Hol­i­day Recipe

GA Voice - - Food & Mixology -

This is go­ing to sound hokey, but I love the peo­ple. We get ev­ery­body at the Ea­gle. Peo­ple think it’s just a leather bar be­cause they have this pre­con­ceived no­tion about it. But here lately, es­pe­cially over the past two years, we’ve had a whole new de­mo­graphic of peo­ple. They just enjoy the space.

We want peo­ple in our com­mu­nity to see us as a neigh­bor­hood bar. Ev­ery­body is wel­come. The bar owner, Richard (Ramey), came up with a slo­gan dur­ing Pride week­end: “What­ever you’re into, that’s what we are.”

Dur­ing the week­days, it still has that leather-esque feel. But on Fri­days and Satur­days, we are just one of the most fun places you can be in At­lanta. Af­ter 10, which is like the mag-

Some­times. I re­mem­ber there was this one guy who liked to dress up in drag but he didn’t feel like he’d be com­fort­able there. I just told him, “If any­body both­ers you, you just let me know. Be­cause you’re wel­come here and they’re not.” He loved com­ing in af­ter that.

Back in Septem­ber of 2009, the Ea­gle made na­tional news when it was raided by the At­lanta Po­lice Depart­ment. It was later con­firmed that the po­lice broke sev­eral laws, lied and acted in­ap­pro­pri­ately to many pa­trons. Do you think the rep­u­ta­tion of the bar was af­fected by that?

At first, peo­ple were really sup­port­ive, but then they started to dis­ap­pear. It kind of co-

De­cem­ber 11, 2015

Santa’s Milk

in­cided with the tim­ing and use of (so­cial me­dia and dat­ing) apps. Once upon a time, leather bars were kind of thought of as be­ing th­ese crazy hot spots where all of th­ese things were go­ing on. But we’ve had to change our im­age for the bet­ter.

Peo­ple still find each other there, but that’s the case with any bar. For us, it’s more about find­ing friend­ships and be­ing the place where it doesn’t mat­ter who you are or what you look like, you’re go­ing to have a good time and peo­ple are go­ing to love you.

We’d like to hear your best bar­tender story.

I had a guy that came in. It was his first gay bar ex­pe­ri­ence and I was the first gay bar­tender that he knew. He was kind of scared. I tried to put him at ease and he ended up feel­ing so com­fort­able there that about four months later, on Hal­loween, he came in with his par­ents. They were all in cos­tumes and they had the best time to­gether. It was fan­tas­tic to see. That’s why I do this.

Mixol­o­gist Tony Jackson has been serv­ing At­lanta Ea­gle cus­tomers for eight years. (Photo via Face­book)

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