Members’ clubs have long been a part of London’s social fabric, taking over from 18th-century cafes as the place where well-heeled Britons can eat, drink and socialize around chic surroundings at a prestigious address. They soon arrived in other major cities over the next century, particularly along the East Coast in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, and New York. Today, private clubs are enjoying a resurgence. They were already on the rise before the pandemic, which only accelerated their popularity once the world started to open up again and high-society city dwellers began to feel the need to socialize in settings. more organized.
“The pandemic was a catalyst for things that were already in motion and the members’ club experience was already in motion in New York based on what already existed for the consumer,” said Scott Sartiano, owner of Zero. Bond with Will Makris. WWD. “I think people are going to pay extra and spend more time becoming a member of a place where they feel it’s an organized environment. And I think the pandemic just kind of put a game on the line on it.
New York in particular has become the epicenter of the members’ club revival, with Zero Bond, Casa Cipriani and Chapel Bar in Neuehouse all having opened in the past two years. Opening this month, Aman New York will offer access to 100 people for an initiation fee of $100,000 and $15,000 per year. The service includes benefits at all portfolio properties, a private nutritionist and exclusive experiences at sporting and cultural events. In summer, another big name will join the party: The Ned NoMad, an offshoot of the London hotel business that will occupy the same building as the former NoMad Hotel. Operated by parent company Soho House Membership Collective Group, The Ned will offer Manhattan’s first Cecconi restaurant, a 167-room hotel and 20 social spaces in a private rooftop lounge, terrace restaurant and outdoor bar. mezzanine. Casa Tua, a club with outposts in Miami, Aspen and Paris, also plans to open on the Upper East Side in 2023.
London recently hosted The House of KOKO, created as part of the ambitious refurbishment of the 19th century KOKO theater in Camden. The sprawling property mixes three historic buildings – the Grade II listed theatre, an adjacent 19th century piano factory and the Hope & Anchor pub – with interiors evoking the site’s musical past, helmed by local company Pirajean Lees and creative director by KOKO Olly Bengogh. The Wing, the women-focused club that closed after allegations of racism in the workplace, is also developing a comeback strategy under new parent company IWG, a British company flexible workspaces.
In Los Angeles, the newly unveiled Pendry West Hollywood has an underground bubblegum pink members’ club, The Britely, designed by Martin Brudnizki of London-based Annabel fame, which features Regency feather lamps, twinkling chandeliers, a runway bowling alley and the Wolfgang Puck restaurant. After openings such as Hutton Brickyards in New York and the Greystone Hotel in Miami, Salt Hotels is set to christen The Aster, a wellness-focused club and hotel near Vine Street.
Meanwhile, whispers of an ambitious project called The Moore, set to open in the Miami Design District, are ringing in the ears of people in the Magic City. Upscale neighborhood owner and developer Craig Robins is said to be involved in The Moore, which will reflect its cultural surroundings with a design-centric boutique hotel, fine arts program and executive workspaces when it opens later this year.
In 2022, it cannot be called a trend without movement towards Web3. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of restaurant reservation service Resy, is trying to encrypt the private club, offering access to the Flyfish Club by possessing a membership token that can be verified using blockchain technology. Like NFTs, they can also be resold on marketplaces like OpenSea. The restaurant concept raised $14 million in the first week of funding and plans to open in a location to be announced soon. (Another culinary club, Major Food Group’s ZZ’s Sushi Bar, has been a resounding success since opening last September.) after the “txokos” food clubs in San Sebastián, Spain.
There is an undeniable correlation between the rise of DAOs, exclusive WhatsApp and Discord groups, and private member clubs. Exclusive post-pandemic community spaces and platforms are all the rage.