Famed Atlanta gay bar designated historic landmark

Famed Atlanta gay bar designated historic landmark

ATLANTA — A famous gay bar in Atlanta has been designated a historic landmark.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was at the Atlanta Eagle bar on Ponce de Leon Avenue, where Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that the bar will become the first recognized and protected LGBTQ landmark in the deep South.

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The bar is more than 30 years old and has hosted a number of celebrity acts including Ru Paul -- but because of the pandemic, the owner said he was prepared to close up and move.

Now, owner Richard Ramey said the bar will stay.

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“It has a lot of history, a lot of gay history that means something to our community,” Ramey said. “It was a very special moment for me and the community and it’s never been done in the deep south.”

A few months ago, Ramey said times got tough due to the pandemic and he decided to close.

“We met with the landlord and due to COVID and everything going on, and we had decided to close temporarily,” Ramey said.

During the closure, Ramey said he looked for a new location for the bar. But the new historic designation opens a door for the bar to stay reopen.

“I talked with the current owner of the building when I heard this all might take place, and asked, ‘Would I have a pathway back home?’” Ramey said. “He said, ‘Of course!’ So I’m very proud of that.”

Ramey said that the pandemic is still impacting business, but he expects that to turn around soon.

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