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Soho House is looking closely at Larry Ellison’s ill-fated Italian restaurant Nikita, which closed last December, for a planned Malibu outpost of its private membership club empire, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
The two-story, 6,900-square-foot Carbon Beach property at 22716 Pacific Coast Hwy., named after Ellison’s girlfriend Nikita Kahn and designed like its next-door neighbor Nobu (with which it shares a parking lot) in a Zen-minimalist style, abuts the sand along a stretch of coast known as a haven for its billionaire neighbors, from David Geffen to Eli Broad.
Malibu insiders are abuzz with speculation that a deal is all but closed. But the club denies it.
“This is not true,” says a Soho House spokesperson. “We are always being shown new buildings…this is just still a rumor. No deals have been signed.”
A Malibu expansion would follow the London-based club’s March announcement of an exponentially massive (80,000-square-foot) location in downtown L.A.’s Arts District. it would include long-term-stay studio space, as well as plans to transform parts of the five-year-old original club aerie atop a midcentury West Hollywood skyscraper from events-oriented square footage into additional restaurant and lounge spaces.
These moves, along with a plan to launch a related co-working concept within blocks of the West Hollywood location, come as Soho House faces its first serious local competition for the A-list industry attention it has so far dominated. (Its West Hollywood rooftop garden has polled first — by a far margin — in THR’s annual Power Lunch rankings since the list’s inception three years ago.)
Manhattan’s similarly chic, networking-friendly, next-generation office concept NeueHouse — with its own set of restaurants and lounges — is expected to bow in the historic former CBS broadcasting building at Columbia Square in Hollywood in September. Meanwhile, the London-based Arts Club, which like Soho House consciously seeks out “creatives” for its membership, may soon be landing at Larry Flynt’s former Hustler address along the Sunset Strip, with the help of member Gwyneth Paltrow and her business partner Gary Landesberg.
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