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Thursday, April 14, 2011

S.F. Supervisors Fire Warning Shot at Landlord Whose Actions Could Close the Eagle Tavern

Posted on Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 4:00 PM

DREW.STAFFEN/FLICKR

Three San Francisco supervisors have jumped into the dispute over the potential closing of the iconic Eagle Tavern. Supervisors Scott Wiener, Jane Kim, and David Campos sent SF Weekly a copy of a letter Thursday addressed to acting Police Chief Jeff Godown. In it, they instruct him to heavily scrutinize any transfer of the liquor license and consider how losing the Eagle would affect the LGBT community.

The Eagle Tavern, which recently celebrated its 30th year, is one of San Francisco's oldest gay bars and has long been a center of the city's queer community.

"We are adamantly opposed to any sale that would result in the Eagle's destruction," states the letter, dated April 14.

The supervisors state that the current owners of the bar wish to sell the establishment to a current employee who would keep it intact. "Unfortunately, the landlord is attempting to force a sale to a new owner who, as we understand it, will dramatically change the bar so it is no longer the Eagle and probably no longer a gay bar."

Wiener, Kim, and Campos acknowledge that the license transfer may not come before the Board of Supervisors, and "We request that SFPD closely scrutinize, consistent with applicable legal standards, any requested liquor license transfer relating to the Eagle to ensure that any such transfer will not harm the LGBT community by putting an end to the Eagle," the letter states.

The three supervisors recognize the Eagle's place in San Francisco's queer community:

"Its loss would be a huge blow to the community and to the South of Market Neighborhood. The Eagle has been a key part of the LGBT community on many levels and has raised millions of dollars over the years for LGBT and HIV service organizations."

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