Christine Quinn | Gay Bar | New York | News

NYC's 'Rawhide' Gay Bar to Close


Chelsea's Rawhide bar, opened in 1979, is set to shutter, according to Vanishing New York:

"The building that houses it on 8th and 21st in Chelsea was sold a couple of years ago and the new landlord has jacked up the rent, nearly doubling it from $15,000 to $27,000 a month. The Rawhide has officially been evicted. Their last day will be March 31."

Mayoral frontrunner and Council Speaker Christine Quinn said this about the Rawhide in a recent New York magazine profile:

“One of the things I loved about Chelsea,” she said, “is that on Eighth Avenue, there is the Rawhide bar—not a luxury product. And for many years there were Latino guys from the neighborhood who had a folding card table every Friday and Saturday night and played dominoes. And they knew every guy who walked into the Rawhide, and every guy that walked in the Rawhide knew them. A leather bar may or may not be the best example, but it is the type of neighborhood experience we want to be able to have, what Jane Jacobs called ‘the eyes on the streets’ all watching out for each other.”

What will Quinn do about it?

Is there room on the street for yet another bank or nail salon?

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  1. WTF should Quinn do about it? Are you asking for commercial rent control?

    Times change. Neighborhoods change. We're really not talking about historical preservation here. Let's all move on.

    Posted by: Chuckles | Mar 4, 2013 12:17:20 PM

  2. What will Quinn do about it? I'm sure she will buy the building, abolish the rent completely, and run the property as a charity. Stuff like this happens in a capitalist economy. Perhaps the owners of the bar have or will find another location and re-open.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Mar 4, 2013 12:48:22 PM

  3. Andy asks,"
    Is there room on the street for yet another bank or nail salon?"
    No, but Chelsea really needs another Thai restaurant.

    Posted by: Brendan | Mar 4, 2013 12:51:55 PM

  4. Quinn is ever-vigilant to protect the interests of real estate developers.

    It's also a zoning laws problem, which Quinn is always bending to her big real estate developer donors.

    Posted by: JX | Mar 4, 2013 1:16:38 PM

  5. I suppose we have to ask ourselves, what kind of business can support $27K in monthly rent? Not one that will add any kind of culture to the 'hood.

    Capitalism should be able to survive while renting a corner at $15K a month.

    Posted by: Omar | Mar 4, 2013 1:17:55 PM

  6. Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts?

    Posted by: MaryM | Mar 4, 2013 1:20:36 PM

  7. NYC has to make this bed in order to learn from it. People don't want another starbucks there but they will get one. Once the whole street is full of failing big chain businesses things will change.

    Posted by: Fensox | Mar 4, 2013 1:31:57 PM

  8. The Mall-a-facation of NYC will soon be complete. Its getting to be as soulless as LA. Sad.

    Posted by: Mike in nyc | Mar 4, 2013 1:36:26 PM

  9. Actually, MIKE IN NYC, as someone who lived in NY almost my entire life and moved to LA a little over three years ago, I can tell you that independently owned, high concept restaurants, bars, clubs and boutiques are flourishing here. Whereas it seems every available retail space in Manhattan is now a Chase, BofA or Whole Foods. You sound like someone who visited LA, went to Santa Monica and the Beverly Center, and then left figuring there was nothing else to see. In other words: someone who doesn't know what he's talking about. Here's a clue from a native NYer: living there doesn't make you inherently more interesting.

    Posted by: Nuflux | Mar 4, 2013 1:44:42 PM

  10. If you want that diverse independent old New York City vibe, you have to leave NYC. There are plenty of great artistic cities out there and that's where the culture is now.

    Posted by: David | Mar 4, 2013 1:56:33 PM

  11. People actually still go to Rawhide??? wow

    Posted by: FakeOutrage | Mar 4, 2013 2:15:54 PM

  12. on a positive note, the SF Eagle reopened this weekend.

    Posted by: badlydrawnbear | Mar 4, 2013 2:19:52 PM

  13. this is happening all over, actually.

    formerly-sketch Gaybourhoods become tony real-estate havens, and the villages migrate elsehwhere.


