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Former Rawhide Space in Chelsea For Rent

By Mathew Katz | April 9, 2013 9:43am

CHELSEA — Another gay bar could soon take over the former home of Chelsea's venerable leather bar Rawhide, based on early interest from potential tenants, its broker said.

The space at 212 Eighth Ave. went up for rent after after Rawhide shut down following a March 30 goodbye party, and the broker looking to fill it said that he's recieved huge interest in the space, including a few offers, largely from restaurants and bars.

"A lot of people know the history, everyone knows Rawhide, so we've gotten a lot of calls looking to open up another men's bar or another restaurant that supplements the area," said JD Sutro, a broker with Lee & Associates.

Lee & Associates is advertising the 1,320-square-foot space at 212 Eighth Ave. for $25,000 a month. It's available immediately and perfect for "all uses."

The spot offers 77 feet of frontage on the corner of West 21st Street and Eighth Avenue, along with basement office and storage space.

Any restaurant moving into the building would likely need to overhaul the kitchen, at the very least, as it has not been used in years and is not up to code, Sutro said.

The space's listing touts its brand-name neighbors, including Organic Avenue across the street, along with GNC, Starbucks, the Gap and American Apparel.

Despite being surrounded by chains, Sutro said that most of the interest in the location was coming from small and medium-sized restauranteurs — not big companies or franchies.

"They know residents around there are great to their neighbors and patronize local businesses," Sutro said.

Rawhide's closure was first reported by Jeremiah's Vanishing New York, which railed against a flyer advertising the space that mapped out all the recognizable stores and chains in the area..

For 34 years, the bar was the center of leather and bear culture in Chelsea, long advertising its "hottest male dancers" to passersby.

Its owner, Jason Goudgeon, said that he was forced to leave the longtime location after its landlord jacked up rent from $15,000 to $27,000 a month.

Rawhide's owner plans to reopen the bar near East 58th Street and Third Avenue.