NO…I am NOT a member!!!!!
It seems as though every time I mention going to Soho House for dinner or drinks, the first words out of anyone’s mouth are: “Are you a member?”.
So here is the reason I have NOT applied for a membership: When the Soho House opened it’s doors in spring of 2010 as a private member’s club, everyone and their grandma’s raced to fill those applications in hopes of becoming a member of the new LA Golden Club; it was like Black Friday at Wall Mart for the rich & famous!
I’m not quite familiar with how they pick who does and who does not get access to the club; but after the dust from the “great run” settled, there were plenty of wounded souls with crushed egos that didn’t make the cut. However, many of my friends, with whom I spend lots of time with, got accepted and consequently began dining, drinking and entertaining there all the time (some I think live there…), so I found myself going to Soho 2-3 times a week, as their guest.
So here was my thought: If I applied for the membership and for some ungodly reason, I would to be denied, I’d be so pissed off that I would never set foot in the place again, which would mean giving up spending plenty of social time with my friends. So in one of my least courageous moments in life, I decided not to take the chance and just stick to the status quo. Not to mention I am really not the kind of person who buys into these elitist clubs for “special” people, which works like a charm in a place like LA where most people have approval issues!
The Soho House is billionaire Nick Jones’ 2nd venture in LA after opening Cecconi’s in 2009 in the old Morton’s location. Perched on the top floor of the Luckman Building in West Hollywood, with the most unbelievable views of the city, the space is divided in 2 main areas: the restaurant and the bar/lounge. My good friend Waldo Fernandez designed the place and really succeeded in creating a chic, laid back, sexy, comfortable oasis for the “Pretty” ones to pollinate. The massive staircase in the entrance hall, when you exit the elevator, is beyond glamorous; though I wish it was inverted, meaning, instead of going up to the higher floor from the entrance hall, you would be going down…it would make for great entrances; people would be flocking at the bottom to see the spectacle of it all. Not to mention it’s a hell lot easier than walking down the stairs on your way out after a few cocktails; especially for the 99% of the ladies population at Soho who wear 6 inch heels.
There has been a lot of talk through the years about the food not being very good, but I must admit, I never had a bad meal; though I don’t think anyone goes to Soho Club for the food. It’s hard to top dining under olive trees by a water pond, under the stars at the top floor of a building in West Hollywood! This place rocked for the first year, with more mega stars, fabulous parties and drama than anyone has ever seen in LA in such a short period. I can’t even count how many great nights I had here…never a dull moment!
The only other successful Member’s only Club in LA that I can remember of was Tramps! For almost 2 years, this London-based phenomenon, owned by the legendary Johnny Gold along with my then step-uncle Oscar Lerman (the best person EVER!), husband of my then step-aunt Jacky Collins, it was “THE” Place to be in LA! I remember all the glamorous dinners I had there with my then step-mother Joan Collins (are you getting sick of the: “then step…” yet?), with Elizabeth Taylor, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Sydney Poitier and the beautiful Joanna, Jacky Collins & Oscar Lerman, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Sylvester Stallone with the psychotic Brigitte Nielsen and many more. I remember dancing weekly with Prince, who was always by himself, and his bodyguards till the wee hours of the morning without sharing 1 word; and for some obscured reason I remember Steven Seagal (“I know…right?”) with his lady in red and then wife, Kelly LeBrock, who I thought was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. The energy was amazing, the bathrooms sounded like Hoover testing factories and the people were just gorgeous; there was a lot of fun and naughtiness that cannot be mentioned on my PG13 Blog! Sadly, after an incredible first year, it quickly fizzled and eventually closed it’s doors. Maybe the weird location in the Beverly Center’s street parking level, next to all the dumpster, might have helped with it’s demise.
The Soho House however, seems like it’s here to stay; especially after a hefty $383,000,000 cash infusion from the supermarket mogul and “Entendeur of pretty”: Ron Burkle! Rumor has it that Soho House will be opening its 2nd LA spot in Malibu: Soho Beach, right next to Nobu.
They really are the first to succeed with the “members only” formula in LA. In a city, where everyone who thinks they are anyone is plagued with entitlement issues, getting all the right people to sign up and pay the $1,800 a year membership, regardless of who you are, is quite an accomplishment! Two years after it’s opening the momentum has definitely slowed down, but Soho House is still hot and a great place for a business meeting, a dinner under the stars, a private event in the homey private rooms downstairs, or cruising celebrities and wannabe’s at the bar…that is, if you can get in!
Dinner with Lady Cher at the Soho House
The stunning rooftop restaurant