Soho House Has Good News and Bad News for People Concerned About Crowding

If you're looking to join in New York, London or Los Angeles, you may be out of luck

Soho House NY
Soho House in New York City
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Five years ago, a Wall Street Journal headline made a bold declaration: “Soho House Wants More Members—Lots of Them.” The story focused on the club’s overall strategy for opening new locations around the world, but it wasn’t long before members at existing clubs began complaining about feeling crowded when they visited to work, attend meetings or catch up with old friends. It’s a perennial challenge: finding the ideal number of attendees so that the business is successful without a space being too crowded.

All of which might explain why Soho House is making an about-face in its New York, London and Los Angeles clubs, putting a full stop on bringing new members into those locations. As Cameron Sperance reports for The Points Guy, Soho House founder Nick Jones shared the information in an email sent to members on Friday. “I’ve been talking to our members and the teams in all our Houses, which I’ve really valued. We continue to be very focused on improving service, as well as making sure our Houses don’t feel too busy,” Jones wrote. “For that reason, next year we’re closing the doors to new members across our Houses in London, New York and Los Angeles and will only be accepting members in locations where we have capacity.”

Will a High-Profile IPO Change Soho House Forever?
The planned IPO follows an earlier foray in 2018

Soho House is in the process of opening a number of spaces in other locations; its website notes that Soho Houses are forthcoming in Manchester, England, Glasgow, Scotland, Charleston, South Carolina, and Portland, Oregon. In an interview with the Observer earlier this year, Jones sounded confident about Soho House’s place in the world. “There’s not more people doing it in numerous cities — I mean, we’ve got 41 houses now. I think it will take a bit of time for someone to catch up.” We’ll see what effect this decision has on its position industry-wide.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.