If you dig a sceney scene, there’s news for you here. If nothing makes you happier than tearing into an import from New York (something we’re becoming notorious for, apparently), there’s something for you here, too. SoHo House, a New York-based hotel and private club which the New York Daily News described as “a media-friendly alternative to the traditional London private members’ clubs,” announced expansion plans that include Chicago, Toronto, Istanbul, Mumbai and Barcelona. (The Chicago location, which will be on Green near the Fulton Market restaurant strip and is expected to open in early 2014, was announced back in January, but yesterday’s announcement significantly increases the amount of detail about it.) Much of what’s planned, like the glitzy glass-enclosed rootop bar and club, will be members only, but they did announce three open-to-the-public restaurants— an outpost of a London pizzeria called Pizza East, a burger concept, and a chicken concept. And this may be where bashing imports comes in.
Considering that it’s locating itself next to the restaurant strip that includes Next/The Aviary, The Publican/Publican Quality Meats, and Moto/Ing, among others, pizza/burger/chicken “concept” sounds pretty declassé, the kind of feed-em-big-simple-food-they’re-Chicago attitude that doomed BLT American Brasserie out of the gate. Maybe it’ll be the most fantastic Peruvian chicken and burgers handmade by a butcher who worked at LaFrieda or something. And not that Fulton Market won’t support a smart new take on old hearty food (that’s pretty much Publican Quality Market to a T). But our advice to SoHo House would be, look at the neighborhood and why you’re moving in there and not somewhere else, and aim your food offerings accordingly.