part of that hippy place. Blech. Hilariously, I think their property taxes are actually higher than they would have been about 1000 feet north…

            The last time I spent in the general area was renting a little cottage from friends just south of Bastrop. It was on a few acres and included very insistent and very angry miniature horses. That was the summer of 2011 when it never rained once and everything just dried up and then burned up. We were fortunately between fires, but what an awful thing…

            In the spring of 2009, I think it was, just had a riot of bluebonnets everywhere after the wet fall and winter before. I was hoping the effect would be the same for all y’all this year. I love to go out to Gay Hill and roll around in them out there. I don’t think they actually die — they just stay dormant. Have a fun and fab day and weekend.

            I’ve got to set sail and go pillage an unsuspecting harbor… 🙂

          • William

            Come back for Eeyore’s Birthday Party! It’s the last Saturday in April.

  • FloBear

    Wow, nobody’s mentioned the Boston Eagle. I first went there in ’77, I think. Joe Jervis, I can’t believe you’ve never been there!

    • JoeMyGod

      All of my time in Boston has been spent waiting for the P-Town ferry.

      • 2karmanot

        Had all my first leather made by the Marquise (NY) …remember him?

    • Gerry Fisher

      “Last call!” 😉

  • sfbob

    New York, Boston, DC, San Francisco and Amsterdam. Back in the early 1980’s, when I lived in DC, the DC Eagle’s restaurant was the place to go for brunch; the food was actually quite good there.

  • John T

    I always make a point to visit the Eagle Tavern whenever I come to San Francisco. It’s one of my favorite places.

    I miss the Eagle on Stark Street in Portland. People who were shocked by the salacious goings-on there would be told, “Oh, you should have seen this place in the 90s!” In the 90s, people told me, “Oh, you should have seen this place in the 80s!”

    The building has been gentrified and, appropriately enough, the ground floor retail spaces now contain an artisanal leather goods boutique and a fancy skin lotion store.

    Years ago there was some bizarre situation where Portland had two Eagles. The owner of the original one neglected to renew his business license or trademark or something so a rival bar owner snatched the name like a cheap wig. Eventually the original Eagle went out of business. The new one is still doing fine even though it’s in a really out-of-the-way neighborhood. I’ve only gone there a couple of times in the past 8 years or so. The owner is a douche and every time I think it’s safe to end my informal boycott of the place, he or the staff do something unforgivable like book a blackface comedian to perform there. WTF!

    • Benny S.

      Rest in peace original Eagle in Portland! And original Silverado. And The Dirty Duck. And Club Portland. And the recent Starky’s. The times they are a-changin’, boo hoo.

  • DanimalChgo

    Chicago, DC, Amsterdam. (Somehow I missed the San Francisco one during the two trips I made there back in ’98-’99.)

  • i used to go to my local eagle. i don’t what’s up these day, this was long ago in my memory. it’s all so different now. the eagle taught me about some gay men, mostly. the women there were always few, but you knew that going in. i learned about how gay men can be mean, nice, weird, fun, lonely… the eagle is an important historical ‘thing’ as the younglings call it these days. i don’t know i could ever make one of them understand what it used to be.

    it might be a good thing that there are fewer of them now. i will not take a side, in that debate, but i will honor the fact that i’m sure if i read these comments later, both arguments will have been made, if not more.

    i can still say i like animal skin style clothing/wrapping/not really covering the body.

  • stuckinthewoods

    Anyone else remember the disco Eagle in Exile in DC?

    • sfbob

      Oh my god do I ever!

      • stuckinthewoods

        Thinking back I suppose it must have been the late 1970s for me. Wonder when it closed.

  • Larry Gist

    The Indianapolis 501 Eagle was not totally gutted by a fire, just a portion of the upstairs bar was affected by the fire. They remodeled it and put in a stage for leather events. Of course anytime you have a stage in a bar, the drag queens seem to thing it was put their specifically for them and so it was that the ONLY gay bar in town the didn’t have drag shows of any sort suddenly had them. I quit going as much after that. Drag queens are fine and they have their place, but for FUCK’S SAKE can’t we have ONE bar that is drag free?

    • Corsair Tact

      That must have been real drag, man.

      Sorry, couldn’t resist… :z

  • Julian (UK)

    The one in London hosts the best named dance night for older guys – called “Horse Meat Disco”!

  • Mark McGovern

    Frequently patronize the Eagle Noir in Montreal. Porno, video poker, pool, and Molson Dry and handsome mature men. Heaven.

