Located at 11th. Avenue and 21st. Street, NYC’s The Eagle’s Nest was originally a longshoreman’s bar called the Eagle Open Kitchen from 1931 – 1970 which was then acquired by Jack Modica who turned the rough and tumble pub into a Leather/ Levi bar
With a few coats of black paint and an old beat up motorcycle for decoration, a gay institution was born. “The Eagle” was open 7 days a week including holidays. And was always the place to go.
Back in those days it’s patrons loved the isolation and the raw masculinity of this dark sexual playground and bar on the West Side Highway. Cigars, uniforms, poppers, and sex in the bathrooms and backroom were on the menu nightly.
But with the onset of AIDS in the mid – late 80’s, sexual habits were changing and the gay community was reassessing itself. By the 90’s the neighborhood was evolving and the frontier was now being gentrified. Old warehouses were converted into upscale loft buildings or art galleries. Landlords were not renewing old leases and by the year 2000, Jack Modica chose to retire rather than to reopen The Eagle elsewhere.
And while a new version of called the Eagle NYC was reopened on, October 5, 2001, by different owners at 554 W 28th Street it was never the same.
The video below taken after hours shortly before it’s closing and is all remains other than the memories of its patrons of the infamous gay leather bar.
Have a story about the original Eagle’s Nest? Post it below and share the memories.
In what the New York Police Department is calling an “inspection” but what patron’s, are calling a “raid” happened this past Friday night, the same night that same-sex marriage became legal in New York and on the weekend of NYC’s 41st Gay Pride weekend commemorating the raid of another gay bar, The Stonewall Inn.
Allen Roskoff, 61, a veteran gay-rights activist who was not at the Eagle, said, “In typical New York City Police Department fashion, the N.Y.P.D. demonstrated its disrespect for the gay community by raiding the Eagle mere moments after the passage of most important piece of gay rights legislation in history.”
But some accounts of the inspection diverged significantly, in places, from what the police described. For instance, (Eagle owner Robert Berk) said the inspection lasted about two hours, while (Police Department’s chief spokesman David Browne) said it was completed in about 45 minutes.
Along with flashlights being shined in people’s faces, lights were turned off and patrons were forced to empty their pockets “without probable cause,” Mr. Shevlin said
The original Eagles nest closed on March 3-5, 2000 (RIP). Employees still wanted to continue the Eagle’s Nest legacy so they opened the “new” Eagle Bar October 5th 2001 in a different location. Times were different, gone was the backroom and much of the “sleaze” Which makes this “raid” on this particular weekend even more frustrating. And I say RAID because an inspection DOES NOT make patron’s empty out their pockets unless of course it was an inspection in Nazi Germany in 1940.
A reader of the blog called Kenneth in 212 recalls what happened. Yes, I was there and they definitely raided it. I argued with the police there for an hour over the outrage and eventually left. I am going to try to organize a response, like I did after the raids 3 years ago after Pride.”
Channing Tatum recently spoke with NYMag/Vulture online about his recent movie The Eagle where he plays a Roman soldier who has a short tunic and agiant sword. In The Eagle, Tatum’s commander has a power (bottom) switch with his slave (Jamie Bell) while on a mission.
Well there are swords, and two guys are sword fighting. There’s a metaphor there I’m sure. And back in the Roman day I think it was probably more accepted than it is now. But there’s none in the movie. Me and [director Kevin Macdonald] talked a lot before we started filming: There is no love story in the movie, but it’s a relationship movie for sure. … I think Jamie had a lot of fun having me as a slave. I don’t think I took advantage of it like I should have when he was my slave. But Jamie, yeah — he abused me. So maybe there was some frustration coming out a little bit here and there. … Jamie and I have a bromance. We’ve been having sex for a few years now. [… It’s] going fantastic
Looks like little Billy Elliott is growing up nicely and thanks to Tatum’s interview I am sure we all look forward to the Unrated Director’s cut. Tweet