Baltimore Eagle Eyes New Year’s Eve Opening

Bucking the nationwide trend of gay bars closing. The Washington Blade reports:

The Baltimore Eagle, the city’s iconic leather bar, may have its long-awaited opening on New Year’s Eve. “We’re doing two inspections this week,” Charles King, general manager of the Baltimore Eagle, told the Blade. “We’re still hopeful of opening even partially by New Year’s Eve. Keeping our fingers crossed.” The inspections will be conducted by Baltimore City officials.

The bar, located at 2022 N. Charles St., closed in 2012 following the death of its owner Richard Richardson. The Eagle was purchased by Charles and Ian Parrish in 2013, and a major renovation and construction effort costing approximately $1 million got underway. There was a setback with the Baltimore City Liquor Board in 2015, but the management team persevered. While construction continued, they obtained the needed liquor license in September.

“The bar itself will not just be one bar, but rather a collection of bars, restaurants, a leather and adult retail store, a package goods store, a lounge featuring a collection of leather community history and artifacts, and an event space inspired by Bohemian romance and cabaret nostalgia that will bring the NYC and Montreal music scene to Baltimore, all on multiple levels and taking a much larger footprint than the previous Eagle,” Miles Crackow, the director of social media and public relations, told the Blade in September.

I met the owners last year during a gay journo conference in Baltimore. Nice guys and JMG readers. See their website here. (Tipped by JMG reader KD)

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    It’s been almost 20 years since I left the Baltimore area, but I spent many happy hours there. I wish them the best of luck with their reopening.

    • Lars De

      I thought you looked familiar, lol.

  • bkmn

    I hope they do well. Nice to see one opening, it is a nice change from the trend.

    • AngelaChanning

      In Baltimore, we are excited about this. For the past couple of years, we have experienced some turmoil at our LGBTQ+ community center, and this past year at our LGBTQ+ health care provider. Things are starting to turn around in our community. When the “old” Eagle was open, it was a nice crowd.

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  • bdsmjack

    Good news, for a change. Good luck!

  • JDS

    Good to know the Beagle is still around.

  • Sam_Handwich

    i’ve been wondering how to get the under 35 crowd interested in gay bars, not just as entertainment venues, but as institutions vital to our community

    maybe this is the trick – make it everything, from a club to dining to retail.

    best of luck, guys

    • BobSF_94117

      Maybe free WiFi?

      • Lars De

        Maybe leather chaps that are organic and resemble skinny jeans?

      • Sam_Handwich

        so you can cruise the guy standing 5 feet away from you, without the annoyances of data charges and personal interaction! 😀

      • Gerry Fisher

        Definitely part of it, yes.

    • KCMC

      combining restaurant and multiple bars is strong model. We’ve lost the food hang outs but community gathers around food.

      • Sam_Handwich

        hubs and i try to support our one remaining gay bar, but we hang out at restaurant bars mostly.

    • Nausea

      Maybe once they start to lose some of the moderate to minimal amount of rights that those before them had to fight tooth and nail to win, they will begin to understand community, the need/benefit of a gay bar and the role it has historically played for our community.

    • Mike_in_the_Tundra

      Even that has it’s problems. The 90s in Minneapolis was like that, and it was great. Except …… many straight people walked through and stared at us like we were exhibits in a zoo.

  • Lars De

    I was a very frequent patron of The Baltimore Eagle through the later 90s. It was a wonderful combination of Cheers and a sweaty locker room, a very friendly crowd always willing to lend a hand (or a mouth). I don’t know the new owners personally but I’ve talked with many people who do. I’ve yet to hear one person have anything bad to say about them at all. I’m not just going to wish them well, I’m going to venture out and be a patron. In this age it takes balls to undertake a project (and risk) of this magnitude, and I’m all about balls!

  • PickyPecker

    It’s always a major undertaking to get an establishment open and running given the codes, inspections and endless red tape.
    SO worth it, guys!! Best of luck on your opening and i hope you get to enjoy yourselves and things run smoothly for you.
    If I get to the area, I’ll definitely stop in for a bump.

  • johncAtl

    There’s some things on their menu I want to try – YMCA Chicken, and Greg’s foot long sausage.

  • Kevin Perez

    I wish them much success. I will have to pay a visit soon.

  • Jmdintpa

    GOOD LUCK !!!

  • Bj Lincoln

    You have no idea how much we need this bar. I can’t wait!

    • another_steve

      Particularly nice in light of the relatively recent closing of The Hippo — also on N. Charles.

      Did you frequent The Hippo?

      • Gerry Fisher

        I’m a Leon’s kind of guy (bear evenings on Fridays and Sundays). That being said, it was such a bummer to see the Hippo go. And to be turned into a giant CVS, as if we needed another one of those. 🙁

        • another_steve

          The Hippo was very special and there, on that corner, for so many years. It was there in 1979 when I moved to the Baltimore area. The man and I, for many years, alternated Saturday nights between The Hippo and The Club Atlantis.

          Two very different experiences, but both fun.

          • Mike_in_the_Tundra

            I met my late husband in the Hippo, so I have always considered in a good place.

  • royinhell

    But will they still have the monthly Full Moon Underwear Party and the Petting Zoo area? Those who’ve been there will know what I mean… ; )
    I used to go down there solely for the BEagle… hope to get there soon!

  • TominDC

    They’ve been saying that “they’re opening soon” for (literally) years now.

    I wish them luck, but who knows if they’ll actually open before 2017.

  • Mark

    Discus should go outside and spank itself…..

    • TuuxKabin

      Yes, stay out there and freeze. Fookin’ annoying today. All day it’s been messed up.

      • Mark

        it’ll be here come sunday….and i ain’t all happy…

    • KCMC

      Friday night, everyone should spank their discus.

  • andrew

    It looks like a lot of effort and money went into that facility. I hope they have great success.

  • txstevo

    That font is terrible

    • Gerry Fisher

      Now that you mention it, kinda bland, eh?

    • Chris Baker

      Futura Extra Bold rocks!

  • Gerry Fisher

    The husband and I will certainly check it out. The sports bar sounds great for the Super Bowl.

  • Skip Intro

    As a Baltimoron, I respect the city’s charm … a gritty charm but an authenticity you’ll not see in D.C. In one single afternoon, I sat next to John Waters at an early screening of “It Follows,” and on the way home I spotted Colby Keller hangin’ at Iggy’s Pizza. Keep Baltimore queer, hon … and just a little sleazy.

  • Deppa Kote

    Good luck, guys! Shout out to all of metro Baltimore – get out and support this place. Support your community – it is important now more than ever to support gay businesses.

  • ajchar

    I was at the old Baltimore Eagle once, had fun. My niece was marrying her high school sweetheart in Annapolis, a graduating Marine cadet. Future hubby & I roadtripped from Michigan.