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.