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.”
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.