Private member club NeueHouse debuts at its newest LA location in a historic building owned by actor, director and Oscar winner The sting producer Tony Bill.
Just steps from the Venice Beach boardwalk, the two-story 1920s building has been reimagined as a professional work and social space with a residential feel. phone booths. There is also a daytime lounge that will become Reunion’s restaurant and bar at night when the Italian-inspired seafront eatery opens in late January.
In the 1970s, Bill hosted concerts, lectures, art shows, and community political rallies in the space, which was flanked by Larry Gagosian’s first gallery and the celebrity hot spot that Bill co-owned with Dudley Moore, 72 Market Street Oyster Bar and Grill.
“When we found this building and got to know Tony Bill and the history of the street, it all came together quite by accident,” says NeueHouse chief brand officer Jon Goss. “[Bill] housed many influential creative celebrities in his own space when he operated it as a production office.
Goss says Venice – and the west side of Los Angeles more broadly – was the logical next step for the brand: “We established many years ago that it’s pretty much a haven for the creative class… I think Venice always lacks a central hub for that community.”
The Dec. 5 opening of the Venice location marks the company’s third LA outpost, rounding out NeueHouse’s presence in Hollywood (in the old CBS Studios building) and downtown (in the Bradbury Building). “We actually saw this as completing the triangle of where creatives work and commute,” says Goss of Venice, adding: “[That] and the sheer, natural beauty of being by the ocean made it a bit of a no-brainer for us.
Since the venue was first announced in April, the team has received more pre-opening membership applications than any of their other venues, according to Goss. Membership levels — which are designed for businesses looking for meeting rooms and desks, as well as individuals — run from $1,000 to $7,000 per month. Venice Beach is the smallest footprint in the NeueHouse portfolio and because of its exclusivity (total membership is limited to 850), it is the highest price.
“There are people all over the city who need spaces that are convenient, that allow for private and collaborative gatherings, and a place to rejoin a community,” says Goss. “We’ve definitely seen a fusion of home working and corporate offices converge more – and a fusion of work and leisure – so if you can work, meet, eat, access group cultural programs and have a drink late into the night the evening … we can solve a lot of that which is quite rare.
Martine Bury, vice president of programming and experience at NeueHouse, says the company’s overarching approach to programming and building a venue’s identity is “community up, not culture down.”
“We really create our culture from this rich community that we build — and it flows together organically around our spaces,” she says. “Especially for Venice, we had the opportunity to really create our own identity [at the] intersection of art and innovation: a certain piece of entertainment and production industry, science and looking ahead, leaning on this idea of sustainability. That’s a real distinction for [this] House.”
According to Bury, the programming calendar for December is already underway and aimed at visual artists and designers who create interactive work.
The design of the space, which Goss calls an “urban beachfront retreat,” is inspired by the legacy of California design and uses midcentury-style lighting and abundant natural materials.
This story first appeared in the December 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.