Eagle building still for sale

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Wednesday April 14, 2021
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The leather pride flag flew outside the Eagle bar in 2018 as construction continued on a mixed-use development that paid for a leather-themed public plaza nearby. Photo: Rick Gerharter
The leather pride flag flew outside the Eagle bar in 2018 as construction continued on a mixed-use development that paid for a leather-themed public plaza nearby. Photo: Rick Gerharter

The building that houses The Eagle, a South of Market leather-themed LGBTQ bar, is still for sale, according to one of the real estate agents.

Brian Leung of Compass Commercial, one of the Realtors listed on a "For Sale" sign at 398 12th Street, told the Bay Area Reporter as much last week when he said the property "has not" been sold.

"There were articles that said it'd changed hands," Leung said, referring to several B.A.R. articles that inaccurately stated the building was sold last year. (Those online versions have been corrected.)

Leung told the B.A.R. that he can't reveal the asking price for the property "because of confidentiality agreements."

The Eagle opened in May 1981 and closed in 2011. It reopened in March 2013 after Lex Montiel and his late business partner, Mike Leon, who died in 2019, bought the business the year prior and revived its enormously popular Sunday beer busts held on its spacious outdoor patio.

When asked for comment via phone for this report, Montiel told the B.A.R. he "would not be able to do that at this moment." When asked if he could be asked why, he replied "no."

The property being put on the market last summer prompted District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents SOMA, to seek to landmark the Eagle bar in order to provide it some protection from being shut down by the new owners, as it being designated a city landmark would require greater scrutiny for any proposed development of the site. As the B.A.R. previously reported, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted February 2 to back Haney's resolution initiating the landmark designation process.

The Historic Preservation Commission is scheduled to vote on the landmark request May 19. It will then return to the supervisors for final approval. The Eagle would be the third gay bar location in the city to be given such a status if approved, and would be the first LGBTQ city landmark located in SOMA, and also the first related to queer leather culture.

As Hoodline originally reported last year, a "For Sale" sign went up on The Eagle in September for the property and not the bar. In October, a representative for Compass had indicated to the B.A.R. that the sale of the corner parcel was underway and the company would provide comment once the transaction was complete.

As the B.A.R. noted at the time, a deed of trust for the property dated September 30 and available on the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder's website listed Robert G. Scypinski as the grantor. He could not be reached for comment at the time, and after several months, Scypinski reached out to Haney's office to say he was not the owner of the 12th Street property but did own property on 12th Avenue in the city. His response was relayed to the B.A.R.

The B.A.R. subsequently reached out to the assessor-recorder's office, which explained that the search function on the website can pull up documents from any relevant numbers related to the address if searched by address. Yuri Yan, a document examiner at the assessor-recorder's office, wrote in an email that he will be "forwarding this type of scenario to my manager to see if the system can be slightly modified."

Only block and parcel number searches will yield clearer results, Yan stated.

A 2009 deed shows John Nikitopoulos as the owner of the building. Haney's office has told the B.A.R. since last fall that neither the property owner nor their representative had reached out to discuss the landmark request.

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