Don’t worry, the Atlanta Eagle is here to stay. And that’s because it is now a historical landmark.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has decided to name the 33-year-old bar a historic landmark to ensure its longevity, according to local Atlanta news source 11 Alive. The Mayor’s office says it wants to protect “one of the Southeast’s most famous LGBTQ social establishments.” Now, thanks to this designation, the historic landmark is protected from being demolished or renovated on the exterior without the city’s Urban Design Commission’s approval.
“Businesses are feeling the devastating effects of COVID-19 this year, including LGBTQ-owned small businesses,” Mayor Bottoms said in a statement. “This has led to LGBTQ-owned businesses around the country closing their doors. The Atlanta Eagle has a rich history and is a beloved place for so many people in Atlanta and across the world.”
Richard Ramey, the bar’s owner, also released a statement after the announcement. In it, Ramey said that he is “grateful to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the City of Atlanta for ensuring that many more can call it home in the years to come.”
The Atlanta Eagle opened up in 1987 and has since been a pivotal space for LGBTQ people in the area. The bar has also been a stomping ground for many performers and a pit stop on the tours of many other performers like RuPaul or Lady Bunny.
Right now, the bar has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and was in danger of having to move locations, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Thanks to this historical landmark designation, however, the bar will remain where it stands. In addition, it is now the first recognized and protected LGBTQ landmark in the American Deep South.