A new tenant has taken over the Rawhide's space. It's not a bank and it's not a frozen-yogurt shop, but it's not anything very different, either.
Crain's reports that Chelsea's iconic gay leather bar is "being replaced by a West coast pizza chain, in another sign of the gentrification of the area around the popular High Line."
Project Pie is known as "the Chipotle of fast-casual pizza," which means it's a chain that models itself on another chain where your food is made on an assembly line.
Said the landlord's representative, "They thought it would be great for the area to have something that wasn’t a 7-Eleven or Dunkin' Donuts, something with a little more local flair where the community would like to patronize."
Local flair? Project Pie comes from San Diego. They also have one in Vegas, and another in the Philippines, with many more to come. They recently launched an aggressive expansion plan. Kind of like 7-Eleven. This is all the city can expect now--chains and more chains. Maybe it's all the city deserves.
This past March, I reported that the Rawhide would be closing after 34 years of serving the gay and leather communities in Chelsea. It was the first gay bar in the neighborhood when it opened in 1979. It survived hatred and bricks through the windows. It survived the AIDS crisis and Giuliani. But it could not survive the High Line and Bloomberg's New York. Then it was gone.
The California pizza chain signed a 15-year lease for the space at $228 per square foot for 2,640 square feet. You do the math. That's a lot of assembly line pizza.
Inside the Rawhide