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Construction of parking lot at former Raven site in New Hope to begin next month

Former Raven site at 385 W. Bridge St. in New Hope.

Gateway to New Hope LLC is expected in August to begin building a parking lot at 385 W. Bridge St. to accommodate guest vehicles from its River House at Odette’s luxury hotel, currently under construction on River Road, New Hope officials confirmed.

The parking lot will be located at the former site of the iconic Raven bar/restaurant/hotel, which Gateway demolished in January.

Gateway purchased the Raven in June 2019, saying “While ownership has changed, the operations of the Raven will remain the same.”

The Raven being leveled on Jan. 6 (Photo: Frank DeLuca)

In September 2019, Gateway announced that the Raven property would become a valet parking lot for Riverhouse at Odette’s, but the site would continue to house a club.

“[The Raven] 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,” said Gateway spokesperson Julie Yeager at the time.

In October 2019, Gateway acknowledged it would tear down the Raven.

New Hope officials said last week that they haven’t seen any concepts, plans, or applications for permits for a new bar/restaurant at the site.

Meanwhile, a land development plan for the parking lot has been approved by New Hope borough council after getting the green light from the planning commission. Borough officials said several zoning variances were also approved, including those allowing smaller parking spaces than standard, paving closer to the property line, and constructing a building to shelter River House guests waiting for a shuttle bus to the hotel after parking for special events.

Gateway is hoping to build out the parking lot in August, after placing funds due to the borough in escrow.

The Raven represented New Hope’s last remaining gay club, following the demise of the Cartwheel and Prelude. The lodging portion of the complex was built in the 1940s as the Brookemore Hotel, expanded in 1955, and in 1974 developed by new owners as La Camp, an LGBTQ destination. It was reincorporated as the Raven in 1979.

Gateway did not respond to requests for comment.

About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • The Raven- I had loved the place so much. I went there off and on for about twenty years. I had met someone in NJ in 2000 and him and I went there the week of September 11, 2001. We had already had the plans and reservations in place. I remember that he told me he called that Tuesday and the bartender told him everything is the same here…baby come on up, so we did. Him and I got there that Friday September 14, 2001 and had a wonderful time. I remember on the TV at the bar seeing ground zero. I hope they build a new place. In the end. I had so many wonderful memories at the Raven that I will always will remember forever. All my Love to you all XX OO.

  • People act like the place was a monument to gay people or something. It was run-down, old, bartenders were thieves, the owners were thieves, after dark the place became an outdoor bathhouse with people staying in the rooms leaving doors open for sex. So please spare me the theatrics and the “Blame 45” or “Trump Derangement” – the place never changed to meet the times…Get over it.

    • Wow what a bitter Old queen you are, I had many great memories here probably because I didn’t care about tge bartenders and management private affair, just having a good time was my goal and I accomplish it many times unlike you..

  • It’s amazing these morons who manage to bring in Trump to this topic- your hate-filled rants and intolerance is what got Trump elected and will win again!!! Trump2020

  • Shameful… lying pos who said they would rebuild… must be related to 45 cuz no one lies like him… lots of memories of days at the pool and evenings at the bar…sounds like a Ponzi scheme…

  • I would assume they have less of a desire to build anything at this time due to the current pandemic restrictions. I don’t think anyone wants to take that risk. As for ownership and who owns Gateway should be a matter of public record. Just go to the town hall. In any case, lets face it New Hopes decline began around the end of the 90’s. With everyone becoming “gay friendly” there is not much need for Gay Bars nowadays. The Millennials don’t know much about the history or importance of these gay establishments. Gay/Straight they all hang out together at like a Jakes in Flemington. So guess what? if you remember the importance and value like I do, that just means we are old. lol= I have to admit I really miss it there and all of the fun times. Even if they rebuild it will not be the same.

  • Seems like 5.4 million dollars is alot to spend on a property for a parking lot.just where is all these millons of dollars coming from I can only imagine the cost of that hotel is got to be around 8 to 9 million ,sounds like a Ponzi sceme to me. ashame new hope has lost its character forever

  • If you do enough digging , you can find out plenty of who Gateway,llc is.
    A crooked Shell organization with lots of $$. They gobbled up many Commercial properties in New Hope out of nowhere . To just name a few ;
    1. The Bucks County Playhouse
    2. The Odettes property
    4. The Logan Inn
    5 . The current Clarion Hotel , which is a haven for Prostitutes and drugs.

    • I personally spoke to Gateway’s representative, Julie Yaeger several times after The Raven officially closed on Sunday, October 13, 2019, and more recently in September, 2020. She has confirmed that The Raven will be newly open sometime in 2022, and that any and all arrangements for the parcel of land to serve as a parking lot for The Riverhouse at Odette’s would be a temporary plan.

      She has told me that The Raven will return on three separate occasions. Either she is a liar, or the plans had to be delayed until 2022 (as she originally stated), in the wake of the Covid-19 ‘SCAM-demic.’

