November 20, 2014 at 10:29 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
DC Eagle postpones re-opening
D.C. Eagle, gay news, Washington Blade

The DC Eagle’s reopening at a converted warehouse on Benning Road was postponed. No new opening date was announced. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

The DC Eagle announced on its website that it has postponed its reopening at its new home in a converted warehouse building at 3701 Benning Road, N.E., which had been scheduled for Nov. 22.

“It is with much regret that we announce the DC Eagle will not be open as planned for our Anniversary weekend November 22,” the announcement says. “We are diligently working to finish the new DC Eagle and hope to announce its grand reopening soon.”

The announcement came after Celia Properties Limited Partnership, a company that owns a shopping center located next to the Eagle’s property, filed a petition with the D.C. Court of Appeals asking the court to allow it to protest the Eagle’s application for a liquor license.

The company’s petition calls on the court to overturn a decision by the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board denying its request to protest the license on grounds that it failed to file the protest before the deadline for filing such an action had lapsed.

The ABC Board has ruled in favor of the Eagle and against Celia Properties in at least three prior requests by Celia to block the Eagle from opening. The Advisory Neighborhood Commission with jurisdiction over the Eagle’s property has voted to support the Eagle’s license application.

The company’s attorney has told the Washington Blade its opposition is based on concerns that a tavern and entertainment venue of the size planned by the Eagle would create parking and pedestrian safety problems, among other concerns. The attorney, Roderic Woodson, said the opposition has nothing to do with the Eagle’s status as a gay establishment.

Court records show that Celia Properties filed its petition with the Court of Appeals on Oct. 10, four days after it signed a settlement agreement with the Eagle over the Eagle’s separate license application for a cigar bar planned to open in the same building called Terminal Alley. The agreement calls for the Eagle to prevent its patrons from parking their cars in the shopping center’s parking lot and requires the Eagle to arrange for valet parking for its customers.

A spokesperson for the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, of which the ABC Board is a part, has said final approval of the Eagle’s license application is dependent upon completion of its construction work and its receiving an occupancy permit from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

“There are a number of outstanding documents that must still be submitted in order for the application to be deemed complete and submitted to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board for final consideration,” said spokesperson Jessie Cornelius in a Nov. 12 email to the Blade.

The Eagle’s co-owners, Ted Clements and Peter Lloyd, have declined to comment on legal issues related to their application process, saying they prefer not to debate regulatory and licensing related issues in the media.

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

2 Comments
  • Why is the DC Eagle agreeing to do valet parking for patrons? I don't want someone driving my car and likely damaging it in the process let alone have to tip them for the service. I want to park on my own. Taking metro to get there is another lousy option if your coming from Virginia or Maryland. Who wants to go through the trouble of taking a long metro ride then walking several blocks only to run back to the metro before the last train connection home?

    Parking should have been a primary consideration when picking a location. Many patrons stopped going to the old Eagle once parking became a problem in the 7th street area and often the bar was dead as a result which just discouraged many from going at all.

  • The Minnesota Avenue Metro station is ONE BLOCK from the new Eagle.Not "several blocks". While parking is always a consideration for opening an establishment,it is not the ONLY one.Finding a location that is not priced so high in the stratosphere rent or mortgage-wise,that running a business that makes money business would be essentially impossible.
    if they cannot come to an agreement with the a-holes who own the parking lot,because they wanna play hardball.how is that their fault?
    The ABC board and the neighborhood ANC have been very supportive of their move to this location.
    Now lets ALL come together and support them when they open.Unless you WANT to lose YET ANOTHER DC establishment to the developers wrecking ball(and silly sissy complaints about small issues)

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