Despite all the lip service I give to being open to new activities, I can be a bit of a skeptic about things. I have a bit of a love-hate thing with the juggernaut that the global Soho House enterprise has become. On the one hand, I end up staying in them often times when I am in London, and the gym in the one in Shoreditch is incredible. The design of the Berlin outpost is awesome.
On the other hand, there is something about the US ones that is always a bit off for me. Maybe they are trying a bit too hard? It is with some reluctance that I have been accepting regular invitations to the new Soho Warehouse that just opened down the street from our offices.
Members Club for Us?
We are fascinated with membership clubs and feel there is a groundswell of activity out there to create something for people like us — the question being, what is it? There is The Wylde, which we are collaborating with and just launched very successfully in New York, and will be doing more and more in this space. But there are many others that are less than successful.
So it is with some skepticism and also considerable curiosity that I have found myself being invited to the new Soho House virtually daily for the last couple of weeks. My initial impression was not good. It was a Saturday afternoon, and the pool scene on the roof was not my thing — lots of oiled up singles doing the mingle, which confirmed every bad projection I had.
Comfortable Place to Work
But then a funny thing happened. As I was back almost every day, not to the pool but to the other areas, it became sort of a more comfortable version of a WeWork that also served food and coffee. Most everyone there during the day is working or talking about work. I didn’t see a lot of inter-member interaction, it was more like the lobby of a nice hotel — everyone was in their bubble doing their own thing. Which again I would like to slam, but it was really nice. When I am writing I don’t want people talking to me, I just want all the supplies I may need to keep me writing.
Now, a couple of weeks in, I am starting to really like it there. The staff is incredibly welcoming and the food is very good and quite reasonably priced. One of the things I am loving is the diversity of the members. Los Angeles is a highly segregated place, and to be in an environment that is fully multi-racial is great. Who would have thought that Soho House of all places would be the most ethnically diverse place I regularly go? Diversity is, however, limited to a certain sort of global creative type. I am sure I am often the oldest person in the building, but it is of no consequence. Nobody cares, and I certainly don’t care.
What is my verdict? Thumbs up. I’m joining.