Exclusive Soho House opening in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Members only: Swanky bar Soho House is opening its third New York location and first in Brooklyn in Dumbo.
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Swanky members-only club Soho House is opening an outpost in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Empire Stores this fall, according to an e-mail sent to the exclusive association’s members on Tuesday.

The new incarnation, called Dumbo House, will occupy the top two floors of the re-purposed 19th century warehouse retail, restaurant, and office complex, the blog Brooklyn Bridge Parents briefly reported earlier this week.

It will also be located above the brand’s Italian restaurant Cecconi’s, which is set to open on the ground floor of the seven interconnected Water Street buildings this May, and down the block from the park’s luxury Pierhouse development and condos at One John Street.

Details on the international club’s first Brooklyn outpost are sparse, but a rendering shows a lush bar with floor-to-ceiling windows, a random assortment of furniture, and hanging greenery. Dumbo House won’t have a pool like its Manhattan counterpart, but will include an outdoor terrace for members to lounge and enjoy prime views of the outer boroughs, promised founder Nick Jones in the e-mail.

But first, you’ll have to get into the club. Started in London as society for creatives, hopefuls must fill out an application that requires a photo and recommendation from two currents members among other details, such as information about where you work.

Memberships start at $1,050 a year for those under 27 who want to only use New York clubs — there are two locations in Manhattan and others in London, Malibu, Barcelona, Miami, Berlin, Chicago, Istanbul, Toronto, Hollywood, and other places — and go as high as $3,200 for people wanting to use all outposts.

But at least one local says bringing a members-only society to a public park is creating a deeper divide between the have and have-nots, something Mayor DeBlasio vowed to eradicate during his campaign.

“It’s a high-priced membership club and the thing that’s unfortunate about it is it’s something that sort of further reinforces the whole notion of a tale of two cities,” said Peter LaBonte, who is the chair of the park’s community advisory council.

The advisory group is planning on reaching out to the club’s owners to chat about ways to make the cliquey hub for inclusive, such as opening it up to community groups one day a month, he said.

Dumbo House will join Empire Stores’ tenants including high-end furniture hawker West Elm, a satellite museum of the Brooklyn Historical Society, an outpost of popular area eatery Vinegar Hill House, a rooftop beer garden, and a storefront for hip watchmaker Shinola

Construction on the rest of the landmarked Civil War-era property is “nearing completion,” according to a spokeswoman for the developer Midtown Equities, and they’ll soon begin their decking out their spaces for an expected opening of winter 2017.

Soho House did not return requests for comment.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Posted 12:00 am, April 7, 2017
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Reasonable discourse

Samir Kabir from downtown says:
Membership is for those under 27? Huh? Hip watch maker Shinola? Huh? How about calling it Moron House? Gross.
April 8, 5:21 am
Barbara Scharf from Carroll Gardens says:
This seems utterly elitist in a public park. I just don't like the sound of it.
Sept. 2, 8:27 am

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