Yesterday morning we stopped by 139 Ludlow Street, where Soho House is holding a series of open houses for local residents in advance of next month’s community board meeting. The members’ only club is expected to go before CB3’s liquor licensing committee, one of the first public steps necessary in the company’s quest to open a new location on the Lower East Side.
As we reported last week, Soho House CEO Nick Jones sent a letter to about 1800 residents in a two-block radius of the former Nieberg Funeral Home, inviting them to the open houses this past weekend and next weekend. Some people in attendance the last couple of days, no doubt, received the letter. Others, intrigued by the open doors in the somewhat mysterious building next to the Libation night club, wandered in to have a look.
We spent a few moments chatting with Pierre Dourneau, who will be in charge of opening the LES location. He’s also spearheaded the debuts of Soho House’s West Hollywood and Miami Beach clubs. Dourneau showed us renderings depicting a ground floor restaurant and bar, a sitting area on the second floor and a third four “old school” gym meant for activities such as boxing and yoga. The exterior will be left intact, although new windows are going to be installed. There will be a greenhouse-style room built on the top floor.
Dourneau and Hayley Rynehart, a membership manager, said quite a few people came through on Saturday, even tough it was snowing. Soho House is, of course, well aware some people in the community are lining up in opposition to the new venue, including the LES Dwellers neighborhood group. The open houses are one way they’re trying to reach out.
Dourneau said he expects the project to take about a year. A tentative opening is planned for the summer of 2014. Earlier this month, we visited Soho House’s Meatpacking District location to learn more about the club’s LES plans. You can read that story here.