A modern day throwback to the Dandy clubs of the early twentieth century has opened in Chicago. These as you may recall were stylish member-only coffee houses, where to be considered for membership one had to be presented by two existing members, and then pass an evaluation. Today, we have the Soho House.
First opened in London in 1995 by CEO Nick Jones, Soho Houses now have an exclusive, international presence in cities like Berlin and London, Toronto, New York, Miami Beach, West Hollywood, and now Chicago. In total there are 12, each location unique and different from the others. But don’t assume that these clubs are adorned with modern amenities and high tech design. Stepping inside is like stepping back a century, when these types of clubs were filled with businessmen and tycoons.
Each of these twelve houses has its own story, and designers wanted to incorporate the style and history of the city in which they are located. New Soho locations do not usually result from new construction, but rather renovations of historic buildings that are part of the city’s history, and not necessarily residential buildings. In Chicago, a former factory building in the heart of an industrial zone was chosen for the Soho House. It is a six story building with a total of forty rooms and is the largest of the Soho network. Decidedly stylish and classic, and devoid of any particularly high tech amenities.
The intention of this project was to create a comfortable and exclusive ‘home away from home’ for proud members of this exclusive society, made up mostly of creative types: film industry professionals, stars and entrepreneurs as well as wealthy businessmen and women from around the world.
In addition to the private room, library lounge, bars and restaurants, the Chicago Soho House has a gym, a spa, a cinema and a large rooftop swimming pool with spectacular views of the Chicago skyline. Some of these facilities are open to the public, not strictly members and those staying at the hotel.