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Many of the suggestions are cost-prohibitive, Lloyd says. He adds that he and Clements would consider any property, whether industrial, retail or residential, as long as the bar would fit well into the surrounding neighborhood and allow for amenities that appeal to the Eagle’s customers.
”We don’t need prime commercial real estate,” says Clements.
Lloyd says his ideal spot would be Metro accessible and have space for parking, though he points out that many customers, especially younger ones, don’t drive.
In terms of space, Clements and Lloyd estimate are willing to work with a wide range – from 3,000 to 20,000 square feet. They are also open to having a restaurant or retail to enhance a new venue.
Based on whatever space they may find, Clements says he’d consider licenses to allow dancing or live music and entertainment, such as DJs, allowing the Eagle to better capitalize on events such as the annual Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend.
As the hunt for a home becomes more pressing, the Eagle team says they’re well prepared to move beyond any of the established ”gayborhoods.”
”We’ve always been the renegades,” Lloyd says, gesturing to the area around the Eagle. ”When this particular bar fist opened, this was no man’s land.”
”We were in between Southeast and Dupont, so people would stop by here on the way in between,” Clements adds.
Plus, adds Lloyd, ”I like being on the other side of the tracks, if you know what I mean.”
For now, they are putting together proposals on the three best pieces of property they’ve found.
With about 75 percent of the capital needed for a down payment on the property, Clements says, the next fundraising push will be a yard sale, which has the added bonus of paring down before a move.
Whatever variables they encounter with a move, the two hope to have a new bar fully operational by February 2013 at the latest. In the meantime, they may rent warehouse space or similar for parties or other events to maintain momentum.
”There are other bars, but they’re not us,” Lloyd says. ”There are other places, but it’s not the Eagle. It doesn’t have the same feel. We are unique.”
Lloyd also notes that unlike some of its current neighbors, the DC Eagle has not required a large police presence to calm rowdy crowds. Nor has the local ANC placed any restrictions on its hours of operation or its noise levels.
”We’re a viable business, and our community’s behind us,” Clements says. ”We are a pillar of the community, and it’s about the footprint we want to create in the next community we land in, and become part of that neighborhood community.”