“The sale will be finalized later this month, and while ownership has changed, the operations of the Raven will remain the same,” Gateway said in a statement.
Translation: The Raven is staying the Raven.
“It is important to all parties that this local establishment remain a community hotspot,” said Gateway.
The Raven was founded in 1979 at 385 W. Bridge Street, and represents New Hope’s last remaining gay club, following the demise of the Cartwheel and Prelude in years past. It draws large, diverse crowds year round, with a popular restaurant, three bars, hotel rooms, guest house, pool, lounge areas, and dance floor.
Gateway said it doesn’t have any immediate plans for development, but is “studying possible ways to enhance the property, as well as use the existing parking facilities to support event and hotel needs for the River House at Odette’s, once it opens in Spring 2020.”
Gateway said that it will lease the Raven back to its current operator, Sam Ambani, who will continue to serve as manager.
“We are excited to have Gateway to New Hope acquire this landmark property,” Ambani said. “We know that this will be a seamless transition, as current management will continue operations of the property, offering the same services that you have come to expect from the Raven. We are so grateful to our community for the love and support and are looking forward to an even brighter future together with the Gateway team.”
Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The Raven was listed for sale at $5.9 million in February 2018. The price tag included the business, structures, equipment, inventory, liquor license and 2.4 acres of land.
The bar and restaurant at the Raven unexpectedly closed in March due to “sudden repair issues” with the kitchen and roof, reopening in recent weeks in time for the busy summer season.