Located in Chicago, USA, in a renovated factory in Fulton Market, the property Soho House is being transformed into a culinary incubator thanks to the "Soho Chance" competition.
The Soho House Hospitality Group, which now has some 30 properties worldwide, was founded by London entrepreneur Nick Jones. Within the exclusive clubs, guests are offered several uses: hotel, restaurant, bar, nightclub, rooftop with pool etc. To gain access, members pay a membership fee, then have access to the common areas and receive a discount on the public price of the rented room.
In Chicago, young chef Stephen Sandoval has just won the "Soho Chance" entrepreneurship competition, which comes with a six-month residency starting on 20 April at the West Loop club. The competition also awarded a residency to Monday Coffee Company, an experiential coffee bar concept within the hotel's co-working space. In addition to the opportunity to occupy the space for free, winners will receive mentoring to assist them in refining their concept and handling the logistics of their business.
Initially reserved for members, the ground floor space and patio will be open to the public every day from 4pm to 10pm, where a selection of cocktails will be available. A DJ set programme will be organised from Thursday to Saturday to attract the outside public.
Launched by the hospitality group in 2021, the Soho Chance initiative is part of the House Foundations programme, a social responsibility initiative that focuses on causes such as the environment, diversity and inclusion, and mentoring. The competition at the Chicago club was the Group's second, and it hopes to expand the programme to other properties.
The culinary incubator is a growing trend. This initiative allows young chefs to let their imaginations run wild, test their concept and test themselves in restaurant management. Soho House, which was founded to bring together like-minded creatives in the arts, politics and media, wants to support entrepreneurs and creatives in the F&B sector to realise their dreams. The hospitality and F&B actors are reinventing themselves and increasing their CSR initiatives to create a whole new value system.
Soho House's services, which were previously reserved exclusively for members, are now being opened up to outside customers to attract more traffic and improve performance.
During the health crisis, the hospitality and F&B sector was hit hard. In June 2021, the IPO on the New York Stock Exchange raised 402 million dollars, enough to balance the accounts and finance the growth of the hospitality group. Valued at around 2.6 billion dollars, Soho House, which opened its property in Paris in the autumn of 2021, is continuing its development and will open at least three new clubs worldwide in 2022.