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Six clubs where you’ll have more to contend with than a velvet rope.

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Welcome to the Clubhouse: Bungalow 8.  

A60
Sixty Thompson, 60 Thompson St., between Spring and Broome Sts.; 877-431-0400
The scene: A seasonal rooftop aerie popular with the fashion, entertainment,and out-of-town crowd.
Membership cost: Free.
Application process: Invitation-only by Sixty Thompson hotelier Jason Pomeranc and his management.
Method of access: A black membership card gets you and a guest past the front door and to the top floor.
Club privileges: Sweeping views of the skyline; cocktails by Albert Trummer and a bar menu by chef Ian Chalermkittichai.
The VIPs: Management won’t say, but the rooftop has hosted a wrap party for Garden State, as well as Moby’s launch of Teany bottled iced tea.
Not a member? A hotel room key will work.

The Accompanied Library
National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park S., studio 6C, near Irving Pl.; 212-979-5313
The scene: Downtown literati booze, schmooze, and borrow books inside the National Arts Club.
Membership cost: $1000 to $5000 a year, sliding scale; an “Emerging Writers Program” considers candidates on a case-by-case basis.
Application process: Applicants must be referred by a member and approved by committee; the occasional partygoer is also invited to join.
Method of access: A 24-hour concierge grants entry.
Club privileges: Book loans, work space, entry into salon-style soirees, and access to a private bar.
The VIPs: Jonathan Ames, Gavin Brown.
Not a member? You’ll have to wrangle an invite to one of the club’s buzzy parties, like a recent reading hosted by Bono.

Bungalow 8
515 W. 27th St., between Tenth and Eleventh Aves.; 212-629-3333
The scene: Still the hot hangout for celebrity party people.
Membership cost: Free.
Application process: Owner Amy Sacco keeps her high-profile clientele happy with rock-solid service, discretion, and exclusivity. So it’s F.O.A.s (Friends of Amy), all the way—though a member referral might sway her.
Method of access: A gold membership card whisks you inside.
Club privileges: You’ll get what you want, when you want—whether it’s a private jet, a coveted handbag, or a Dominos pizza.
The VIPs: Mary-Kate Olsen, Lindsay Lohan, Colin Farrell, Paris Hilton.
Not a member? Look sharp and you might make the cut.

Frederick’s
8 W. 58th St., between Fifth and Sixth Aves.; 212-752-6200
The scene: Sophisticated socialites and double-kissing Euros glide into this luxe lounge adjacent to the Plaza.
Membership cost: $1000 a year, plus taxes.
Application process: A recommendation from a member or owners (and brothers) Frederick and Laurent Lesort is required.
Method of access: A tan membership card lets you skip the line; in theory, an out-of-order finger scanner grants access to an exclusive back room.
Club privileges: A concierge service procures everything from theater tickets to hotel reservations in Aspen; members are allowed three or four guests inside the private area.
The VIPs: Frederic Fekkai, Erin Lauder, Dylan Lauren.
Not a member? Frederick’s is open to the public, but best dress to impress.

NA
246 W. 14th St., between Seventh and Eighth Aves.; 212-517-4065
The scene: A trendy nightclub where uptown girls, hip-hop heavies, and downtown debs all play nice.
Membership cost: $1086.25 the first year (includes tax and a $500 one-time initiation fee); $500 plus tax every year after that.
Application process: There’s a sizeable waiting list, but to get on it you’ll need a referral from an existing member or from principal owner and high-profile party promoter Noel Ashman.
Method of access: A flash of the silver membership key chain will have the bouncer bowing before you and a guest.
Club privileges: Preferential table reservations, exclusive party invites, private phone lines, and a full stock of off-menu items like caviar and Kobe beef.
The VIPs: Kirsten Dunst, Natalie Portman, Chloe Sevigny, Sean Combs.
Not a member? Good-looking women need not apply, just walk in.

Soho House
29-35 Ninth Ave, at 13th St.; 212-627-9800
The scene: Blame the Hollywood honchos and media bigs who inhabit this two-year-old Brit import for the current caste-system craze.
Membership cost: $1412.12 the first year (includes tax and a first-time $200 registration fee); $1100 plus tax every year after that.
Application process: Applications require a “proposer,” a “seconder,” and a “recent photo,” and are accepted, rejected, or put on waiting list by committee vote.
Method of access: The gates will part if you match the face on your blue-gray membership card.
Club privileges: Amenities include a cinema, spa, and dining room, plus event invites, guest privileges, and access to that infamous rooftop.
The VIPs: Nicole Kidman, Graydon Carter, Uma Thurman, Robert DeNiro, Salma Hayek.
Not a member? Winter room rates start at $350, but nobody’s guaranteeing availability.


Related:

  • Archive: “Bar Buzz
  • From the Mar 11, 2005 issue of New York
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