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The Fall Of The House Of SoHo

David M. Benett. Getty Images.

It's over, folks. Throw in the Restoration Hardware towel. SoHo House is dead. 

NY Post

But Soho House is “facing an existential crisis” according to a damning report from a Wall Street short selling firm that is betting the company’s stock price could fall to zero.

And worse, more than a dozen New Yorkers interviewed by The Post say the situation is dire: The up-to $5,163-a-year club is now uncool.

“Vibe is off. Mostly crowded and the scene feels oddly the opposite of creative,” one New Yorker in the fashion industry, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said of the current club.

“You need a flare gun to get a waiter’s attention,” another source in the music business said of his ability to order cocktails that cost more than $20 a pop.

Another source who works in politics suggested late night drinks at the Meatpacking location to meet a young woman with questionable taste, “She’s far from a bastion of culture and even she called it basic.”

“I have a friend who is an analyst at a bank and he still likes it,” the source in the music business added. “But he’s a finance guy so he doesn’t really know what’s cool.”

In December 2023, Soho House announced it was no longer admitting new members in New York, LA, or London after locations became too crowded and service suffered. But New Yorkers are skeptical that it will bring the club back to life.

You just hate to see it. Why do bad things happen to good… private elite social clubs? Did anyone even see this coming? SoHo House has been an institution in this city for decades! 

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Oh right. I've been on the scent since August 2023 (don't be fooled by that blog date, it was reposted as a blog of the year in December.) Let's compare my gripes back then with what people are saying now: 

Me: 

They swore to never allow a finance bro to join. But since SHCO's IPO in 2021, they've realized that growing their membership is a necessary evil to growing their share price. The criteria for candidates seems to be less exacting now, the microscope under which applicants pass less finely-tuned.

Them: 

"Vibe is off. Mostly crowded and the scene feels oddly the opposite of creative,” one New Yorker in the fashion industry, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said of the current club.

“I have a friend who is an analyst at a bank and he still likes it,” the source in the music business added. “But he’s a finance guy so he doesn’t really know what’s cool.”

Finance bros: the death of cool. Ask the dating app Raya, or the Surf Lodge in Montauk. As soon as the traders and bankers sneak in beneath the tattered vintage oversized blazer of some concert tambourinist they know, it's only a matter of time before the whole place is overrun. 

Me: 

With a swelling membership comes a drop in service and quality. It's that much harder to reserve one of those pool lounge chairs now; that much harder to catch the attention of the wait staff. Where before you could count on an icy bottle of Sancerre alongside some deftly-shucked oysters, now you'll have to sift through shards of shell within each mouthful of Wellfleet. The bartenders are making twice as many spicy mezcal margaritas, and the quality drops by half.

Them: 

“You need a flare gun to get a waiter’s attention,” another source in the music business said of his ability to order cocktails that cost more than $20 a pop.

They added 100,000 members in COVID but clearly didn't teach their bartenders how to whip up drinks on double-time. I'm almost starting to feel bad. Imagine you're a newly-minted member of a place you've been salivating over for years? Ever passing the discreet door in Meatpacking with a quick glance at the roof to see if any excess guacamole chunks might fall off a chip into your waiting mouth. Someday, someday, you'll break through the red rope and find yourself greeted by name from a 5'4'' host named Petr — NO VOWEL BETWEEN T AND R, HOW FUCKING DARE YOU — before he tells you there are absolutely, unequivocally no open tables whatsoever.  

And now you're in… just in time to catch the decline. Like buying Beanie Babies in 1998 or Fidget Spinners at any point. Reading these articles about the stock price potentially going to zero, about the service going to shit, about the vibe being off. What do you do at that point? Because now, if you join the school of fish and echo the chorus of SoHate, you're just fulfilling your destiny of being the fishy follower you are. 

Which is why this is the precise moment for me to announce my intention to join SoHo House. Warren Buffett said to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. I say become a SoHo House member when others say it's dead and destined for a disastrous bankruptcy filing. I'll hold the door as the hordes of hive-minded morons flee the sinking ship. Then I'll treat myself to the best table in the dining room as an eager wait staff, now attentive and BORED, waits dutifully upon me. This ship won't sink so long as a few of us bail the six feet of hull leakage together. Take your shirt off and use it as a sponge, then wring it out in the pool! We'll turn this thing around in no time. 

Join me. But make sure you know at least two people who will write you a recommendation letter before they're gone.