Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

[Update]: SF Eagle owners announce reopening

eagle logo[Update Friday, March 1]: SF Eagle owners Mike Leon and Alex Montiel posted on Facebook today, “As of this afternoon, we have officially passed our final inspection, and we are happy, proud and excited” to announce that the bar will open for business at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2.

“It has been a long journey to get us to where we are today, but we know that we could not have done it without you, our amazing community, who have stood by us from the beginning,” the two said in their message.

It appears it could be some time before they can have too much of a party on the patio, though.

Entertainment Commission Executive Director Jocelyn Kane said today that to have amplified sound such as a DJ or live band on the patio, the bar has to have a sound permit, which Leon and Montiel haven’t yet applied for.

They could still have people on the patio without the permit, but that’s not something Kane’s commission oversees.

The entertainment permit, which would cover the bar’s interior, is separate from the sound permit.

Kane said she doesn’t really have any concerns about the bar.

“I don’t keep up with the gossip about our applicants,” she said. “I don’t know exactly why there would be a concern at this point.”

She couldn’t predict exactly when the entertainment permit would go into effect. It depends on when they get sign-offs from the various city departments.

On the inside of the bar, they could have a jukebox or piped-in music without the entertainment permit. It’s not clear if they could also have that kind of music outside without a permit. Kane didn’t respond to requests for a follow-up interview late Friday.

Planning Department spokeswoman Joanna Linsangan said in an email,We signed off on the health permit this week. Theoretically the bar could reopen when the owners wanted to, because they didn’t request a change of use under the planning code.” [End update].

An owner of the SF Eagle tavern is set to appear before the San Francisco Entertainment Commission Tuesday, March 5 to discuss getting a permit from the oversight panel.

The legendary leather bar, at 398 12th Street, has been shuttered since April 2011.  New owners Mike Leon and Alex Montiel announced in September that they planned to bring the South of Market tavern back, but no reopening date’s been announced.

Glendon Hyde, better known by his drag persona Anna Conda, plans to relaunch his Charlie Horse drag show at the bar April 6.

In an interview today (Thursday, February 28), Hyde, an entertainment commissioner, expressed confidence the Eagle would be back in business in plenty of time for the show, which he used to do at the Cinch Saloon on Polk Street.

“They are extremely, extremely close, I know,” Hyde said of the Eagle. “It should be open within the next two weeks, if not sooner.”

Leon, who’s expected to appear before the commission, and Montiel couldn’t be reached late Thursday.

Two organizations recently announced fundraisers at the bar, but had to cancel them because the space wasn’t ready.  The San Francisco Bay Area Leather Alliance is trying its luck with a “victory beer bust” at the Eagle planned for Sunday, March 3, according to the nonprofit’s website. Emails to the alliance didn’t get a response Thursday afternoon.

Hyde doesn’t think there’s much work left to do other than getting staff from city agencies, including planning and fire, to sign off on work that’s been done at the bar.

Getting the tavern ready has been “more expensive than anyone realized,” he said.

“I think the building was in terrible, terrible shape,” Hyde said. “There was a lot to do.”

Additionally, he said, “With anyone opening a small business, there are just so many people who can retard the progress,” such as when a city investigator wanted to continue an examination of the roof, which the bar’s owners recently rebuilt.

The bar’s owners are also facing a lawsuit from a real estate consultant who says they owe her thousands of dollars, but it’s not clear if the case is having an impact on when he Eagle will reopen.

Hyde, who talks to Leon and Montiel about once a week, hasn’t seen the inside of the bar recently.

“I purposely am staying away,” he said. “I just want to see it when it opens.”

The commissioner is recusing himself from the vote on the Eagle. He’s been involved with trying to reopen the bar as a gay space since it shut down almost two years ago, before he was even a member of the entertainment panel.

“There’s no way I could vote” on the bar’s permit, Hyde said.

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at Room 416, City Hall,  1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, February 28, 2013 @ 7:40 pm PST
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