2020-01-14 —

``Sound exciting? Unfortunately, you most likely won't be able to go. While Tavern by WS is open to the public, the space above it -- called simply WS New York -- is reserved for members willing to pay a $15,000 initiation fee, plus $7,500 in annual dues. A brochure for WS New York lures people to join for an "insider perspective on rarified worlds." As one of the club's managers was heard explaining at the party, "Think Soho House, but 10 years older, so 10 years richer and more exclusive.''


Even harder to infiltrate are the increasing number of enviable dining rooms at high-end condominiums -- like 432 Park Avenue, where esteemed chef Shaun Hergatt oversees the kitchen, or 220 Central Park South, which will house the next New York restaurant from uber-chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. There, all 54 seats will be off limits to anyone who's not a resident (or guest of one) at the building, where a penthouse sold for $238 million... In fact, exclusive restaurants with high-end chefs are becoming the latest in-demand amenity of luxury condos, according to Stacey Kanbar and Julie Kopel from the Kanbar Kopel Team at real estate firm Compass, who say they've noticed an uptick in the trend among clients looking at new upscale buildings.


Private dining rooms have become important points of distinction and selling tools for the properties in part because the luxury real estate market in New York is suffering a glut of unsold spaces, says Stephen Zagor, a consultant who teaches restaurant and food entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School and New York University. A recent report found that more than 25 percent of new condos in Manhattan hadn't been sold as of September 2019, including some 40 percent of Billionaires' Row.

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