We chatted to the lovely Mark Oakley, the captain steering the Eagle London ship through the last 18months, all about that and about the fantastic re-opening, this weekend.
Here’s what he had to say:
The global pandemic presented huge challenges to all businesses, but hospitality suffered more than most. Eagle London made the difficult decision to close a week before the government lockdown was imposed back in February 2020; the music was silenced, the lights went out and we faced an uncertain future.
We launched our Eagle Love membership scheme, and thanks to the generosity and support of our customers we hobbled through the summer not knowing when we would be able to re-open. August brought a glimmer of light, although the trading restrictions placed on us meant we had to be very creative with our offering. Dancing, drinking at the bar, even walking around the venue was not permitted. But we did our best with theatre shows in our garden, an ice cream parlour in our foyer and even tried our best to offer food when it was required.
Alas we were forced to close down again in December, just as our Christmas Panto season was starting. This closure came as a brutal blow at the end of what had been a very difficult year. Moving forward to February 2021, with the venue still closed and as if matters couldn’t get any worse, a frozen pipe on the top floor of the building burst and water poured through three floors into the cellar taking down original Victorian ceilings on its’ way and causing catastrophic damage throughout.
Since then, in the face of adversity and through sheer determination, we have been rebuilding The Eagle and are proud to announce that we are reopening just in time for Christmas with a cracking line-up of Eagle classics including Athena, Handsome, VOHO Revue Show and of course Horse Meat Disco.
This has been made possible through the ongoing support of Arts Council England’s
Culture Recovery Fund, which has not only saved Eagle London and enabled us to support our creative family of promoters, producers and performers, but also to employ new staff and develop a whole new programme of events and opportunities, sustaining our LGBTQI+ cultural significance and steering Eagle London into 2022 and beyond with optimism.
Eagle London reopens Friday 26th November 2021 at 8pm. Come Celebrate!!