Friday, November 16, 2012

60 Kinksters Attend
Eagle Tavern Meeting

I've got a follow up report to my post last week promoting a forum about the reopening of the Eagle Tavern and associated kink community issues South of Market. Last night, about sixty men and one woman attended a robust and wide-ranging two-hour discussion at the Beatbox Club on 11th Street. There was a diversity of ages and kinky interests represented, but lacked ethnic variety and everyone was putting forward creative do-able ideas and positive vibes.

Many thanks to the Beatbox Club co-owner Brian Kent for making his space available, to Demetri Moshoyannis, pictured right in blue shirt, for facilitating the meeting with a gentle touch that allowed attendees to set the agenda and keep it moving. Much gratitude to Eagle owners Mike Leon and Alex Montiel for engaging the community for ways to make the new venue a success for them as businessmen and for the kinksters of all stripes.

First off, Mike and Alex hope to be open before the new year dawns. They have all of the necessary permits and are purchasing equipment. A booted Daddy wants male bootblacks on duty at beer busts, which may happen on Saturdays and Sundays unlike in previous times only on the latter.

Since men in fetish wear and gear come to SOMA to enjoy a few bar and venues and not just the Eagle, a shuttle van to safely get guys around the neighborhood was proposed.

Other ideas dealt with organizing leather, social and biker club nights, offering soft drink specials at beer busts for our sober brothers and sisters, reviving Thursday night live rock music events that were wildly popular with straight people. Everyone agreed we want our straight friends to come back and feel welcome.

City Hall has a number of significant planning and land-use changes in the pipeline that will further dramatically gentrify the Folsom Street and 11th Street corridors. They include amending some historical preservation designations, constructing additional condos, developing new small businesses and turning Folsom Street into a two-way street. That last item was news to lots of us.

I suggested transforming the Eagle into a private sex space on a slow night, charging nominal membership and entry fees, an idea that received nods and murmurs of approval. The sticking point would be determining state liquor laws and keeping the booze locked up on sex nights, hopefully rendering the bar free of liquor-and-sex prohibition statutes.

Demetri broached the topic of DJs and their eclectic tastes in alt or 70s punk or classic rock styles, and that it seemed to keep the customers happy. This gave me the chance to say how I don't go to Blow Buddies as often I'd like because the thumping bass music and loudness detract from my primary agenda of oral sex. My suggestion to Mike and Alex was to retain the policy of high-volume speakers inside the bar and a lower sound out on the patio so guys can cruise and talk at the same time.

Toward the end, wealthy gay man Tom Taylor, who really controls the flagpole and flags at Harvey Milk Plaza on behalf of MUMC bosses, said he wants to donate the old Leather Pride flag to the Eagle. Leather leader Steve Gaynes explained that MUMC will no longer fly the black-and-blue kink flag in September and someone suggested erecting a 70-foot flagpole somewhere in SOMA and flying the kink flag from it.

Finally, there was general agreement to create a fabulous future for the Eagle, its patrons and the SOMA neighborhood, with a deep commitment honoring our collective kink history and our friends and lovers who have passed away.

Here's a short video I shot early in the meeting:

Big thanks and hugs to all participants who make last night the best community forum I've been to all year. We could use more meetings like it.

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