On Our Gaydar: New Hope

From arts to eats, this Bucks County town is a gay mecca

Ivyland Railroad in New Hope (photo by Bob Krist)

New Hope feels delightfully small-town. Gays, straights and bikers live in harmony. Every bartender doubles as a therapist. A T-shirt shop owned by lesbians hands out free sangria every Saturday night. (Opie only wished he had it this good.)

There really isn’t a restaurant, bar or shop here—or right across the river in Lambertville—that isn’t gay-friendly. We walk down the street holding hands. We sneak kisses across tables over dessert. We slip into the smallest bathing suits known to man and hang out at the pool at the notorious-for-over-pouring Raven.

And it’s just so pretty here, walking along the Delaware, where there are all kinds of secret, secluded spots to do, you know, whatever.


Just walking into the gorgeous church-turned-restaurant Marsha Brown Creole Kitchen (15 South Main Street, 215-862-7044) takes your breath away, and as one friend says, “The spicy dishes kick you in the ass.” Nothing bad comes out of Pierre’s Chocolates (360 West Bridge Road, 215-862-0602), unless it’s you at any holiday time, fuming because your favorite dark chocolate truffle is sold out.


Rafael Novoa Interior Design (36 West Bridge Street, 215-862-6450) offers glam accessories and accent furniture that we wish was ours. All of it. Ours. And though we try very hard to stay away, the chic offerings at Savioni Designer Boutique (10 South Main Street, 215-862-5010) keep calling to us. Especially the jeans.


Of course, we would start the night at Karla’s Restaurant (5 West Mechanic Street, suite 5, 215-862-2612) with bartender Ricky, a.k.a. “the Intoxicologist,” who whips up the craziest concoctions. (We still dream about his chai martini.) Everyone ends up dancing at Dansu (formerly Harlan’s Bar) at the Ramada Inn (6426 Lower York Road, 215- 862-5221)—formerly the Nevermore … and we’re still going to call it that, so there—especially after 11 p.m. on Saturdays, when it’s crowded and sweaty. The next morning … um, afternoon … um, late afternoon, cross over to the Jersey side and hike at Baldpate Mountain for great views of the Delaware River and, on clear days, the Philly skyline.


Our friend who gets his hair cut by Heather at Me Salon + Spa (356 West Bridge Street, 215-862-2990) looks like a rock star all the time. Bitch.

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