  • Gigi

    I wonder if we still have the Black Eagle in Toronto. I tried to go once but wasn’t “leather” enough.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Hmmm… I don’t know that Kansas City has / had an Eagle. But I do remember one bar that had a ” Levi Club “.

  • TJay229

    The Eagle in Atlanta was good, because they changed so much.

    I also visited the ones in Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Chicago, Dallas and St. Lousy

  • royinhell

    Eagles I’ve been to: NYC, DC, Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, SF, Denver, and Baltimore (how I miss their ‘petting zoo’).
    Best memory was at the SF Eagle’s Sunday beer blast, which I always made a point of going to, as the men were plentiful, hot, interesting, and friendly. One late blast when it was lightly raining (great outdoor space) a much-younger English boy took my hand, led me to the upper platform stage space… and slow danced with me in the rain.

    • Corsair Tact

      Oh! I forgot the Baltimore Eagle! Had a couple of nice nights there…

      • royinhell

        Their Full Moon Underwear Party was always fun- I used to go down there just for the Eagle, but it closed in 2012. I was just looking up info- they’re trying to reopen!

  • Giant Monster Gamera

    I used to hang out at the Seattle Eagle in the 90s. Good times and I loved the alternative music. It’s still there though I haven’t been back in ages.

  • madknits

    The Providence Eagle is the home bar for the New England Rubber Men. I’m not much into rubber and latex, but a bunch of friends are. I got to be the Den Daddy during the Mr NERM Contest last year. It was a lot of fun, and I damn near killed myself slipping around on the safe-for-latex lube I had to smear all over those guys.

    • JoeMyGod

      Oops. I totally forgot to add the Providence Eagle to my list below. Had a great time there during Netroots Nation a few years ago.

  • Gerry Fisher

    Boston’s was a neighborhood bar more than a leather/levi bar, very much unlike most Eagle bars. It was the place where the then neighborhood guys met for last call. They attempted a brunch there for a number of years; it wasn’t pretty. 😉

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    The DC Eagle has been in four locations over the last 40 some odd years and I have been to each. The second will always be my favorite. The current one has lots of potential but I leave it to the younger LGBT set to make it work.

    • Lakeview Bob

      I only remember 9th Street, 7th Street and New York Ave. I must have missed one either before the 9th Street bar of possibly between the 7th and NY Ave bar.

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        The new one at Bladensburg Road and Minnesota Avenue NE. An old meat processing plant.

        • off leash

          Now a re-purposed meat processing plant. 😉

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            Not to be confused with a rendering plant.

  • Kevin-in-Honolulu

    For the record, the image that JMG has posted in this story is the Eagle Tavern in San Francisco, where I spent MANY Sunday afternoons on the outside patio in the 1980s…

  • Vista-Cruiser

    It’s pretty clearly not an actual franchise: there’s no common logo, marketing, etc.

    But yes, I’ve had some goooood times in bars named “Eagle”. Let’s see, I know I’ve been to the ones in Amsterdam, Montreal, Toronto, New York, DC, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, and maybe others.

    I met my husband at the Chicago Eagle. It no longer exists, but the two of us have been together for sixteen years.

  • bob

    I remember my friend Michael dragging me to the one in Philadelphia. I loved the discos, and felt a little out of place. It was funny with him trying to butch me up in jeans, flannel shirt and work boots ! lol

  • Treant

    Oh, that old rugged cross…

  • Nic Peterson

    Mmmm. Eagle, Ft Lauderdale. 30 years ago when there were no phones. Good times…

  • Lane

    This seems ripe for a documentary film project!

  • MT YVR

    So I was a gaybe of all of … 24? at the time. I think I still had the factory stickers on me I was so newly out. Having grown up in the back end of nowhere on farms I knew nothing about the gay community.

    And lo I was dragged down from the cold north to DC to my older brother’s wedding. While I’d’ve preferred to preside over a burning of said sibling, there I was. In the house of a man who casually responded to my coming out prior to said festivities by requesting I be nowhere near his 7 year old son, but he loved me and why was I making a fuss about something so unimportant as being gay?

    Older me is having a hard time seeing the screen due to the eye rolling.

    But this sets us up. A friend of the bride is a gay man who offered respite from all this. And he came to the door in beat up work boots, jeans and a rough shirt. Bearing a gift for me.

    A red handkerchief. Which he insisted meant nothing, just thought it was nice, why didn’t I wear it around my neck.

