Chelsea, the West Village and many neighborhoods in New York City are rapidly losing their unique bars, social hangs and stores. I've lived in Chelsea since '81 and have seen many gay bars come and go - but Rawhide had been there since '79 - and it's an honest shame to see it go as well.
It wasn't my favorite bar - and I don't think I ever 'hooked up' with anyone from there (almost a few times...!) - but it was 'cozy', divy, kinda random and Cheers-like in a certain way.
I also liked their mix of pinball (yeah!!!) and classic 8-bit arcade machines. I'd often drag a friend in just for that & a strong-inexpensive drink. The bartenders were nice, and they had go-go BEARS(!). Seriously. BEEFY, sometimes older/hairy guys in very very little. Younger guys too - but they really mixed it up... lots of black and bario-boys too... but NO SKINNY TWINKS. Strippers aren't my thing, but I thought that was kinda cool as a variant against the norm.
I stopped in the last few nights and it was utterly packed! Great crowd - a lot of cute guys and people just havin' a great time. NO ATTITUDE. Not many newer bars can claim that. Even the Eagle gets a bit cliquey.
Anyone have any fun stories about the place? There's gotta be some. I mean - it was open 'til 6am, closed 'til 8am and then would re-open. I'd wound up there more than once around 8:30 after an all-night party or hang with friends. What a trip!
Here's a link to a great article on Rawhide and the comments following it are worth a good read on an 'historic' local. So - goodbye Rawhide - and thanks for your unique flavor. For me and a few close friends, you will be missed.http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-rawhide.htmlhttp://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2013/03/rawhide-history-future.html