It appears that the LGBT activists have gotten their way and that the Eagle Tavern (12th and Harrison) is to remain a gay bar, hosting all the old Sunday beer-bust fundraisers it used to, and the internet is already abuzz with the news. Drag queen Anna Conda (a.k.a. Entertainment Commissioner Glendon Hyde), who’s been a vocal opponent of anything changing at the Eagle both before and after its 2011 closure announced today on Facebook, “Having a beer because … Eagle to remain GAY!!! Lease signed tonight at six.” And she pointed to this new website for the SF Eagle. We believe this means that the earlier investors, Anderson Pugash, Bruce McDonald, David Brinkley, and possibly another party were let out of their deal with landlord John Nikitopolis following on pressure from the city to do outreach in the gay community, and a subsequent delay in the transfer of the liquor license. The new owners are Mike Leon and Alex Montiel and possibly another partner, and they are the same parties who had tried to sign an earlier lease with Nikitopolis to reopen the Eagle as-is.
Openly gay supervisors Scott Wiener and David Campos were especially vocal in the kerfuffle (Hyde thanks Campos, Christina Olague, and Jane Kim for their support), both giving credence to the idea that the place had some historic and sensitive importance to the community, and that protesters had a reason to be upset — a significant group of them showed up to speak at a Board of Supervisors committee hearing and succeeded in getting the license delayed. But the supes stopped short of saying the liquor license could ever be denied to the new lessees.
But last week, Pugash went to the press suggesting that he and his partners could not shoulder the burden of paying rent while the city dragged their feet and the protests went on, and that the landlord needed to be fair to them about this political hornet’s nest they unknowingly stepped in. Yesterday, the Chronicle continued their coverage of the battle, seeming to side with the LGBT faction, Hyde included, who was quoted in the piece.
We’ve reached out to the Supervisors for more of the scoop, and will update you as we learn more.
Update: Supervisor Wiener confirmed for us that Montiel and Leon, who are both believed to be gay, were the same parties who had entered into an earlier deal with the landlord that fell through at the last moment. “Supervisor Kim and I were working closely with them on that deal, and now that the new interested parties have backed out of their lease, the landlord has signed a new lease with these guys.”
This Just In: The Gays Get to Keep the Eagle [SFist]
Earlier: Controversial Eagle Tavern Replacement May Get Nixed
Exclusive: Eagle Tavern May Become Upscale Restaurant and Bar From Foreign Cinema Investor [Updated]