    Which, as a brand new, trusting and desperate gaybe trying to run away.. I did.

    He then took me to the DC Eagle.

    And when I felt the need to urinate he insisted I just wait a minute until he took me to the top floor.

    “No one’s in there, you can use it, no worries…”

    Within SECONDS of me going into the washroom lit by spotlights for landing aircraft, the red handkerchief around my neck, I had a small crowd of friends.

    And the sound of the man who’d brought me into the bar laughing outside the bathroom.

    It was only when I got home that I confirmed red hankies are for fisting (a hobby of his) and around the neck or anything that wasn’t left or right specifically… meant “FREEFORALL”.

    The bastard.

    😉

    • Randolph Finder

      Any idea where the guy who brought you to bar is these days?

      • MT YVR

        Lord no. I fell out with him about a year after and it’s been… GAH. 20 years. GREAT. Now I’ve gone and counted. Damn it. (lol) I was doing so well until just then.

        (off for a pint of something chocolatey to deal with the burn)

        He – the guy – was big in the fisting community in DC. Which… is a whole lotta sentence you never expect to type when you wake up in the morning. But there you go.

        I’m sure he’s still around. Sweet guy, very nice and very honourable at the time. With me at least. It was a hilarious story and one without malice. 😉

        • Randolph Finder

          Well, lesson learned then… 🙂

  • TheManicMechanic

    Let’s see… I’ve been to Baltimore, DC, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Columbus (Eagle and Eagle In Exile), NYC, and Atlanta. I guess all that drinking explains why I can drank y’alls under the table during the GOP debates. 😉

  • StevenMN

    The Minneapolis Eagle is as strong as ever. How they have survived is beyond me. They have a loyal fallowing. What used to be a derelict warehouse district is now a swank arts district and one of priciest real estate locations in the city. They share a neighbor with Starbucks and have pricey condos springing up all around. Its a leather bar but they really cater to everyone. How about karaoke night, Bingo, or a fabulous Sunday brunch. Yes I’m showing my age.

  • Jersey

    No mention in the comments of the Pittsburgh Eagle. I think it was the only gay bar left in the city the last time I went home. Been to the DC, Atlanta, NYC last year on Halloween, the Amsterdam Eagle years ago and when I was 24 I “borrowed” a SF Eagle tee shirt from my partner that he brought back from a visit there that I wore probably 5 days a week I loved it so much. It was yellow with only small letters over the left pec SF Eagle.

  • Acronym Jim

    While Portland (Oregon) still has an Eagle bar on North Lombard that can be fun, I still miss the old Eagle PDX in the old Burnside Triangle gayborhood. It had the classic black walls but also a giant painted eagle head with a laser for an eye.

  • Dale082

    Atlanta | Barcelona | Chicago | DC | Las Vegas | Montreal | NOLA | San Antonio | San Francisco … FSM, I love me some Leather Daddies!

    My first one was on 9th Street in DC (at the tender age of 21), and the one I’d been to the most often was in DC on New York Ave. Lots of fond memories there!

    My partner (now husband) and I got an invitation to an “After Hours Party” at the Eagle in Barcelona back in 2001, and I’ve always regretted not going (the Hubs disapproved). In retrospect that was probably a wise decision. I’m sure I’d have become a complete raging whore since I love Spanish men so much.

    I had the most fun in Atlanta. We fell in with a group of friendly locals and they introduced us to almost every damn body there! Great DJ, great crowd …

    *sigh* … I need a road trip.

  • fuzzybits

    Yea, The Eagle is gone from downtown Columbus. But all the clubs that used to be downtown are gone. 😞

  • Tony Prost

    Got one here in San Diego

  • I grew up in Pittsburgh PA. The only ‘Eagles’ we cared about were the Philadelphia ones which the Steelers (pronounced ‘stillurs’) were supposed to trounce and the Giant Eagle supermarket (pronounce ‘jine-iggle’).

  • Barbaraeclayton3

    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

    two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereo!338➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::o!338…………

  • ajchar

    Detroit;Grand Rapids;Columbus;Baltimore;DC; Charlotte; Fort Lauderdale.

    Lived in suburban Detroit for a few years, the Eagle had a couple of security guards strolling the parking lots to prevent car break-ins but a fun place to visit. Moved to Charlotte, the Eagle was the best. We did snow bunny trips from Michigan to Fort Lauderdale every winter, the Eagle there was a blast, so was the Manhole.

  • Adrianajclark3

    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

    two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereo!141➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::o!141…………