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.