The highly anticipated and long awaited opening of The Kartal (the former home of Boston Eagle) will have a soft opening on Thursday.
The Kartal is the first cocktail bar to open in the South End in a long time, and it’s my hope is that this cozy space can be a friendly place for Boston’s gay community to come together. The Kartal will not be marketed as a gay bar but then again neither was Stella, 647 Tremont, or Boston Chops and yet due to their patronage they became unofficial gay bars of Boston.
The new owners are quite familiar with the bar’s history and they have carefully chosen everything from the name to unique decorations and design with its past in mind. For example, the name of the bar, The Kartal, comes from the Turkish word for eagle. Additionally, when you visit, check out the newly tiled mosaic entry. It depicts a two-headed eagle with the dates 1981 and 2021, noting the 40 years the Boston Eagle operated at 520 Tremont Street. The two-headed eagle also symbolizes both the the original and “new” eagle.
I’m sure I’ll be writing more about The Kartal in the future, after I’ve had a chance to stop by and enjoy a cocktail or two. Over the coming weeks, I hope you will also stop by to enjoy a drink and check out the new space. After you visit, let me know what you think.
520 Tremont Street (South End)
Open daily from 5PM – 2AM
I LOVE this elegant little jewel box bar! It is a refreshing addition to the typical Boston cocktail lounge we keep seeing. Beautiful people, great service.
South End has changed a lot since the days of Stella and Tremont 647
It certainly has, and I think the changes we’ve seen make it more likely there will be more unofficial gay hangouts like Tremont 647 and Stella in the future than new establishments marketing themselves solely as a gay bar.
Since the early 2000s Boston has seen gay bars become more popular with heterosexual Millennials and GenZ’ers as well as mainstream establishments hosting more LGBTQ friendly programming to appeal to that community and draw them in. It’s a smart business model.
Good news. Boston lost it’s gay gathering places and we need these places more than ever now.