If Nick Jones knows one thing, it’s how to show people a good time. After all, his portfolio of properties – spanning private members’ clubs, restaurants, bars, cafes and even cinemas – are renowned in the industry as the places to go for after-work, before work and even during work for those all-important booze-fuelled lunch meetings that extend way past an hour. Catering predominantly to a BlackBerry-wielding media crowd, Soho House is the crowning glory of his ever-expanding empire; and the name doesn’t just extend to its birthplace in London’s Soho, but now to Shoreditch, Somerset, Chiswick, Notting Hill, New York, Berlin, West Hollywood and, most recently, Miami. Founder Nick Jones takes time out of his ridiculously busy schedule to chat to Hg2 about his business and about his favourite places to eat, drink and be merry in. If anyone knows how to bring down the House, it’s Nick.
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Where did the idea for Soho House spring from? We bought three houses in Soho and wanted it to be a haven from the madness outside, and a place where people with creative minds could meet.
How are you latest openings faring? Berlin, West Hollywood… It’s been a busy year – to be honest, too many openings! But Soho Beach House has just opened and the initial response has been fantastic.
It seems that Soho House has been expanding at incredible speed this year; any particular reason? It wasn’t planned like that – some should have opened earlier, some later, but they all coincided within six months! It’s kept us busy.
What other properties are in the pipeline? At the moment we are looking at lots of other options, but for now it will be nice to get back to the day job of running everything.
Your portfolio is pretty jam-packed, but what’s your favourite Soho House property? All are special to me for different reasons, so it’s impossible to have a favourite!
Have you always been in this business? Yes – I started in the kitchens and have worked in every area of hotels and restaurants over the years.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you do? Running a country pub.
What’s your favourite city? It’s hard to decide… London is my real home, but I love NY, Miami, LA and Berlin otherwise I wouldn’t have opened there.
Aside from your own, what’s your favourite hotel/restaurant/bar/club? I love the Hotel du Cap in the South of France and I love the River Café in London.
Finally, what makes you a hedonist (if, indeed, you are one)? I love seeing people have a good time.