Nick Jones has extended his Soho House Group to Brighton but, despite an attractive decor and a terrace with parasols overlooking the Pier, I am doubtful whether it will succeed.
To go there you need to be a house member which costs a mere £2,000 annually.
I opted for the Friends of Soho House for £100 but this is a swizz with no visiting rights. I could not even persuade them to give me an table for drinks.
The first Soho House was in Greek Street and it was a media alternative to the Gentleman’s Club: not anti-women, not stuffy and offering workspace and hubs.
They opened a country house called Babington House and Soho Houses sprang up in other British cities and international ones.
On arrival yesterday I was struck by two things: an air of superciliousness and non-completion of building works.
Once formalities were completed the self-important greeter informed me Friends would have a space to meet and have a drink.
Superciliousness seems to be a key attribute in recruitment as the Spanish waitress possessed it in bundles.
When I said we still awaited our ordered drinks she retorted it was nothing to do with her but, the responsibility of the bar staff.
When I said they were turning custom away she said that they had to protect their members – even though the restaurant Cecconis was at best half-full.
It seemed to be to be the recipe for failure – namely, impose the rules at the expense of custom.
Expense is the key word here as restaurant prices are full without the membership charge.
We ordered starters and a salad.
No, their starters have to arrive all together; no, you can only have two scoops of sorbet.
Ironically, the rules were as strict as any members club and the presumptuous senorita seemed to enjoy imposing them.
I was a guest of a founder member whose company I always enjoy, so it’s churlish to find fault.
However, if come a wet cold and windy November, I wonder whether they will still be offhand.