Since it opened its doors in 1995, the club has been rarely out of the headlines. The members, however, have changed slightly. Who is buying all that rosé that liquor stores run out of every summer? The majority of our members work in traditional creative industries, with the film, fashion, advertising, music, art and media sectors, among others, heavily represented. The answer, it turns out, is right in front of me. It was good that my first formal introduction to Soho House was in England, not only because that's where it started but also because this kind of relationship to work is so un-American.
In recent years, Soho House has cemented its foothold in hospitality the world over, opening Soho Houses and public-facing restaurants in cities like Toronto, Barcelona, and Istanbul. For two decades, Soho House—those private clubs-slash-rooftop pools exported from London—represented a luxury urban lifestyle more often associated with Sex and the City than with, well, anything actually fun and cool. People have a good experience. This seemed kind of crazy to me, this semi-antiquated private-club thing suddenly being so popular they couldn't keep up with the demand. Local membership gives you access to all four floors and facilities at Ludlow House: club bars and a retractable rooftop restaurant, the Living Room for meeting and working, a screening room and a club within a club for member event programming. These people, they'd all come here to ride out the storm and, in so doing, had found one another. The design at each of these, and at the 15 other houses, favors vintage and bespoke items that are meant to feel locally sourced.
We entered through a no-nonsense lobby, staffed by employees who looked like they'd seen the White Stripes live, multiple times at an impressionable age—tight jeans, Converse, deliberate haircuts. That ethos—the defining ethos—I'd come to find, was made in the image of its founder. I Was Introduced to Nick Jones in Istanbul, but only briefly. He worked until recently as an assistant to Kanye West's creative director, lives in Harlem, and takes the subway to Soho House, where he spends the entire day, at least five times per week. The guy with that monetizable combination of cultural awareness and professional ambition working on his laptop from a coffee shop in Berlin? A male publicist in a caftan arrives. But in London a week later, we met for dinner at the restaurant of the Dean Street Townhouse, which is located just a block from the original, still-operating Soho House. There are plenty of qualities and actions and habits of mind worth judging, but paying five bucks a day to do your work in peace and maybe jump in a pool doesn't strike me as one of them.
Our favorite member is still the struggling screenwriter. Five Year membership to be paid in advance, in full; Regular membership to be paid annually; U27 members have the option to pay quarterly. . Rather we are actively discouraging people who are over 27 from joining. For the first time in its 11-year history, the venue, based on the site of a 1930s cinema in Greek Street, has also introduced a half-price membership scheme for younger people. Its reputation as a celebrity haunt means that even Visit Britain, the organisation responsible for promoting the country overseas, mentions it on its list of must-see places.
But he was overcome by everyone's graciousness and now proselytizes to his friends, who are, like he was, wary at first. Your membership will automatically renew at the end of the one-year period, subject to Soho House approval. Soho House owns restaurants all over the world restaurants that anyone can go to , has a burgeoning e-commerce operation, and, over the past 20-plus years, has established its presence as a global hospitality brand. When you describe it that way, the demographic is pretty legible to anyone who lives in a city or spends time online, which is to say everyone. It included the asymmetrically pompadoured fashion designer Henry Holland; Professional British People Jemima Khan and Daisy Lowe; a bunch of actors, including Eddie Redmayne Stephen Hawking and Luke Evans Middle-earth warrior ; an uncountable number of real estate developers; and Millie Mackintosh, England's answer to Heidi Montag. Like the clubs, these restaurants are deliberately branded in carefully chosen, often transportive spaces.
And, still, each house, it turns out, has a waiting list that far exceeds its membership. He likes to eat and drink and talk; it's impossible to imagine him either consuming yogurt or exercising voluntarily. Soho House was founded in London in 1995 as a home from home for people working in creative fields. You'll be greeted by your first name, and you can order an Eastern Standard Grey Goose, lime juice, muddled cucumber, mint. And then there are the restaurant chains serving pizza Pizza East , burgers Dirty Burger , and rotisserie chicken Chicken Shop. It was balmy and just getting dark when we arrived. And my friend goes most Sundays for the half price food.
Popular stuff is popular for a reason: Taylor Swift is great, and SoulCycle works. To apply for Soho House membership, we ask that you have at least one proposer who is an existing member. Nick Jones, the club's owner, insisted last night that there would not be an automatic ban on members born before 1979. It is not, however, offering a special discount for younger members. In fact, they once famously placed a sign in the lobby showing a red line and a circle slashing through a suit. But recently, it seemed like Soho House was in the midst of something relevant—suddenly opening, or announcing, one new exotic outpost after another.
You can waltz into any Soho House and experience a familiar kind of comfort: The light will be dim, the furniture will be plush and balding, the statement eyewear will be ubiquitous. But then how many people do actually make the most of a membership in general? His fully clothed, bespectacled, incredulous presence rendered him invisible to everyone around us. So if you do use all the perks that come with your membership and you go there regularly it actually is good value for money. The members-only Soho House was meant to stand apart from the stuffy clubs that were a hallmark of the London social scene. That same year, Los Angeles got its own Soho House in West Hollywood. Technically, Soho House is a club in the way your rich uncle's country club is a club.
His hands had been full: There were cheeks to kiss, flights to inquire about. His colleague, a male publicist not in a caftan, appears a few minutes later. We offer five types of membership: Local House, Every House, Under 27 Local House, Under 27 Every House and Child Membership. This type of membership is subject to the same terms and conditions of annual membership, and is available by selecting this option on the application form. And more generally: Who joins a private club in 2015? Isn't that the entire point? To create the spaces that thousands of people clamor to work, eat, and sit in, Soho House designers prize timeless comfort over contemporary trends.
Plus they will ensure a good guest list at any House event. We are not talking about an absolute ban. He said he'd rather keep his shoes on. In 2016, Jones made it possible to shop these design elements with , an e-commerce site. Some members have drawn unfavourable comparisons between the New York and the London establishments. The committee is being asked to select younger members who will be more in keeping with the image the club is seeking to cultivate. A membership purge in 2010 also kept the club close to its artistic roots, barring hedge fund managers and their industry cohorts from renewing.