The place to watch today’s San Francisco Giants game is not from behind home plate or a luxury suite but instead is from the exclusive Gotham Club inside AT&T Park, one of the handful of urban refuges that has redefined private clubs in San Francisco. While stodgy places like the Pacific Union Club and The Bohemian Club have served as the city’s pre-eminent private social clubs for men for years and are infamous for their decades-long waiting lists to become a member, times are a changing. Today’s private clubs in San Francisco (yes, we hear that SoHo House is on the way) are edgy, inclusive and haute. Here are four clubs where even Groucho Marx would want to join, if they would have him as a member.
The Gotham Club
Photo Credit: Courtesy San Francisco Giants
The Gotham Club
This private, speakeasy-style social club at AT&T Park opened this summer and provides members-only experiences while celebrating the 130-year history of the Giants franchise. On game day, members receive access to Club spaces throughout the stadium that provide an exclusive environment in which to relax and entertain. Where else can you get baseball-shaped ice cubes in your cocktails?
Located inside the out-of-town scoreboard at AT&T Park, with unique views to the Field and McCovey Cove, The Clubhouse features a stunning bar and dining area. A private, members-only entrance along The Portwalk grans members direct access to The Clubhouse and the ballpark. There’s also access to the on-field Bullpen to watch batting practice and a Game Room with billiards and a bowling alley.
Baseball season may be nearing its end but the Club offers fun and unique monthly events (some complimentary and some pay as you go) throughout the year that have become quite popular with members.
There are three membership levels (Founding Individual, Founding 5 and Founding 10 that begin at $2,500 for initiation fee and annual dues starting at $1,250 and allow one guest to all Club spaces and events.
Photo Credit: Douglas Friedman
Opened in the iconic Musto Plaza building in October 2013, the city’s most unique modern social club boasts a membership filled with leading artists, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and other individuals from a range of interesting fields. Founded by the philanthropists and social media successes Michael and Xochi Birch, the Battery infuses the romance of a throwback era with the pulsing with the rhythms of contemporary life.
Designed by Ken Fulk, the 60,000 square foot Battery boasts a restaurant, four bars, a lounge, a card room, a spa, a wine cellar, a grand library, 14-suite luxury boutique hotel, spacious penthouse with a roof deck and more. We’re not going to tell you where the private door is and what it leads to. You’ll have to find that out on your own.
Trust us, The Battery is a place where you’ll love to wine and dine, exercise, relax, entertain, or simply interact with a stimulating crowd. In addition to hosting engaging events, from fine art exhibitions to readings by leading authors, the club also organizes field trips to the farms and vineyards where its food and wine are produced.
To join The Battery you must be nominated by a current Member, fill out an application and await approval. Members are allowed to nominate two people total for Membership and the annual dues are $2,400.
The Club at Wingtip
Photo Credit: Courtesy The Club at Wingtip
The Club at Wingtip
These days, it’s not enough to only offer shopping. No wonder when Ami Arad opened the men’s clothing and lifestyle boutique Wingtip, he wisely added an inviting private club that occupies the 10th and 11th floors of one of San Francisco’s older buildings, the 1908 Bank of Italy at 550 Montgomery Street. The Club oozes cool and provides members a contemporary clubhouse that is part social space, part restaurant, part bar, and yes, part shopping.
The highlights include a Whisky Corner, a small seating area to enjoy any of the 200+ whiskies available; The Wine Cave, which features two small parlor rooms dedicated solely to the enjoyment of Champagne and Port/sherry/Madeira respectively, as well as a wine locker room for members’ storage’ four- to eight-seat Private Parlor Rooms named after fabric (the Velvet Room was inspired by the dinner jacket), as well as game rooms, a boardroom and rooftop deck.
Members shouldn’t be surprised if they hear words “you rang?” because The Club just added a butler.
Regular members pay a one-time initiation fee of $2,500 and monthly dues of $250. The Club also offers Social and Visiting membership. Membership has its privileges as all members, who can bring guests, accrue store credit from their dues.
Photo Credit: Cesar Rubio
Dreams aren’t made at Marianne’s but deals are. Hidden behind a bookcase in The Cavalier, inside the Hotel Zetta, is where those in the know and with the secret key code that gets them through the private entry on Jessie Street, will find Marianne’s. Unlike the aforementioned venues that are truly membership-only clubs, this is a super-secret room inside the restaurant famously run by restaurateurs Anna Weinberg, James Nicholas and Chef Jennifer Puccio, owners and creators of the critically-acclaimed restaurants Marlowe and Park Tavern.
Fulk also designed this sexy speakeasy that is themed after the Rolling Stones’ album cover for Beggar’s Banquet and named for British rock icon Marianne Faithfull. Marianne’s has become the place for tech’s elite since opening in 2013. It’s also where you may see celebrity chef Tyler Florence deejaying, where Kobe Bryant and Denise Hale (no, not together) have been spotted, and where Naval Ravikant launched AngelList with the who’s who of angel investors.
How do you gain access to this bar? Well, if you have to ask…