January 20, 2015 at 11:30 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Bowser expected to visit D.C. Eagle
Muriel Bowser, gay news, Washington Blade

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to be among the first to visit the D.C. Eagle’s new home on Saturday, Jan. 24, when the popular gay leather bar is scheduled to host the annual awards reception for the LGBT charitable group Brother Help Thyself.

A press release issued by BHT says the group’s Grants and Awards Reception was set to take place at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 at the Eagle’s new building at 3701 Benning Road, N.E.

“Entertainment will be provided by D.C.’s Different Drummers (a grantee), the fabulous Sophia Carrero, and the legendary Xavier Onassis Bloomingdale,” the release says. “In addition, Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to bring greetings on behalf of the residents of the District of Columbia.”

The press release was issued one day after a spokesperson for the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board told the Washington Blade that the board had approved the Eagle’s request to reactivate its liquor license from its old location 639 New York Ave., N.W., where the bar was displaced by plans to build a new office building.

Spokesperson Jessie Cornelius said the ABC Board also approved the Eagle’s request to transfer the license to its new location.

The Eagle’s co-owners, Ted Clements and Peter Lloyd, haven’t responded to the Blade’s inquiries about when they plan to officially reopen the club. The Eagle’s Facebook and Twitter pages have included reports and photos over the past six months showing construction work taking place inside the new building converting it from a warehouse into a planned tavern, dance hall and restaurant.

The BHT press release says, “parking in the immediate vicinity of the Eagle is virtually non-existent.” It urges people planning to attend the Saturday reception to consider taking Metro, where the Minnesota Avenue Station and an adjacent parking garage are just 0.3 miles from the Eagle.

“Those who drive are not to park in any of the shopping center spaces adjacent to the Eagle,” the press release says. “They could be ticketed and/or towed.” It says there is limited on-street parking along Minnesota Avenue.

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

  • It can be laudable for a new mayor to welcome an old LGBT business to a new location.
    But in the absence of Mayor Bowser showing any concern heretofore for LGBT public safety, hate crimes and intimate partner violence, this could very well be seen as a mere PR photo-op.
    Worse still, given the Bowser Administration's apparent discrimination against DC's MPD special policing Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) for DC's LGBTQ community, this kind of obvious PR plug, might even be considered callous and downright hypocritical.
    It is not enough for a Mayor Bowser to demonstrate 'token liaison' with a single DC LGBT business. The truth is *ALL* LGBT businesses and their LGBTQ patrons deserve to have the benefit of policing services by MPD's award winning GLLU– set up some 15 years ago.
    But MPD's GLLU unit has apparently been ordered to cease routine public communications with DC's LGBTQ community. Why, Mayor Bowser?
    As the Blade has already reported, MPD's bosses have, since the mayoral campaign, inexplicably continued to strip GLLU's core officers of their LGBT patrol and community liaison duties, as well.
    This is institutional anti-LGBT discrimination of a very high order.
    Mayor Bowser and members of Council should articulate (or re-articulate) where they each stand on protecting DC's LGBTQ residents and visitors against the kind of violent hate crimes we've seen in NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC, as well as providing LGBTQ policing services to victims of domestic/intimate partner violence.

  • I thought they had a parking lot

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