The current manager (and former owner) of New Hope’s iconic gay bar, The Raven, will reportedly open a new eatery in town, The New Hope Free Press exclusively reports.

Sources close to the deal told the Free Press that The Raven’s current manager, Sam Ambani, purchased the site of the former Blue Moose Restaurant at 9 W. Mechanic St. in New Hope. The transaction is expected to be finalized around October 15, and Ambani is expected to open a new eatery at the site soon.

The exact plans for the new eatery were not immediately clear, but it’s an exciting development as the news combines two beloved New Hope establishments, both of which have closed this year. 

After 9 years in business, the Blue Moose Restaurant & Cafe closed for good back in August. The Blue Moose, which was first opened in 2011 by then 18-year-old Skylar Bird, quickly became a favorite of many locals.

“Owning this restaurant has been the most challenging and exciting experience of my life,” Bird wrote on Facebook at the time of the announcement. “I know the time is right for me to move on and explore other opportunities, and that is why I have made the difficult decision to close the restaurant.”

The Raven via Google Maps
The Raven via Google Maps

Meanwhile, the current iteration of New Hope’s iconic gay bar, The Raven, will serve customers for the final time this Sunday (October 13) before closing for good on Monday (October 14). The developers, Gateway to New Hope, LLC purchased the site of The Raven in June, and the club's former owner Sam Ambani has served as the manager since June.

Gateway to New Hope, LLC is also the developer of the nearby luxury hotel, River House at Odettes, which is expected to open in the spring.

In the middle of September, the Raven announced plans to close in October. In an interview with 94.5 PST, Gateway to New Hope, LLC confirmed that the area currently known as the Raven Resort will be used as a parking lot (at least temporarily) for the new luxury hotel.

Officials with Gateway to New Hope, LLC elaborated on their plans for the site (which include “enhanced amenities for the LGBTQ+ community) in an interview with 94.5 PST last month. Click here for more details on their plans.

We'll keep you updated on any developments regarding the eatery in the coming weeks.

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