Rendering of a patio at Park House Houston
Rendering of the entry at Park House Houston
Rendering of a dining room at Park House Houston
Rendering of a trellis at Park House Houston
Rendering of the living room at Park House Houston
Park House founders Brady & Megan Wood, Deborah & John Scott at Park House Dallas
A private nook at Park House Dallas (photo by Ana Hop)
Park House Houston, a private social club inspired by London’s new wave of stylish members-only social hangouts, is slated to open in December. As a sister club to the wildly successful Park House Dallas, which currently has a waitlist of more than 5,000 hopeful applicants, Park House Houston plans to pick up where the country club set leaves off. Located on the top level of a building at 4411 San Felipe, however, there’s nary a golf course in sight.
The visionaries behind Park House Dallas, which launched in 2018, and Park House Houston are hospitality and restaurant veterans John and Deborah Scott and Megan and Brady Wood. Prior to moving to Dallas, the Scotts spent four years in London, where they joined several private social clubs such as Casa Cruz in Notting Hill (a favorite of Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss) and 5 Hertford Street in Mayfair, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle famously had their first date. (A Casa Cruz outpost opened in New York City last year, with 5 Hertford to open soon on the Upper East Side.) Deborah, who hails from New Zealand and worked in hospitality marketing positions in Asia, took inspiration from these and other clubs when planning Park House. “There was much research carried out late at night at these London clubs!” she says.
The team brings a wealth of experience to Park House. John Scott recently served as CEO of Belmond Ltd. (previously Orient-Express Hotels) and, prior to that, was CEO of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. Brady Wood is a founder of Woodhouse in Dallas, which developed The Moore Miami (a member’s club in the Miami Design District) and The Elevation Hotel & Spa, a ski-in hotel located at the base of Mt. Crested Butte, among other projects.
In the U.S., social membership clubs have traditionally been either country clubs or business clubs, but clubs in London have an array of different personalities and design elements, from Annabel’s glamorous enclave of royals, supermodels, and Mayfair society wells to the Art Club’s cadre of British filmmakers, artists, musicians, and actors looking to dine and dance. At The Conduit in Mayfair, it’s not enough to have money and a pedigree; members must also have a proven track record of social conscience.
While applicants at Park House are carefully vetted, Deborah says, “The new model of private clubs like Park House is more inclusive and socially focused.”
The Park House Formula
A key component to any member’s social club is membership mix. According to information sent to prospective founding members, the ideal Park House membership consists of a worldly and open-minded group of diverse cultural, community,
and business leaders with common interests in art, music, travel, design, technology, fashion, media, literature, theater, sport, business, and philanthropy. Instead of foursomes on the golf course, the club features culinary experiences along with intellectual and cultural discoveries.
More and more, the focus is also on Instagram-worthy interiors. L.A.-based design firm Studio Collective, which gave Park House Dallas its sophisticated vibe, is providing similar contemporary residential-style spaces for the Houston edition. “The Houston club is Dallas on steroids,” Deborah says. At nearly 25,000 square feet, the Houston space has taken all the design elements and room concepts that have worked well in Dallas and added new spaces such as The Bali Room, The Snug, and what she dubs a Secret Speak Easy.
That’s in addition to three dining areas open all day, multiple private dining rooms, and living and library rooms for socializing. Gallery spaces feature a rotating art program along with a permanent collection.
Park House Houston Programming and Phone Etiquette
A packed calendar of programming includes film screenings, live performances, partnerships with chefs, sommeliers, and spirits experts, along with tastings and culinary events. Other perks include private executive workspaces and suites located one floor below, along with access to 18 like-minded social clubs around the world.
And what would a private social club be without its traditional rules: Cellphones are allowed in designated areas only, but forget the selfies — photos and videos are prohibited on premises except during private events; no one under 18 is allowed except on Tuesday family nights and weekends until 6 pm; and a dress code is firmly in place that prohibits shorts, flip-flops, or ball caps.
Park House Houston’s invitation-only founding membership offering closed at the end of March — for a $25,000 joining fee, founding members had their annual dues waived for life — but general memberships are open to applicants 30 years of age and older; the joining fee is $5,000 with annual dues of $3,000. Spouses/partners are an additional fee. Junior members under 31 have a reduced fee. Inquiries, parkhousehouston.com.