Mark Hunker, the co-owner of the 18th & U Duplex Diner, has purchased the legal rights to the name, trademark, logo, and other intellectual property belonging to the DC Eagle, which closed its doors in May following alleged mismanagement.
According to a filing from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia, Hunker purchased the name and trademark rights for $32,800 as part of an auction, authorized by the court and facilitated by Rasmus Auctions.
Hunker, who also owns the D.C. restaurant Red, White & Basil and Rehoboth Beach restaurants Eden and Jam Bistro, was one of 36 registered bidders who, taken together, made 149 different bids on the name and trademark rights before the sale was finalized on Nov. 12, 2020.
The sale was reported to the court by Bryan Ross, the trustee of the former leather bar’s estate. The net proceeds from the sale to the estate are $26,240, with Rasmus taking a 20% commission of $6,560.
The Eagle closed the doors of its most recent location, at 3701 Benning Rd. NE, in early May following alleged financial mismanagement, according to accusations lodged by former employees.
The longtime leather bar, which has moved to five different locations in D.C. throughout its history, came under scrutiny again only a few months after the closure was announced. Employees claimed they had not received paychecks or compensation for hours worked, even though the DC Eagle owners had applied for, and received, tens of thousands of dollars from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program in response to the pandemic.
In a Facebook post, Hunker attempted to respond to questions he said he’d been receiving from the local community about why he chose to purchase the DC Eagle name and trademark.
“I keep getting the question, why? And than (sic), what are you going to do with it? So, here is the why and what… The DC Eagle is an institution to our LGBTQ community, and it was too important to let slip away,” he wrote. “I wanted to preserve the name and history for what it means to all of us, and to the legacy of the DC leather community and beyond. I am assessing options for how to ensure the DC Eagle lives on, but right now is not the time to open a bar or gather people.
“What I can tell everyone is that the DC Eagle brand remains locally and proudly owned. Stay tuned!”
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