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.”
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.
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.