When the famous Rawhide bar was pushed out of its Chelsea location, after 34 years of serving the queer and leather communities, we figured another chain was coming. It almost happened. A West Coast "fast casual" pizza chain nearly moved in, but the deal fell through and the Rawhide sat empty for another year.
Now the place has been wrapped in green plywood and renovations are under way. So what's moving in?
I got an anonymous tip and confirmed the intel: The Blue Store is moving in. You know the Blue Store? The gay sex shop a couple doors down? The one that cops and mommies have tried to run out of business? Dildos, butt plugs, porn--and all the crazy Styrofoam heads in the window. That Blue Store.
And it's not just moving. It's expanding.
So, not only are we not getting yet another bank or Starbucks or happy California pizza chain in the old Rawhide space, we're getting a smut shop. Miracles do happen. Though the guy I talked to did say it will be an "upscale" version of the Blue Store. Imagine that.
*UPDATE: This development doesn't sound so great, after all.
Inside the Rawhide