The Real Deal Los Angeles

Wannabe members of Malibu’s new Soho House must want it for “the right reasons”

Exclusive social club is in the midst of aggressive expansion, with new outpost coming to Arts District

May 31, 2016 08:30AM

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SoHo House West Hollywood at 9200 Sunset Boulevard (SoHo House West Hollywood)

SoHo House West Hollywood at 9200 Sunset Boulevard (credit: SoHo House West Hollywood)

Soho House, the exclusive London-based club for creative elites, is debuting its Malibu outpost this week, but not all of its members will be invited.

Diverging from its policy of open access for paying members to any of its 17 global locations, the new Billionaire’s Beach oceanfront club is instituting a policy that means existing L.A. members will have to apply specifically for membership and cite their personal connection to Malibu, according to the Hollywood Reporter. 

“We respect the communities that we go to, and everyone in Malibu was really passionate about keeping this club within the fabric of what the city is,” Soho House membership director Samantha Stone told the magazine. “So members have the opportunity to apply and explain why they want to access Malibu — and to see if it’s for the right reasons.”

The 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, known as the Little Beach House Malibu, will offer postcard-worthy views from its terraces on the Malibu Pier. The storefront used to be billionaire Larry Ellison’s Italian restaurant, Nikita. It’s currently is leased from the real estate firm Mani Brothers, which also owns the WeHo Soho House that opened six years ago.

Meanwhile, the Ron Burkle-backed Soho House brand is reportedly facing some financial troubles, as its aggressive global expansion eats into cash reserves. As of April, the coveted social organization’s ratio of debt to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization had increased by more than 14 times, according to Standard & Poor’s.

The club is expanding further in L.A., where there’s a third outpost in the works — an 80,000-square-foot warehouse in the Arts District. [THR]Cathaleen Chen