Eagle’s Nest: New York Gay Leather Landmark Renovated


Towleroad reader Duke Sherman sent us some photos to let us know that the space which used to house NYC legendary leather bar The Eagle, seen above at its original location at 11th Ave. and 21st street back in the day, is under renovation.


Above, the property in Google's most recent "street view" capture. 

Below, Sherman's pics. He writes: "I walked by the old Eagle this weekend and they were hauling out the entire interior… something is going to arise from the ashes. This location was before my time, the pix are pretty crappy, but perhaps someone can make something of this. One of those NYC time capsules that opens up every so often, an homage to a different time."


A history of The Eagle here.



  1. says

    The old Eagle’s Nest was a fun place, though occasionally those leather queens could get pissy. I recall one incident where my friend Bill Hoffman (“As Is,” “The Ghosts of Versailles”) was barred from entering because he was carrying an umbrella.

    “How do you know what I’m going to use this for?” he asked.

    They had no reayd answer.

  2. Jonathan says

    The old Eagle was WAY better than the new one, which is just faux all the way. People never went just to the Eagle. They went to the Spike and the Eagle, which were both on the West Side Highway in the 20s a couple of blocks apart.

    In the summer, men lined the walls between the two bars and it was like a meat rack. People just walked back and forth browsing, cruising, whatever. I can’t stay at the current Eagle for more than 20 minutes. It really has nothing to do with what it was originally.

    I hope it becomes another bar.

  3. MichaelDC says

    Loved the old eagle and spike. NYC still had character when those places were still open, along with crow bar and the original cock and jackie 60.

  4. 207guy says

    I second the comments regarding the superiority of the Spike.

    Of course, I was a Lure fan as well (sigh).

  5. Barry Grubs says

    I was a barback at the Eagle in the mid 90’s and I absolutely loved it there…yea, the Spike was more popular but the Eagle had more soul. Great music, bartenders who’d been there for years and just a great place to hang out, cruise, relax and have fun. I too was a LURE fan, but noting will ever replace those nights I spent schlepping empty beer bottles to the back room, hitting on men, having a shot or two while Jack wasn’t looking and just feeling like a part of a family.

  6. David Jarrett says

    I remember when the Eagle first opened. For a short time, the south side was a restaurant. Coincidentally, the prices on a steak dinner were actually below the price of the same size steak in a grocery store. At that time, guys went to gay bars to actually cruise other guys and pick them up for SEX. Today, young guys have no idea how to cruise. They can only go on web sites and text, text, text. Sad.

  7. Jonathan says

    Yeah, should have been clear. It was all about the Spike except for guys from the East Village or UWS who had secret desires for gay men who looked liked the men at the Spike. They used to make special trips to the Eagle because the Spike was just too scary for them and too scary to admit they went to.

  8. andrew says

    i remember ‘speagling’ too. i had just moved here from europe, one saturday/sunday at the saint the next week speagling and ending up at the anvil. if that was raided we went to rawhide at 8.00am
    both were very expensive nights out
    i was young fresh foreign blood and i loved it all

  9. andrew says

    i just got very sad and lonely….what happened to them all,
    well we all know. as someone said earlier
    nothing ever is or will be what it once was.

  10. Jay says

    The Eagle started it – and the Spike refined it. There will never be another leather bar like the Spike. I knew guys who flew in from Europe for the weekend just to be there. Lament its passing, but know you were among the Old Guard who made the place what it was. To every guy I made out with – thanks for the memories!

  11. doug says

    more tham memories, those places were integral parts of our lives and still are alive, as long as we are.

  12. says

    Remember working there 1 night. Sweeping the floor, here come Russ (RIP) picking up each and every ashtray and dumping each one to the floor. My partner is like “why the fuck he do that for?” lol We definitely miss old dirty unsafe New York City.

  13. Richard, DC now, born in the Bronx says

    How far back do you guys go?
    I remember the Eagle, which we never called the Eagle, but did call it the Eagle’s Nest, in the early to mid 1970’s. And Spike.
    I was only in my early 20’s then and recall being a little intimidated by the leather crowd. They were really specialty bars aimed at a specific clientele, and they did not appreciate “tourists.”
    Good times!

  14. says

    To: Richard, DC now, born in the Bronx. I started going to the Eagle’s Nest in the mid 1980’s as a teenager. Started working there in 1993 when I met my partner Rob. It took my 2 years to actually go inside, for whatever reason it sorta intimidated me also.

    Thinking back now, That’s the only thing I would love to do over. Wish I would have gone in the weekend after stumbling upon the Spike & The Eagle’s Nest.. Don’t get me wrong, had a blast on the cruisin’ block 22nd street lol, that made up for not going in those 2 years.

  15. Mark Johnson says

    I remember going there with my first boyfriend, Tom Hack, on a Friday or Saturday afternoon late for “Nest Tea;” it was the first time I was in a leather bar and I loved it. This was back in 1976. I remember it being called the “Eagle’s Nest”.