Published On: Tue, Jun 11th, 2019

Odette’s owners purchase the Raven in New Hope

Gateway to New Hope, LLC, developers of the the River House at Odette’s, announced Tuesday that they have purchased New Hope’s iconic Raven bar/restaurant/hotel.

“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.

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Displaying 19 Comments
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  1. Mrussell302@gmail.com' Michael says:

    I been to the Raven over the years! Had a great time for the most part. I do not know who these Gavin and Phillip guys are but judging by thier comments they should both be fired for unprofessionalism!! No matter how pissed off you get you dont ever disparage the older generation and you never ever use the “fag” word to describe your fellow brothers! This is like using the “N” word in my opioun.

    You have no business serving the gay community after those statements.

    Also one more bit of advise … you say “welcome to the New Raven with a young crowd” … young people can be fickle move on to the next hottest thing. It’s those old people who are loyal that are your base! Your statements need to be brought to the attention to the gay community in New Hope!

  2. First let me say that if you are going to bad mouth the staff have the balls to use your real name. Gossip and lies are cheep and anyone can say whatever they want. If it weren’t for Bari and the current staff the Raven would still be closed because the former owners were inept. You can’t run a business like your throwing a party in your backyard no matter how much fun it is. And all you bitter fags taking cheap shots at us all should try running the place or even spending a little money at your local “gay bar”. And as far as character assaults, let me set the record straight. Bari is too busy cleaning rooms and making burgers and running food for any misconduct. And if you don’t like TJ’s chest then go sit at the bar with the “OLD BARTENDERS” just saying

  3. aen333@gmail.com' Susan says:

    Funny how CUSTOMERS are complaining about who has access to the safe. It’s sad to see how much gossip goes around this town. Most of these comments are either absurd or flat out inaccurate. 6 security guards? Never seen it. Must be confusing the Raven with Havana

  4. mjc112@hotmail.com' GEORGE says:

    I miss Robby Burns.Boner Appittty,Open til Closing.72.50,lots of class all low but lots of it on and on and on.Although I did not come often I enjoyed that hour or so and the food was fine (he did warn us if it was not) Happy Summer to all lets hope (OUT WITH THE OLD IN WITH THE NEW) Robby is the exception to that statement.

  5. aquetong61@comcast.net' GREGG says:

    All I can say is I hope Gateway is not fooled by the present Management. I heard the person who is purchasing the Raven is a very nice person.Good people are sometimes taken advantage of. I have been supporting the Raven since 1979 and even before.I want the Robert Eibert version back when rules were followed Lateness,inattentiveness and just plain laziness were not permitted.Cell phone usage,Labtops and wandering away for 20 minutes should not be allowed while working or dealing with paying customers.I am not sure who said it in comments but yes remove the safe.

  6. Justini81@yahoo.com' Justin says:

    If the new owners were smart, they’d turn this into a boutique establishment. The gay scene is dead.

    • utater@aol.com' JEAN says:

      Justine not dead but when you allow novices or people unfamiliar with the Bar and restaurant business in charge and a straight manager with no allegiances but to make a fast buck over loyal patrons with a false smile you can see how the vast majority feel about what happen.JUST PLAIN BAD MANAGEMENT.

  7. Riverrat203@aol.com' Paul says:

    I have a hunch that the temporary closure of the Raven was more closely related to a badly needed money infusion which they’ve just obtained through new ownership. If management is to remain the same, they would benefit from some new ideas like hiring new attractive faces behind the bar, along with the addition of weekend dancers & shot boys common to many nightclubs.

    • frolica@comcast.net' REGGIE says:

      Hi Paul what they need is workers not 20 Managers.Not 6 Security guards they also need to get rid of the management(Management that phoned in but never actually arrived to work) that Management is what sent the Raven into a death spiral to begin with. I know much A-Kissing is going on now but a big change is needed.I hope Gateway reads these posts.

      • Riverrat203@aol.com' Paul says:

        Reggie…In response to your comment, it’s important that the owner be present and take an interest in his business
        and converse with his patrons.

        When Steve Lau took ownership of the Raven,he made it his business to be there. He added alot of what the Raven needed, sound system,lighting,nightclub atmosphere,etc. and was then booted out by an absentee partner who will still be part of the bar’s operation. Big mistake in my opinion. These are the types of owners who just want to farm out the responsibilities about businesses they know little or nothing about. It’s a sure recipe for failure!

        • frolica@comcast.net' REGGIE says:

          You hit the target Paul. Whoever should not be hiding upstairs shagging the Security guards and phoning in commands to her many,many Managers. Absentee Management never works only allows the others feel they can do what they want with no consequences.

  8. brandim1993@yahoo.com' Mike says:

    Reggie your right.I see that Iceberg up ahead said the Captain of the Titanic BUT don’t worry the MANAGEMENT HAS IT UNDER CONTROL.Gavin music, Bari and her 5 Security guards.TJ shirtless and the endless parade of new PRONOUNS. I am sure GATEWAY wishes to make a profit.Hide the safe.

    • smclaugh50@aol.com' JAMES says:

      Wow with Ed on Thursday,Joe Black and the past Management we are all in good hands NOT,DOUBLE NOT. Bring back the old bartenders that made us laugh.We know who they are.Plus ban Cell phone when on duty,no more disappearing acts for 30 minutes to talk about new drag outfits while patrons go dry,no more labtops so you can ignore the patrons.Engage your customers with witty banter like the old group use to do.Simple smart things.Believe me a bus load of 21 year olds are not arriving.Start treating you patrons with respect.

  9. frolica@comcast.net' REGGIE says:

    Gateway is under agreement to lease The Raven back to its current operator, Sam Ambani, who will continue to manage The Raven. It is important to all parties that this local establishment remain a community hotspot. Oh my God so the same failed management.Where has common sense gone.

  10. chuckbarris00@gmail.com' Johnny says:

    I was a leather cubby back in the 90s. Love to go there from time to time and still see the pool slicked with sun butter on Sundays! Thanks to all the STAFF who kept it running over the years – you’ve given us a safe place to be ourselves!

  11. Vonwrycz@gmail.com' R Rekowski says:

    I am very experienced, live in New Hope. I appreciate the grand property.

  12. frolica@comcast.net' REGGIE says:

    Let’s hope they can get rid of the horrible Management staff. Please no Bari breast implants,no TJ topless,no Gavin music,EVERYONE KNOWING THE COMBINATION OF THE SAFE.Fix the ceilings(PLURAL) Fix parking lot so when we fall down we do not end up in Australia.Bring back Robby Burns,Glen,Phil and all the people that made the Raven fun. NO CARPETBAGGERS.

    • Bring the old Bartenders back to the Raven, I totally agree with Reggie, bring the people back to the Raven who has been working there for the past 30 years, change that hatful unprofessional management !

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