Published On: Mon, Sep 9th, 2019

BREAKING: New owners speak out on closing of Raven in New Hope

The new owners of the Raven commented Monday evening on the announcement by current management earlier in the day that the bar/restaurant/hotel would close its doors on Oct. 14.

Gateway to New Hope confirmed that the property would close next month and be used as a valet parking lot for their new Riverhouse at Odette’s luxury resort, expected to open next spring at the southern end of New Hope on River Road. But they emphasized that they intended to build a new, improved club at the Raven site.

“We’d like to take a moment to recognize today’s news regarding The Raven,” said Julie Yeager, spokesperson for Gateway to New Hope.  “The Gateway to New Hope team is passionate about preserving the legacy of this renowned property, and while it will be taking a brief hiatus from its current operations as we work towards final approvals and permits in the development of an enhanced hotel and restaurant/bar experience for Raven guests, we know that the next chapter will continue to be welcoming with a friendly & relaxed atmosphere, including recreated Oak Room & Cabana Bar experiences, with enhanced amenities for the LGBTQ+ and greater New Hope community.”

Yeager also said the new hotel/restaurant/bar will keep the name “Raven,” and recreate its popular swimming pool. She wouldn’t comment on whether the old Raven structures will be completely torn down to accommodate the build out.

Yeager also wasn’t able to say how long the “brief hiatus from its current operations” was expected to be.

“The permitting process tends to be long, so we have no idea how quickly we can get through the process,” she said.

Gateway to New Hope announced June 11 that they had purchased the Raven, and said they didn’t have any immediate plans for development, but were “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.”

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.

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  1. Wait, can you hear? Listen can you hear it? I can hear all the ignorant Christian suburbanites cheering and jumping up and down that the last LGBTQ place in New Hope is closing. I live in Philadelphia and do not drive so it was hard to get there but the few times I went I enjoyed except for the horrible music. Believe me this leather rocker transgurl knew the Raven did not cater to hear but it was a place feel safe and NOTHING is going to open to replace it. Want to know how bad this is? There is not one place in Philly that caters to the transcommuity, all we have (had) was the Raven, now what? All the little Trumper’s are happy today. I hope there is one night left of sin and fun left in New Hope.

  2.' Phil van L. says:

    Yup; it’s never going to be the New Hope I came out in back in 1973. Everything changes over time and Gay people have so many other resources through which to meet others that I think it outlived its usefulness to the Gay community. Gay people are more liberated now with more government-driven legislation for freedom without fear. A new Gay venue will hopefully be established in the area (Peddler’s Village?) since New Hope’s reputation will live on with the help of visionaries who see a need for such a venue. The one institution that will be missed is our wonderful, talented, and inexhaustible fixture at the keyboard: Russ Eiffert.

  3. Everyone KNOWS this is the END of The Raven. You know once it’s closed it will be demolished and there will be many different reasons why a NEW structure won’t be built. Just like The Cartwheel (which was a Historical Building which should have protected it) it will be gone. Once the Raven is torn down the Raven is dead. Any new structure will NOT be the same, it won’t carry the History, Ambiance or feeling. It seems like New Hope will just not be a “Gay” mecca anymore.

  4.' REGGIE says:

    The other shoe has fallen. All those looking to get jobs in Management there better start looking. End of a 30 year run.I am sure Bari all promised you a job. Blue Moose next to fall if wrong management takes over. On a another note Cub Room hired Rebecca who will probably be more at the bar than in the office annoying the paying customers with that very loud laugh. Why do straight girls come to gay bars. One reason is they cannot compete in a straight bar and then there is the free drinks they solicit.

    •' Sandra says:

      Newsflash, Reggie! Straight girls can have gay friends. Perhaps the straight girl you mentioned was invited to the Cub Room by some gay friends. Shocking, I know. I’ve been there and never went back. Ceiling is too low and EVERYONE is too loud.

    • We, at The Cub Room, are VERY pleased to have Rebekah with us ! She is extremely kind AND a fantastic supporter, and valuable part of our New Hope Family !!! I just pray that we ALL can band together, and try and lift each other up, during this confusing time. As the old adage goes…. “It takes a village…”!❤️❤️❤️

  5.' Nancie says:

    Ive ALWAYS enjoyed coming to the Raven, however I felt the food was outshined by the ambiance. I hope the menu becomes less stale…shall we say. FRESHER? The food seemed ambitious and exciting on the menu but lacked a modern sophisticated flavor snd presetation on the plate. Also, hoping the piano bar remains a staple and even more extravagant shows!!! Looking forward to the rebirth!!

  6.' Sue says:

    While I wish the best for all businesses concerned, I also want and expect the best for the residents of the community. This sounds like a shell game of parking for The Gateway to New Hope. Where were the cars going to park before this deal was worked out? Why will cars be traveling through town just to be parked? This is crazy business.

  7.' Scott Davis says:

    Like back in May, when The Raven closed, all of us at The Cub Room/New Hope Lodge will do our very best to accommodate our AMAZING Community until The Raven reopens. Speaking on behalf of all the New Hope Lodge staff, we wish our new neighbors only THE VERY BEST in their new vision. AND… we all look forward to building a common bond with them and for ALL of the members of our incredible New Hope Family !!!

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