“On the West Coast, they call it the Stanford swivel,” said serial entrepreneur Nihal Mehta. “Like when you’re at Stanford, you kind of have to look around to make sure other people aren’t hearing. I find myself doing the Stanford swivel at Soho House, just to make sure that folks aren’t eavesdropping.”
Mr. Mehta, whose latest venture, LocalResponse, helps brands find and reward consumers posting about them on social media, was discussing the downside of talking shop in the recently refurbished sixth-floor drawing room of Soho House. “I was kinda joking around last time I was there that we’d have to sign N.D.A.’s,” said Mr. Mehta.
The notion that members of the tony, $1,800-to-$2,400-a-year private club would have to worry about techies stealing their start-up idea—rather than, say, an I-banker squirreling away a stock tip—has to do with the changing demographics of Soho House. Where a seat at the bar once meant overhearing talk about “taking helicopters to the Hamptons,” as one member told The Observer, these days, depending on the hour, the sixth floor might have more in common with a start-up hub than the lunch crowd at Michael’s or Bull and Bear. Read More