The Eagle

Object Number: 
ca. 1970-1980
Overall: 1 7/8 × 1 1/2 × 1/4 in. (4.8 × 3.8 × 0.6 cm)
THE EAGLE / 142 11th AVE. & 21st ST / Tel (212)929-9304. Footer: CLOSE COVER STRIKE ON BACK. Manumark: Bradley Ind. Frankfort, IL 60423. Back: WASHINGTON, D.C. / 906 - 7th ST., N.W. / TEL. (2020347-6025 / MUNICH / SENDLINGER STRASSE 30 / TEL. 24-03-53.

Black with silver metallic print. Cover: silhouette of an eagle with its wings spread grasping three arrows and an olive branch in its talons. Rear striker.

Gallery Label: 

This matchbook came from the Eagle, a prominent leather bar that operated at 142 11th Avenue and 21st Street from 1970 until 2000, when it moved locations. In 1970 Jack Modica purchased the Eagle Open Kitchen, its original name since its establishment in 1931 as a longshoreman's pub. Modica transformed the Eagle into a leather-themed bar complete with black-painted walls and chrome accents reminiscent of a motorcycle. The Eagle operated seven days a week, including holidays, and catered to the gay community. Biker clubs often rented out the bar for their club nights, and frequent patrons often formed softball and pool teams that served as a form of community outreach through friendly competition. In 1980, Al Pacino starred in Cruising, which filmed a scene at the Eagle. In 2001 the bar reopened in a new location at 554 28th Street.

Credit Line: 
Gift of an anonymous donor
Place Made: 
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group