Members-only clubs often conjure images of old rich guys in suits smoking cigars in exclusive environs, where words like “hobnob” are required to properly describe their actions. Those places still exist, and if you’ve got the connections and initiation fee, they can be a great way to infiltrate the one percent. But in recent years, a new crop of social organizations have popped up, providing access to a greater mix of members.
Some clubs are more business-oriented, while others prioritize social engagements, but each is a great way to meet new people, network and otherwise enjoy yourself via vital amenities like bars, restaurants and pools. These are 10 of the best private clubs in Texas, with nary a country club in sight.
Soho House hails from London, where the concept opened in 1995. Its stateside debut came eight years later in New York, and since then the famous club has opened across the world — including in Austin, which got its own Soho House in 2021. Located just south of downtown, the venue is a hybrid hotel and members club, with 46 rooms for overnight stays, plus a restaurant and bar, screening room and rooftop pool. You can join the Austin house exclusively, or apply for full membership to receive access to the entire network, from Amsterdam to Stockholm.
Set in a refurbished 1940s house, Pershing is a gathering place for creatives. The three-story space has a bar and lounge, living room, terrace, restaurant and several meeting rooms. There’s also a relaxing courtyard with another bar, and a gallery space for hosting concerts, art shows and private events. And let’s not forget the shisha den, which isn’t something you see every day. Pershing is still evolving, and the next phase will see the venue install a pool with cabanas, plus a sauna and showers. Join up, and you’ll get reciprocal privileges at other clubs around the world, including Park House in Dallas, plus clubs in New York, D.C., London, Paris and elsewhere.
Founded nearly 70 years ago by the executive editor of the Austin American-Statesman, the invitation-only Headliners Club was meant as a place for those who write the headlines and those who make them. Today it serves a broader membership and acts as a gathering place for social events, professional meetings and dining in its downtown highrise location. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and it’s where deals are made over bone-in ribeyes.
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Le Sol is spread across two houses in Oak Cliff, with good vibes and a Parisian aesthetic. The spaces and grounds feature a pool and hot tub, café, wellness studios, work space, meeting rooms, a garden and a retail shop. The organization hosts a variety of weekly wellness classes, like yoga, reiki and sound bathing, as well as monthly social events for its members and their guests. Non-members can also participate in select ticketed events and classes throughout the year.
Since opening in late 2018, Park House in Highland Park Village has become the most coveted private club in DFW. Membership isn’t cheap, but it comes with perks and access. The multi-space concept has a dining room, bar, lounge, wine cellar, patio and other gathering spots, where an interesting mix of professionals congregate for meals, meetings, music and events. The restaurant offers breakfast through dinner, plus weekend brunch, and the bar stays open until 1 a.m. on weekends. Park House has proved popular, and the founders are expanding into Houston in early 2024.
55 Seventy isn’t an everything-for-everyone club. Instead, it leans into wine, acting as a private club for oenophiles. Members can stop in for coffee, lunch, dinner, cocktails and wine across a variety of good-looking spaces, including the champagne room, dining room, tasting bar, lounge and garden, with food from chef Josh Sutcliff and wines from sommelier Jeff Gregory. The club regularly hosts wine tastings, dinners, art experiences and other social events, and one major draw is the 4,000-square-foot wine cellar. Members can rent a locker or walk-in unit to store their wines in perfect conditions, and then pop their own bottles without a corkage fee.
Opened in 1986, Crescent Club in Uptown Dallas has become one of the city’s most prestigious clubs. The 17th-floor space is decked out in rich woods and has a handsome bar that looks over the downtown skyline, and a dining room that serves lunch and dinner. There’s also a 22,000-square-foot wellness center, where members can hit the gym, participate in fitness classes, and get massages and other treatments like cryotherapy.
Located at Maple and Inwood, hence the name, Maplewood is a tight-knit club offering a full restaurant menu and bar, lounge seating and a patio. Members congregate to eat, drink, network and attend events, including concerts, holiday parties and casino nights. Members can also book space for private events, like business dinners, meetings and celebrations.
The original Houston Club was founded in 1894 and is one of the oldest social clubs in the southern U.S. It has counted some of the city’s most prominent business leaders and politicians among its ranks. Today, it’s located in a 49th-floor space that looks onto the Houston skyline and sports a more diverse membership, drawing people in for networking events, business meetings, lunches, dinners and wine tastings. The restaurant, dubbed Allen’s Landing, serves steaks and seafood and sports a solid wine list, but members can also take advantage of onsite wine lockers to store and drink their own bottles.
Opened as the Plaza Club in 1973, this private club has undergone a name change and is in the process of moving to a new 30th-floor space in downtown San Antonio. Once reopened, the Centre Club will offer business services and meeting rooms, as well as a restaurant. It will also host regular events, including wine dinners, spirit tastings and networking events.
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