Recently, Billionaire Leslie Alexander, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets attracted attention via the announcement of his upcoming Private Membership club, Societe au Vin, that will launch this summer in Bridgehampton. That being said, the Truffle has evaluated our favorite Private Membership Clubs in NYC:
Upper Crust Membership Clubs:
Classy, sophisticated and incredibly waspy, the Metropolitan Club is one of the most exclusive and prestigious private membership clubs in the country. Founded in 1891 with Club President, J.P Morgan, the Metropolitan Club caters to the UES (Upper East Side) elite and boasts one of the most spectacular outdoor views of Central Park. Recently, the Orpheus Gala was held at the Met.
Fee/Membership: $5000 Annually
Known as the Jewish equivalent to the Metropolitan Club, the Harmonie Club is arguably just as significant and exclusive as the Met (although not as aesthetically spectacular). With around 1,000 members including Carl Icahn and formerly Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who famously resigned in 2001 b/c of lack of diversity), the Harmonie Club is one of the city’s power networking clubs.
Nestled in the downstairs of the Sherry Netherland Hotel, Doubles is popular with many preppy UES residents. While the club only offers a dining room and bar, it nevertheless is one of the most popular supper clubs, which for most, is seen as a ancillary club to either Harmonie, Metropolitan or University Club.
Women-Only Membership Club founded in 1903 on Park and 62nd Street, the Colony Club is popular with UES “society” Mothers and Grandmothers. While the Colony Club does not have the social relevance other clubs have, its members are just as significant as any in the NYC society circuit.
Designed to compete against the Union Club, the Knickerbocker Club, on 62nd and Fifth Avenue, remains one of the most elite membership clubs in NYC today. Some notable past members are Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Douglas Fairbanks and John Jacob Astor.
Arguably the most exclusive membership club in NYC, the University Club is known as the “premiere social club of New York.” Originally founded by Yale alum in 1865, the University Club’s members are among the NYC elite.
The Contemporary Clubs:
Core Club is the contemporary answer to Metropolitan Club and Harmonie Club. Akin to the other “exclusive” membership clubs located in Midtown, Core Club has a more edgy, modern and artsy look, catering to business executives and moguls. While one can argue it is more “nouvue riche” then its predecessors and lacks the “old money” Core Club is nevertheless home to some of the most significant power networking in the city. Relevant members are Vivi Nivo, Stephen Schwarzman and Harvey Weinstein.
Fee/Membership: $50,000 Initiation, $15,000 Annual Dues.
Famous for its uber-popular rooftop pool, the SoHo House on West 14th remains one of the hippest private membership clubs in NYC. SoHo House was famous for allegedly relinquishing memberships to finance professionals, a few years ago and is mostly comprised of a creative and artistic core based in Fashion, Art, Media and Entertainment including Graydon Carter and Robert DeNiro. In addition, nearly everyone involved in hospitality is a member of SoHo House, making it one of the best destinations for meetings and networking in the industry. SoHo House also made news for reaching out to the Community Board regarding plans to open a new House in the Lower East Side in the near future.
Fee/Membership: Under 27: $900 Local House, $1200 Every House, Over 27: $1800 Local House, $2400 Every House with $250 Initiation Fee ($125 for Under 27)
Norwood is similar to SoHo House but far less pretentious and designed more for the “Creative Arts” community. While Norwood does not have the spectacular outdoor pool, it actually has a nicer indoor space as compared to SoHo House.
Fee/Membership: Initiation Fee: $1000, Annual Dues: $750