Montrose bar filled with LGBTQ history 'sanctuary' for many

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As you enter The Eagle in the heart of Montrose, you're greeted with smiling faces for a great happy hour, but you can also learn a great deal about Houston's LGBTQ history.

"We like to call it 'The Gayborhood,'" explained owner Mark De Lange. "I would mix that term with very bohemian, hipster ... a nice mix. I guess that's Montrose. Modern-day Montrose."

The Eagle is dedicated to preserving local Houston LGBTQ history. The bar's Phoenix room is a full-service bar that is made available for community organization meetings, according to its website.

As part of The Eagle tradition, one can't celebrate the future without honoring the past.

The upper floor of the bar features a mural and other reminders of the past.

"Sanctuary is a real word to describe this," explained historian J.D. Doyle. "You had to worry about who was watching you, and it got better as the decades went on."

As Doyle walked through the rooms of The Eagle, he recalled some of Houston's earliest LGBTQ bars, including one that dates back to 1937.

"It had female impersonators at the club," said Doyle.

The Eagle even provides its online community with a website titled "Houston LGBT History" that provides photos, articles and more.

To learn more, click here.

READ ALSO: How a gay-friendly country sports bar is thriving in Montrose

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The owner says he has a lot of experience dealing with stereotypes. So, why not spend some time breaking them? ABC13's Pooja Lodhia takes you inside the bar people say feels like home.

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