An Insider’s Guide to Soho House Chicago

Samantha pretends to be another person to access the pool on Sex and the City. Harry and Meghan *allegedly* had their first date there. Since 1995, when the inaugural Soho House opened its doors in London, this private members’ club has been seen as the height of exclusive cool. Soho House Chicago {113 North Green Street, Chicago; https://www.sohohousechicago.com/} opened in 2014, with membership granted on an application and recommendation basis. This membership (which comes with implied bragging rights) can cost you annual fees of $1,000 to $2,800 depending on the your age and desired access to multiple houses.

That’s a lot of green! Is it worth it? Let’s dive in (to the rooftop pool, maybe?) and find out.

To start, let’s take a look at what comes with your membership to Soho House Chicago.

There are five membership options available, each with a different level of access.

  • Local House
  • Every House
  • Under 27 Local House
  • Under 27 Every House
  • Child Membership

Local House memberships allow access to your local club only (In this case that would be Chicago), and Every House allows access to clubs around the world (with the exception Little Beach House Malibu). Under 27 memberships and child memberships allow the same level of access as full memberships, just at a lesser rate.

So, let’s say you’re going for the Local House membership in Chicago. It’s $2,200 per year, or half of that ($1,100/year) if you are under 27.

For that fee of about $180 a month, you’ll get:

  • Access to all club spaces and facilities: bars and restaurants, the gym, our Cowshed spa, the screening room, a rooftop swimming pool and the event programming calendar for members, which includes supposedly awesome events like the annual Soho House Halloween party, a true extravaganza if the rumor mill serves us right.
  • Plus! As of January 2015, Soho House Chicago local members also have full access to Soho House Toronto included in their membership.

So, for the annual fee of $2,200, you get access to a gym, a pool, a place to work if you work from home, or take client meetings if you need to. Obviously, you have to pay extra for food & drink, and spa services, but you’ll get priority access which is nice.

If you figure that a gym membership in the city can cost about $150 alone, and co-working desks run upwards of $300 a month, it doesn’t start to look so bad…

Plus, who can put a price tag on a private rooftop pool in the middle of Chicago summer? You can’t. You just can’t.

But, in case you still had questions, we’re digging into Soho House Chicago even further.

To get a first-hand account of what it’s like to be a Soho House member, we decided to take a peak behind the very fancy curtain with a little help from Jamie Han, Founder of Jamie Madrid Consulting, Inc. {https://jamiemadridconsultingllc.com/} She has a nationwide membership to all US Soho Houses, and gave her insight into how she uses her membership, what special perks she gets, and if it’s all it’s cracked up to be!

Take it away, Jamie!

Photo via Soho House

Why did you decide to become a member of Soho House?

I started my consultancy in Los Angeles in 2012 and Soho House was a great place to meet with colleagues and prospective clients. In Los Angeles, most of the creative industry (fashion, entertainment, music, etc.) used Soho House for work in some capacity.

What amenities do you have access to that the public doesn’t?

The club level, workout classes, and a few other extras like the rooftop. I love the club level, some fitness classes and movie screenings!

I mainly use the club level for business – meeting with potential clients or industry colleagues/friends for coffees or working lunch dates. The movie screenings can be fun if you get on the RSVP list (spots fill up quickly but sometimes you’re able to get on off of the wait list). They have candy, popcorn and cozy seats + blankets that can make it a fun and easy date night with your S.O. or a couple girlfriends.

Photo via WTC Chicago

What amenities do you use most?

The club and rooftop (during the summer!) in Chicago. When the weather cooperates, the rooftop is great for both work and play! My husband and I will enjoy a cocktail up there before heading to dinner or meet up with friends to take in the city views. The atmosphere is lively but because you have to be a member, you don’t typically need to worry about finding seats, which is a huge bonus when compared to other Chicago rooftop locales.

What other locations do you use?

Los Angeles and New York are both great! Los Angeles is very entertainment driven and most members are involved in the “industry” in some capacity. Chicago members seem to differ in this sense but it could also be because those more towards networking, though you do see some using the space to work throughout the day.

Photo via knstrct

How do you use it to work from home?

If I want a change of scenery or want to meet up with a friend that also “works from home,” Soho House is a great place to have a “working date.”

How is it for having meetings, or entertaining out of town guests?

Great! All of their locations that I’ve been to are great for business meetings. When it comes to entertaining out of town guests, the Chicago location is great during the summertime because of the rooftop. I don’t use it to entertain too much outside of the rooftop, though afternoon tea, which is open to the public, is another visitor favorite!

Photo via Soho House

Is it worth the money?

This really depends on what you do for work and how often you’ll use the membership. For me, it is worth it when compared to other co-working spaces or office space rentals because of the benefits outside of having a go-to meeting place.

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