One year ago, the Rawhide bar was forced to close after 34 years in Chelsea.
The space went to a west coast pizza chain called Project Pie, "the Chipotle of fast-casual pizza," but that deal later fell through. The Rawhide space remains empty today.
Did Project Pie back out of the deal? Why is 212 8th Avenue, a prime High Line-adjacent property, still empty? Reader Chris speculates, "I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that that space is on the same block with two gay sex stores that are crawling with outer borough hustlers."
Indeed, neighbors have tried to shut down Rainbow Station and The Blue store, complaining to city officials about "24/7 Murder, Drugs, Male Prostitution, Rowdiness, Noise at Night Burglary." But the sex shops soldier on, keeping this stretch of rapidly hyper-gentrifying 8th Avenue safe for dirty queers, and not so safe for shiny, happy pizza chains from San Diego. For now.