A Saturday-afternoon fire has temporarily flushed Montrose bar The Eagle from its roost at 611 Hyde Park Blvd — day-drinkers at the hotspot’s newish location reported smelling smoke and seeing lights flicker just before a manager ran downstairs to the first-floor bar area in the converted Depression Era-home to hustle patrons and staffers out. Owner Jay Allen told KTRK’s Deborah Wrigley that the permit had been approved for an already-installed sprinkler system in the building, but the City hadn’t hooked up the water yet. (No injuries were reported.)
Despite heavy smoke and fire damage to the second and third floors and water damage to the first, owner Jay Allen vows that the club will swoop back to its Montrose aerie (pictured above during the 2015 Pride season) as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Eagle is screaming again (albeit only on Sundays) at its old bayouside digs downtown — “the dungeon” in the basement space at 709 Franklin — until repairs on the Hyde Park building are completed.
While often mistaken for a franchise outpost, The Eagle is independent of (and somewhat less leather-oriented than) the dozen or so leather-fetish-and-or-sports bars bearing that same name from coast to coast and (formerly) into Chicago. Since 2014, Houston’s Eagle had been nesting in the 30-year home of the 611 Club, a taxidermy-packed gay bar that opened over the objections of the Avondale Association Home Owner’s Association in 1984. The 611 Club was celebrated in the long-defunct Montrose Voice as a key point in Montrose’s “Golden Triangle for bar lovers, a nice walk from the Mining Company, JR’s, the Barn, Ripcord, Lola’s, Charlotte’s, and Al’s.”
- Employees and customers sent scrambling when smoke filled Montrose area club [KTRK]
- The Eagle Houston [Facebook]
- 611 Club Opens on Hyde Park, Finally (1984) [The Montrose Voice, via scanned clippings from the Texas Obituary Project]
Photo: Eagle Houston