    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 4, 2013 2:29:27 PM

  14. Get use to it b**ches! The current gay generation is not into these "cruisey",sleazebag drug haven gay bars of yesterday. There has been an explosion of gay bars in Hell's Kitchen but a majority of them are lounges and the one megaclub XL nightclub. Which incidentally,contrary to what the bitter,chip-on-shoulder queens have suggested,is doing very well right now. A few friends and I had reserved a table at XL with this past saturday,it was a bonkers wall2wall crowd with great vibe and lots of eye candy. They are aiming for a more upscale,trendy look for the place and may add alittle "exclusivity" to it,which I have no problem with,I've been going to places like that off and on for a few years,so I know what to expect. If it cuts off some of the "riff raff",I see nothing wrong with it. The older gay generation (with few exceptions from what I keep hearing/seeing) has refused to accept that the "scene" has changed and that this is 2013 not 1984.And I would call rawhide anything but "historic",it ain't the stonewall,which I hope will be with us for a very long time. Moving on....!

    Posted by: Audi-owner | Mar 4, 2013 2:54:33 PM

  15. I just don't get the need to "preserve" some random gay bar. Bars and clubs close all the time. The types of people who would gravitate to Rawhide are getting smaller and smaller, so the bar is closing, so what?
    Does this bar deserve to exist simply because it catered to a particular type of gay guy? Really? Are we going to save the last Taco Bell should it run it's course and go out of business??? And for a mayoral candidate to "weigh in" just makes her seem foolish.

    Posted by: Wow | Mar 4, 2013 4:14:12 PM

  16. It's not that a gay bar is closing. It's that a likely heterosexual landlord is using his economic clout to push the bar out of that location. The bar likely would continue on if the rent wasn't doubled. This stuff has happened many times in the past all over. Gay people move into an area, fix it up, crime goes down, then heterosexuals either who bought property there because they saw it was a neighborhood on the upswing or already had property push out the gay businesses in favor of mainstream retail/ restuarants. Heterosexuals then move in and the entire atmosphere becomes hostile to gay people and they move out. The pioneers who made the neighborhood are forgotten.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | Mar 4, 2013 4:59:32 PM

  17. thank you for understanding the point, Billy.

    "you're welcome, yuppies, for our decades of cleaning this neighbourhood up so that you felt safe enough to bring your designer-strollers into it"

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 4, 2013 5:06:13 PM

  18. I'm going to miss the Cheap 2-4-1 drink specials.

    Posted by: Cheap Drink | Mar 4, 2013 5:09:09 PM

  19. Manhattan is turning in to a tourist trap hell hole.

    Posted by: jaragon | Mar 4, 2013 5:34:51 PM

  20. This happens to neighborhoods of color ALL THE TIME. Harlem and Brooklyn are just two examples of white moving into black neighborhoods, jacking up the rents to force the people out. Gays want to be minorities?...well here it is. Enjoy

    Posted by: Karma | Mar 4, 2013 5:49:31 PM

  21. It always smells bad when you walk by there, especially June-August.

    Posted by: Ben | Mar 4, 2013 5:50:48 PM

  22. Thanks, NUFLUX for that comment. I, too moved out of NYC 3 years ago and am watching as many who lived there are coming out here to make a good living and keep the artistic integrity they had when they were part of the old NYC (pre-2000). As one who lived there for 17 years, I have watched it changing and losing a lot of what made it what it was - gritty, unbiased, inspiring, artistic, cutting edge and, most importantly, owned and operated by NY'ers. Since moving here I've seen more and more new businesses pop up that are privately owned and doing well. NYC is an amazing place but it's no longer the center of the universe as it once was. Things change - move forward and when you look back, be proud of what was.

    Posted by: aaron | Mar 4, 2013 6:06:46 PM

  23. i'm with ratbastard. i'm sick of all the frigging strollers in chelsea and straight people invading gay happy hours.
    and audiowner, get over yourself.

    Posted by: wtf | Mar 4, 2013 6:11:22 PM

  24. I would not describe Rawhide as "pleasant", nor "roomy" so maybe this is a chance to at least find space for a table or two.

    Posted by: anon | Mar 4, 2013 7:21:07 PM

  25. WTF shows us that heterophobes really do exist. I thought that they were just a figment of the Right Wings imagination.

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 5, 2013 12:58:34 AM

  26. 1 2 »

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