December 23, 2013 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Eagle seeks to move to Benning Road
D.C. Eagle, gay news, nightlife, Benning Road, Washington Blade

The D.C. Eagle is leaving its New York Avenue location and moving to a warehouse building at 3701 Benning Road, N.E.

The D.C. Eagle, a gay bar since 1971, filed papers with the city on Dec. 13 to move into a three-story warehouse building at 3701 Benning Rd., N.E., where it proposes to operate as a tavern and restaurant and offer live entertainment, dancing, a rooftop “summer garden” and a small retail gift shop.

Co-owners Theodore “Ted” Clements and Peter Lloyd filed the papers with the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration as an application to transfer the Eagle’s liquor license from its current location at 639 New York Ave., N.W.

The popular bar, which caters to a leather-Levi clientele, must leave the New York Avenue location by Jan. 31 to make way for the construction of a new office building. Clements told the Blade in an interview last year that the Eagle has been in the New York Avenue building for more than 25 years and operated in two other downtown D.C. locations since first opening on 9th Street, N.W. in 1971.

Clements and Lloyd couldn’t immediately be reached this week to discuss the application to move to the Benning Road location.

The 18-page application submitted to ABRA asks for an entertainment endorsement, a feature that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which is an arm of ABRA, must approve for taverns to offer certain types of entertainment.

“Types of entertainment include dancing, four piece bands, open mic, contests and fundraisers for charity,” the application says. “Dance floor will approximate 800 square feet and a small retail gift shop will be included on the premises,” it says,

The application says the new Eagle building would also feature a rooftop summer garden with 100 seats and a sidewalk café with 36 seats.

In a space on the application form that asks if “any other business” would be conducted on the premises, Clements and Lloyd replied that a tavern called Terminal Alley LLC and a catering service called “Eagle Eye Catering LLC” would operate “adjacent” to the D.C. Eagle but in the same building.

A spokesperson for the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue said records show the building at 3701 Benning Rd., N.E. consists of 16,984 square feet of “gross building area.”

Evie Washington, a member Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7F, which has jurisdiction over the area where the building is located, said she met earlier this month with the two principals of the Eagle and their attorney at their request to discuss their plans for the building.

“They want to be good neighbors,” she said.

Washington noted that the building is located two and a half blocks from the Minnesota Ave., Metro station and a short distance from access to Interstate Rt. 295, which feeds into Maryland and Virginia. She said the area surrounding the intersection of Benning Rd. and Minnesota Ave., where the Eagle is seeking to move, is experiencing new residential and commercial development.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

3 Comments
  • We hope we can make it to the grand opening

  • Cant wait to see what they can do with all that space. Remaining positive…

  • This is the biggest joke to hit Washington since Marion Barry! The Eagle and there owners had over two years to find a new place to move and are now playing a catch-up game, this is a prime example of how to not run a business. They had plenty of opportunity to move to locations in NW near Metro stations not only to say in a SAFE neighborhood! Why should GLBT support this train wreck from a group who didn’t have the decency to have working toilets in their currant location and never cared about you’re safety and comfort which seems now to continue to this day!

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