Dining Out

With Raven temporarily closed, Cub Room at New Hope Lodge carries the torch

Earlier in March, The Raven‘s restaurant and bar closed abruptly due to “sudden repair issues.” With many patrons now left without the ritual of pre-gaming at the New Hope Lodge‘s Cub Room and then walking across the street for a less laid back evening at the Raven, workers at the Cub Room, often nicknamed, “the Raven’s living room,” have picked up the slack for the greater LBGT community here.

Starting on Monday, April 1, the Cub Room bar will open at 11 a.m. on weekdays, changing from their usual 5 p.m. start time.

Joey Leone, who works in the front office of the New Hope Lodge, said the business received many requests from guests to be open longer and did not know the status of the Raven.

“We always fed off each other,” he said. “Now the people that would go back-and-forth just come here.”

When Lodge owner Scott DeWitt, (who used to also own the Raven), Leone and other employees looked at the bigger picture and discussed what they could do for the community, Leone said, “What do we have to lose?” referring to the expanding hours.

“When the Raven closed before [in 2008] we all went down to what’s now the Clarion. But this time, it was sudden and I was like, what do we do?” said Cub Room bartender Scott Davis.

So Davis went onto his Facebook page and wrote, “We’re here, we’re open for business and we’re here to accommodate everyone the best we can.”

Piano player Dena Underwood entertains on Friday Nights at the Cub Room

Patron Marc Elliott, former owner and current employee at Me Salon said, “This is a very lovely, friendly place to come. This is part of my routine once a week … but for many, at this point there’s no other choices.”

The Cub Room has live entertainment three times a week and is usually very crowded on Friday nights. But for the past few weeks, there has been a larger, more consistent crowd that now lingers much later.

Davis added that the Cub Room has hired two bartenders from the Raven and the new hours were also built in to support them.

“We’re here to take care of the community, because that’s what made us. We’re family,” he emphasized.

About the author

Steve Chernoski

Steve Chernoski is a writer, film director and teacher who lives in Lambertville. Here's his website: http://stevechernoski.com.


  • New Hope was great in the 1977 era. I especially enjoyed the New Prelude, a fabulous gay bar later knocked down and replaced with a boring bank.

    I have a glorious memory of one of the New Prelude co-owners (dark hair/moustache/name unknown) dancing with me. At that time I was a closeted seventeen year-old gallivanting in a state with a 21 year-old legal drinking age. At the conclusion of the dance the owner pressed into the palm of my hand his Rosary beads. I’ll never forget that kind gesture nor the disco dance song with the refrain “it’s good to be Alive!”

    On a subsequent sneak into the sexy Gay Bars in New Hope I met the iconic Freddy Mercury who evidently had performed his rock and roll show 9 miles south in Trenton, NJ at the War Memorial theater the previous night. In retrospect, I wished I had those Rosary beads to give to Mr. Mercury. Wow! What blessed memories. How lucky I am to live in the USA. MAGA. Trump 2024!

  • The Raven is about to use the death of a person as a money making scheme in the form of a Memorial. Disgusting and despicable.We cannot allow this group to profit off the dead.

  • Well the Raven soft opening was quite an event.The pool looked like a scene from Creature from the Black Lagoon.Nobody cleaned or swept.The only ones out were the non conventional groups.Pride is not the word to use as far as the Raven looked.Meanwhile Cub Room had REAL MEN there.Friday was crowded the bartenders are lots of fun and a joy and the weekend was great.Thank you Robby,Glen,both Scott’s Joey and all that make the Cub Room a very comfortable social place for all.

  • Someone said that they may open for Gay Pride and are supposedly calling people???Why would anyone in their right mind go back to have a call a week later that another GAS LEAK was found and don’t come in even if on way.Besides why would you work for the same people who looted the place to get new implants and 5 security guards against men well into their 60’s going there FOR PROTECTION???????? CASTING COUCH MORE LIKE IT.Do they really thing were are that DUMB!!!OH THEY DO.

  • We’ve obviously been deceived by the incompetent owners of the Raven.The phone’s been disconnected and now the website is down. A business that intends to remain operational doesn’t close all means of contact. This is much like the Cartwheel all over again, minus the fire.

  • I find it curious that when you drive by The Raven you never see any construction trucks fixing the “sudden repair issues”.

  • Its nice to hear/read something good in the news for a change. The Cub Room is fun and welcoming and always has been really. Scott & Zack are great hosts. Such a shame the Raven is no more, but we must close that chapter and move on to the next.

  • I witnessed something rather disturbing at the Cub Room yesterday.A group of elite Snobs one whose name starts with a S come in and demand to have table service.In the past I have seen the S actually click his fingers at Joe Leone when at that time he was ill.This group gives a bad name to all Gay people because they themselves would HOWL if they were treated that way. ELITE SNOBS GET OFF YOUR BONY ASSES AND PICK UP YOUR DRINKS FROM THE BAR.I know this may fall on deft ears but bartenders do not yet them treat you like dirt.

  • With Raven temporarily closed???? Let us hope the past Management is no where near IF it tries to reopen. No respect for workers and they would say TRUST ME it will be different as they rob the safe for money and pay for implants.New broom sweeps clean.

  • What a nice article. AND, speaking on behalf of ALL OF US at The New Hope Lodge/Cub Room, soooooo TRUE ! We are working very hard to take care of our beloved New Hope Family !!! As the old adage goes…. “it takes a village…”!!! ❤️

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