Dining Out

Raven owner Steve Lau to open ‘Salt House’ gastropub at 7 E. Ferry St. in New Hope


7 E. Ferry St. in New Hope.

Raven owner Steve Lau has purchased the building at 7 E. Ferry St. in New Hope, and will open the “Salt House” gastropub there, pending borough approvals.

Gastropubs became popular in the early ’90s, and are essentially traditional English or Irish pubs with higher-end brews and food. Lau says the Salt House will feature “specialty cocktails and a gastropub-type menu with a big craft beer selection.”

Adds Lau, “We want to be completely approachable — not out of reach for anybody.”

Lau says he’s inspired by the Spotted Pig in New York City’s Greenwich Village. That gastropub is known for its extensive wine list, craft beer, outrageous burgers, shoestring fries, cheeses, chowder, and cozy feeling. Lau wants to create a similar “pub/tavern atmosphere with the focus on food.”

He says he bought 7 E. Ferry St. with the same silent partner involved with the Raven because “Ive always loved that building.” The historic stone structure has housed the Hearth, Marcello Nord, and Martine’s, among others.

The idea for a gastropub is “based around the space itself,” said Lau. “I didn’t think it would happen this quickly. It seems like a natural extension, and timing was everything — first, the property came up for purchase, and second, I have a real strong team in place at the Raven.”

The Raven

The Raven in New Hope.

Lau says he’s received great encouragement from folks in the borough so far, and looks forward to working closely with New Hope’s leadership to obtain the requisite approvals.

Lau grew up in Hershey, where he helped form indie rock band Ocean Blue in 1986, playing keyboards and saxophone. He’s also lived in New York City, and has owned a house in Carversville for the last 15 years, along with a record label or two.

Lau purchased New Hope’s Raven at 385 W. Bridge St. in 2015 and, in October of that year, invited the nearby RRazz Room to move in.

“We’re going to bring nationally-renowned talent to the Raven,” he said at the time, and has fulfilled his promise.

About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • I second what J says. Steve Lau is gay and his boyfriend Kevin is in the kitchen. It doesn’t get much gayer than that. I remember 20 years ago when the Raven was THE place for the gay boys and the cool straight people in town. I’m seeing that same vibe again for the first time in years. Food is better, music is better with many improvements. It could have been a super Wawa which is what we thought it was going to be for a minute. Thank you Scott for handing the keys to the right people.

  • I think it’s a great idea to have a gastro pub in New Hope. Some of the bars in town have ok beer selections but it’ll definitely be nice to go to a place where beer is a focus

  • As a long time resident I’ve watched the cartwheel go, the prelude go and over the past year I’ve watched the Raven slowly turning into a straight bar. Hopefully Scott and Armando across the street do big things with the cub room and the inn….. They seem to be the last hope for new hopes gay scene.

    • I beg to differ. The Raven is predominantly still a very gay bar. The gay and straight community are tightly intertwined in New Hope. Shame on you for speaking in such a discriminating manner.

    • I first visited New Hope from Boston in the early 70’s at a time when a gay man in Boston would not dare cross the street to go to the lesbian bar let alone a straight bar but I walked into the Prelude and everyone was hanging out together, gay men gay women straight men straight women and I thought WOW I want to live here. I have never had to make excuses for who I am, have never hid it have never given it a second thought. My friendships have been formed with many wonderful people without any thought to their orientation. The Raven, the Prelude and Cartwheel as well, were always thought of as gay bars but always welcomed everyone. “Be nice, have fun” the only requirements.
      In a time when gays want to be able to hold hands and kiss in public, get married for gods sake you want to keep straight people out of the gay bars ?? Gay bars are closing all over the place because gay people can go anywhere now and don’t “need” them. The Raven is an icon and has staying power because it’s gay, it’s fun and everyone is welcome.

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