New Hope, Pennsylvania is about to be a little less fabulous. News broke yesterday that The Raven, the famed bar/restaurant/hotel that is a Pennsylvania LGBT community staple, would be closing their doors October 14th of this year. Immediately, those that have patronized and worked at The Raven started paying tribute to the entertainment complex, as this sudden news is hitting the local community the hardest. Philadelphia party promoter and bon vivant Alexander John Ortiz, threw his “Boys Of Summer” parties at The Raven during the steamy summer months, giving the boys who don’t want to fight the beach traffic an alternative. His message on Facebook gave hope that the ownership of The Raven immediately followed up with in their own message.
Gateway to New Hope confirmed that the property would be used as a valet parking lot for their new Riverhouse at Odette’s luxury resort, due to open next spring in New Hope on River Road. They are still stressing that they fully intend 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.”
There is no doubt that since the fire that ultimately destroyed The Cartwheel nightclub in New Hope in 2005, the LGBT landscape of New Hope has been in a vast decline, with the tourism scene in New Hope distinctly changing. Whether or not The Raven rebuilds this community institution, there is no doubt that the LGBT community in New Hope, Pennsylvania is due for a much needed rebirth.
Photos of The Raven (Courtesy of New Hope Free Press)
Photo of Pool Party (Courtesy of Alexander John)