Recap: Soho House Introduces Itself at 139 Ludlow

Posted on: March 18th, 2013 at 6:01 am by
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Months-running rumors of Soho House opening inside 139 Ludlow Street were legitimized after the SLA subcommittee agenda went public last month. However, the group quickly withdrew the application, presumably caught off guard by the initial community response (and early backlash). More community outreach was necessary, so an open house was held this past weekend to meet the neighbors and show off fancy renderings of what most won’t ever see. We obliged…basically, Ludlow is over.

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First, a smidgen of good news. Preservationists will be happy to learn that Soho House has (almost) no intention of altering the exterior of the former funeral home, which dates back to 1902 (read our full history here). Plans are to keep most of the structure intact, with the main alteration being the installation of a rooftop “greenhouse” hangout. On a personal level, our resident historian was granted access to explore the premises, so stay tuned for that awesomeness in the coming days…

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Meanwhile, reps excitedly explained how this would be a perfect refuge for the creatives living on the Lower East Side so that they wouldn’t need to trek over to Meatpacking. It’ll offer paying members a place to “sit and read,” relax, drink and dine in the restaurant, or take advantage of programming like cooking classes and talks. Make no mistake, though, this is an upper crust country club with questionable “public benefit” to the neighborhood at large. The very concept required for liquor license approval in a resolution area. Perhaps if some of the programming would be open to the public, that might ease the blow.

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Anyway, annual membership pricing is $1,800, or in the words of the reps, the same as a one-year gym membership. More like, in addition to a gym membership…and rent…and everything else. Oh, and there’s also an entry-level discount for those under 27 at $900.

The opening of Soho House at 139 Ludlow is contingent upon gaining liquor license approval from the State Liquor Authority. Expect to see them back on the Community Board 3 agenda next month.

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