World-famous hotel chain Soho House is gearing up to open a new branch in Sydney, a news report has confirmed.
According to the Australian Financial Review, Trenerry Property group and Kanat Group have spent upwards of $20 million on a Darlinghurst venue, presumably slated to become the location of the high-end restaurant. The ‘island-site’ sits comfortably in 256 Crown Street in Sydney, and is reportedly 512-square-meters in size.
While Knight Frank agent Jonathan Vaughan confirmed that the Darlinghurst site had been sold, the developers and their team remain silent on the finer details of the establishment.
Founded in 1995 by Nick Jones, the chain of restaurants has become a favourite of celebrities and the upper echelons of the media and creative industries. Attendance is membership-only, obtaining which is rigorous and lengthy.
In 2021, the chain had approximately 119,000 members across 10 countries. Membership to access all branches across the world starts at approximately $2700, with a signing-on fee of $900, but the club policies state they focus on factors ‘above net worth and job titles’ with ‘studied resistance to ostentation…[and] cultivated status signifiers.’
Earlier, the consortium planned to use the Poolman Mansion in South Yarra, Melbourne for the Australian location, but plans were ditched after the neighbours cited concerns about celebrities and the consequent paparazzi footfall turning the area into a ‘zoo’.
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“I think it would throw the whole balance of the area to suddenly have a licensed facility that opens at 7am and closes at 3am on weekends,” David Parker, filmmaker and Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group committee member, told The Age in December 2021. “I have been to Soho Houses in New York and Los Angeles. It can be a zoo on the street with paparazzi and fans when celebrities are inside.”
Gayle Gledhill, president of the residents’ group, also expressed concerns at the time: “We are keen to see that an area zoned as residential remains residential in its nature and usage.”