Is It Just Us Or Is Soho House's New 'Friends Membership' Super Shady?

by Christie Grimm · October 20, 2020

    Trust us, we get that it's not easy out there for a business whose entire ethos is based on socializing. Lest you forget that Guest of a Guest is not just an irreverent passion project! But what one of the city's favorite you-can't-sit-with-us institutions has been up to lately has us really wondering what's what.

    Though Soho House received at least $22 million in PPP loans back in March, which allowed them to save 1,996 jobs, and though they took on $100 million in June from investors, the creative club seems quite desperate to stay afloat.

    How desperate?

    Well, just yesterday the members-only chain launched their Soho Friends membership.

    Soho Friends members have access to:
    - Members-only bedrooms at a special rate
    - Studio spaces
    - Weekly events and screenings
    - 20% off at Soho House restaurants
    - 15% off Soho Home purchases
    - 15% off Cowshed products and treatments

    Basically, this new membership tier gives you access to everything other than the ability to just walk in off the street whenever you'd like and lounge around on their sofas (or as some Soho House members like to call it - work). And for what magic price can all of this be yours? $13.33 per month, or $120 per year.

    Now, if I was a regular Soho House member, I'd be mighty mad to see that. Why? Maybe because for just a local membership - not even a membership that grants you access to every club - the annual cost is $1,208.51 if you're under 27 years old, and $2,417.02 if you're over 27 years old. And considering there's a pandemic and the idea of sitting in a communal space all day with a mask on isn't really the most exciting proposition to most, the one big thing the Friends membership doesn't give you is the one thing full members really aren't able to take advantage of!

    And this after months of them continuing to collect membership fees regardless of clubs not being open, offering in-house credit for months missed as an attempted make-good.

    Surely there must be less of a slap-in-the-face way to members for the club to keep on keeping on, no?

    [Photo via Soho House@thefakerothko]