  • Look at it from the money stand point. Family destinations don’t want gays around not, good for income. Laws, and rights don’t make every ones mind accept. Of course they never intended to have a gay club. Guess the next place to go….

  • Poor management is being blammed for the Raven’s failure, but there’s more to it than that. Nightclubs are failing around the World in numbers. Millennial’s have no interest in the club scene.

    The Raven became an old lady and so did the clientele. What’s bothersome is the way that people were lead to believe that something bigger and better was to come. That’s one we’ve all heard before.

    • I believe the reason the Raven was sold in the first place was due to court order. I don’t recall all the particulars but I think the owner took on a partner who started laundering money through the business and it got ugly, I may not be 100% on that but that’s my loose recollection. The business itself was pretty strong at least in terms of alcohol/food sales. Gateway to New Hope LLC is interesting, very hard to find any info online about them other than Compass Management Partners is doing business as Gateway to New Hope.

    • Obviously you have never been to wilton manors Florida, the bar and night club resort scene is thriving with guys from all age brackets from 21 to 51 and beyond so your wrong

  • Sad.Next step will be changed mind build 10 Townhouses at one million a throw.Gateway makes money back 5 times over.New Hope will become a bedroom community trying to escape the big Cites such as New York and Philadelphia We hope they do not bring their failed politics here as we will all suffer.28 stores in New Hope closed!!! Next step is housing.Don’t worry about zoning or council there is always a way to get around them many pictures of Hamilton comes to mind.OH!!! can’t say Hamilton or see the play.

  • Just remember when the time comes to remember, and “vote” with your wallet, because they don’t care about anything else obviously.

  • Why did the Raven fail? It was a poorly-run business, that’s why. If it meant so much to so many people in the gay community, why didn’t someone or a group step up, buy it and turn it around? It was for sale. Gateway bought it. It belongs to them & they can do what they want. Less crying, moaning & nostalgia and more action would have prevented this.

    • I’d guess the physical assets were worth more divided up than as the operating business. It’s how progress gets between here and there, even when it’s unpopular.

    • I know several business owners who looked at the property, and the structure had numerous issues. Also, it was priced at a SUPER high rate that made tear down and development the only really viable option for it. It was priced for demolition, not operation.

  • Gateway did a Trumponian. It’s ok to lie is the new norm. It never made sense to believe they’d tear down a functional structure, and then come back later to rebuild it.They must think people are gullible.

    • Sorry Paul your using wrong name.For 44 years Joe has been lying.I could give a list but that would not fit your narrative.Have a pleasant day.

        • Only one has been in public office 47 years while the other is an accomplished well-known businessman….Get over it – he won and he’ll win again dummie

          • As he failed so often in business now he has failed at politics. The world will be a better place when that loser leaves 1600 covid Avenue.

          • Yeah Jim- he failed at business you’re an idiot – he’ll always be a president and you’ll be a crying moron in New Hope…. The world would be a better place without people intolerant like you.

            BTW did Obama or will Biden not take a salary you idiot

          • Can’t wait for Biden to be taken down… Trump is the best president in years Jim and you’re the loser!

  • Let’s just make sure we remember this deceit and betrayal when River House at Odette’s opens. It’s disgusting. Too many contributors to the demise of the last of the big, gay clubs in New Hope, including Raven management.

    • If the deceit and betrayal of the Gateway Gang doesn’t presage failure for its doomed project, then the fact that River House at Odette’s has all the paucity of charm of a rust belt fulling mill, next to a stagnant slough, most hopefully will.

  • They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
    Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?

  • i knew it. i knew it. They were lying the whole time. They did not want a protest or an uproar.They knew they were not gonna build anything there.

    • Is there an expiration date on public protest and assembly? You can STILL use activism, protest, rally and resistance to demand that The Raven be rebuilt, in keeping with Spokesperson Julie Yaegar’s repeated affirmations to me by telephone that The Raven WILL be rebuilt, albeit later in 2022, which is what she repreated to me over the course of a year, and most recently again in September, 2020.

      ALAS, without challange there can BE no change. Print up some petitions and canvas the New Hope residents and ask them to sign the petition, and when there are several thousand signatures, deliver them to the city council and demand transparency and accountability to hold Compass Management Partners d/b/a Gateway to New Hope to honor their commitments to the gay community, and to rebuild a new and improved Raven (as they assured the New Hope Free Press that they WOULD, back in September, 2019), and then: Never give up, never give in and never take ‘NO’ for an answer (whenever public goodness is at stake) if Gateway’s management and representatives were not being honest and transparent.

      Because, the public good must ALWAYS outweigh the crushing weight of all private (and, now public and political) gain, which must never be negotiable.

      Life is a battle, fellow Ravenite supporters: If you don’t enter it armed——then, SURRENDER IMMEDIATELY!

      • What I can’t understand is why they tore a perfect good performance hotel and entertainment destinationsthat just needed a management revamp for a parking lot while less than a 1/4 Mile away was huge swath of empty land where the treetops catering hall and the cartwheel once stood. Would have been much cheaper to build on empty unused land ?

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