I’ve said it before, but it bears reiteration- When a Leather Bar closes down, one doesn’t reopen in it’s place. Our friends at the Baltimore Eagle need our help- you can swing over to http://www.thebaltimoreeagle.com to let the Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore know that you support the owners, management and staff of the Eagle.
BALTIMORE CITY, MD (April, 2015) — The Baltimore Eagle tavern, home to the City’s leather community for over two decades, has commenced renovations in preparation for our grand re-opening in late 2015. Our million-dollar reconstruction aims to restore the Eagle building and brand to its former glory as one of the original, premier leather clubs on the East Coast.
Since we closed our doors for renovation, our new management team has worked cooperatively with City Liquor Board administrators to ensure compliance with the process for successful transfer of our liquor license. In light of our progress, Liquor Board administrators promised us that our liquor license was secure. Nevertheless, on April 9, 2015, after new Liquor Board commissioners were appointed, they decided to revoke our liquor license anyway.
We disagree with the decision of the Liquor Board. We believe that the City should honor its promise to us. Although their stated reason for extinguishing our license is that The Eagle has been closed for renovations for more than 180 days, they’ve set aside the 180-day guideline dozens of times for other bars. And although there is no penalty in law that requires the Liquor Board to revoke our license, they concocted the harshest punishment available. Why are they selectively penalizing The Eagle?
We believe that the process may have been tainted by an improper relationship between one of the commissioners and the community association in opposition who told us, “If you’re planning on putting a gay bar there, we’d have to oppose because a gay bar could bring gay prostitution”. We find the remark, the process, and the punishment justifiably offensive.
The Baltimore Eagle, founded in 1991, is the premiere gay leather bar in the City, and gained national attention both for its leather events, and by contrast, for its community service initiatives. For better than 20 years, The Eagle has been a judgment-free environment, a place where people could go and just be themselves. In The Eagle has hosted benefits for HIV/AIDS awareness, research, and testing programs, as well as services for the elderly and other deserving charities.
We are fighting to right this injustice and we’re doing it by fighting to re-open the Baltimore Eagle, so that those who oppose us may one day release their perverted perceptions and be included among the bonds of fellowship that we feel are one of the many admirable qualities the leather community has to offer. But we can’t do it alone..
Please, help us re-open The Baltimore Eagle; we need your support to revitalize the spirit of this landmark tavern. If you believe in our cause, please use the form below to send your letter of support to Governor Hogan, Mayor Rawlings-Blake, and the Baltimore City Council.
With our sincere appreciation,
The Baltimore Eagle
P.S. We’d like to thank real community leaders Kelly Cross, of the Old Goucher Community Association, Ken Abrams and Ronisha Moore, of the Old Goucher Business Alliance, and the members of their organizations for joining in our fight to re-open The Eagle.