The Eagle, a gay men’s bar, opened at 8307 Madison Avenue in 1999. Co-owners John Hayes and Clark Baker opened the Eagle Bar in April 1999. Hayes and Clark opened the Falcon’s Nest, a men’s leather bar, in the Eagle’s newly renovated upper-level bar space shortly after. Soon after the Eagle opened, a disgruntled (and purportedly homophobic) neighboring resident filed a complaint against the bar through the Cleveland Division of Building and Housing. After receiving this complaint, city inspectors visited the Eagle on May 14th and issued Hayes and Clark with citations for “failure to secure the proper permits for renovation and expansion” on the bar’s upper level. On June 7th, Hayes and Clark unsuccessfully attempted to obtain the missing building and renovation permits before the deadline to do so. After conducting a follow-up inspection on June 11th, city inspectors subsequently “condemned the building, boarded it up, and gave an order to vacate the premises.” Though Hayes and Clark complied with the city’s order to vacate the building and “[acknowledged their] failure to meet building codes,” they believed that they “[had] been singled out for selective enforcement by city inspectors as an LGBT+ establishment. Together with attorney Carolyn Kaye Ranke, Hayes and Clark filed a “suit against the city…for anti-gay discrimination” on June 15th. In response to the Eagle lawsuit, then-mayor Michael R. White ordered an investigative review of the city’s Division of Building and Housing. The city’s internal investigation, completed on July 30th, concluded that “the division [had] not unfairly targeted gay bars for inspections and that violations cited against gay bars [were] being handled appropriately.” Though Hayes and Clark disagreed with the investigation’s findings, the Eagle remained shuttered permanently.

Additional information coming soon.


  • Corturillo, Randy Sindelar. “Bar Erred, But City Overreacted.” Gay People’s Chronicle. July 23, 1999. Page 6.
  • Leach, Dawn E. “Bar, Shut Down by City, Sues for Bias.” Gay People’s Chronicle. July 9, 1999. Page 1, 4.
  • Leach, Dawn E. “City’s Review Finds Gay Bars Were Not Targeted.” Gay People’s Chronicle. August 4, 1999. Page 3.
8307 Madison Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102

Tell us about Eagle

Many of the locations documented on Queer Cleveland are not well-documented in the historical record. If you have additional information about Eagle, please let us know by sharing a memory, correction, or suggestion using the comment form below.

Or send an email to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *