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.