For years now, Manhattan’s elite private clubs have struggled to attract a younger generation. Some, like the Double’s Club in the basement of the Sherry-Netherland, have deigned to adding disco-style dance floors and playing popular music.
But while Uptown clubs strive to reinvent themselves, Manhattan-based businesses have recognized the branding power of opening exclusive clubhouses for their best customers. John Allen’s, a men’s salon, offers a clubroom with lockers, drinks and a pool table for $950 a year in its Financial District location. Meanwhile, The Magnises is a credit card that conveys membership to a private club, a penthouse at 107 Rivington Street, among other benefits.
Now the oldest tobacconist in the city, Barclay-Rex, is preparing to light up a Churchill in celebration of its new shop and members-only club in the heart of the
Founded in 1910 by Vincent Nastri, Barclay-Rex will soon move just one block from its temporary space at 90 Water Street to 126 Pearl Street, where the Nastri family has leased the entire building. They plan to open a Barclay-Rex tobacco and novelty shop, a clubhouse and rental apartments. The basement is leased to an upscale food-delivery service.
Vincent Nastri III told LLNYC that the retail store and clubhouse will open sometime between mid-February and early March, and a membership will cost $1,500 to $1,800 a year.
“I’ve always had lounges in each of the stores, and there will be a non-membership lounge in the store,” Nastri said. “But the private members-only club will offer much more and be open much later, seven days a week.”
Every member will get a personal locker and a hotel-style card to gain entrance to the clubroom.
Barclay-Rex style is characterized by “executive gentlemen’s décor” that is “elegant without being stuffy,” said Victor Menkin, Nastri’s broker for the last two decades. “It is going to be the place where the gentlemen of Wall Street will want to hang out,” he said.
Nastri added that the interior will feature a fireplace, rugs, high lacquered ceilings and a glass-enclosed humidor.
In the retail portion, Nastri says two lines of private-label cigars created exclusively for Barclay-Rex will be sold.
Upstairs on the third and fourth floors, Nastri is renovating the one- and two-bedroom apartments. However, don’t expect automatic membership to the club or a custom smoking room if you sign a lease with Nastri. He says both apartments will most likely be non-smoking. Seems like a missed opportunity to create the ultimate Barclay-Rex branded loft to us.