Soho House, a members-exclusive club open in 27 locales across 10 countries, has opened its luxurious doors in Austin on Tuesday.
The Austin branch, located on South Congress' Music Lane, will become a new hub for creatives and socialites looking for a taste of Austin culture.
While the House has only provided renderings of the project, it has confirmed the club includes 46 bedrooms, a rooftop pool and a screening room. The club floor and rooftop pool opened today, while rooms will be available to book online once the hotel is complete later this summer.
Austin is the latest addition to a chain that has branches in New York, London, Hong Kong and more cities across three continents; Austin will be the first Texas location. While the Texas capital seems to be an outlier, CEO of local travel site, Localeur, Joah Spearman said that the newest Soho House is representative of Austin's "boomtown" status and its reputation as a cultural hub.
"While we don't have the diversity of some of these larger cities, like in LA or New York, we definitely have a lot of cultural capital here," Spearman said. "Soho House, I think, is going to be a place where creators... have a lot of that cultural exchange."
Spearman, who has been a member of the Soho House committee since 2017, said that interest has only been growing in the newest club. Unlike other exclusive hangouts in the city, Spearman said that admission to the Soho House will be based more on Austin creatives than on wealth.
"You get a good cross-section of people who work for startups, creative agencies, creative professionals, photographers, designers, DJs, musicians," Spearman said. "I really think that it's going to be a nice kind of connecting spot for creative professionals in particular in Austin. There are other membership clubs that have opened in Austin that I think are more based on affluence."
Joah Spearman, founder and CEO of Localeur, a travel site born in Austin, is a charter member of Soho House. (Localeur)
As a reflection of its emphasis on creativity, the Soho House will be located on 1011 S. Congress, Building 2, sandwiched in between music venues, iconic Austin eateries and more on South Congress' new Music Lane.
Bedroom rates start at $205 per night, while membership to every Soho House is $3,500 annually and membership to just the Austin Soho house is $2,290 annually. For those under 27, membership to every house is $1,750 annually and membership to just the Austin location is $1,140 annually.
Soho House was unavailable to be photographed at the time of publication, but Austonia will provide an update when available.
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East Austin restaurant la Barbecue has been robbed a third time in less than three months, according to a post on the restaurant's Instagram.
In the post, the restaurant included photos of what appeared to be a man exiting a minivan from surveillance footage.
"This guy pulled up in a car full of stuff… he ripped our gate open and stole a couple empty kegs," the post said. "The ring system scared him off so he did not venture back into the area. PLEASE EVERYONE ON THE EAST SIDE BE CAREFUL!!! This guy goes back into his car to grab something before he goes in. I am hoping he won’t be back!!"
The robbery comes as many restaurant and food truck owners have been on guard from recent break-ins. East Austin cheesesteak truck R&B's Steak and Fries has also been robbed three times in around three months, according to owner Kris Elliott. Elliot said the truck was last robbed around a month and a half ago.
"When the weather gets cold, it seems like these things start to happen more often," Elliott said. "We're just happy no one got hurt."
Additionally, he said all 5 of the food trucks in their lot have experienced burglaries. The landlord of the space is taking action by investing in alarm and camera systems. "Been very tough dealing with this problem as us small business owners are just trying to survive during the pandemic," Elliott said.
And it's not just in East Austin. North Austin restaurants Eldorado Cafe and Chez Zee Bistro were both broken into and robbed on the weekend of Jan. 8, while over a dozen food truck robberies and break-ins were reported in the latter half of 2021.
Some, like Chez Zee's Deborah Velasco, wonder if the understaffed Austin Police Department's decision to no longer respond to non-emergency calls is part of the problem. Xose Velasco, owner of East Austin's Discada, said owners are keeping their guard up in the wake of the robberies as he was robbed twice within a month of reopening in November 2021.
"We try to keep the lights on," Velasco said. "We're a little bit more careful."
After 12 months, the long-anticipated massive Tesla factory in Southeast Travis County is up and operating and everyone wants a look inside.
Phase 1 of Giga Texas appears to be tied up as production of the Model Y Tesla is underway, the electric car company revealed on Wednesday in its fourth-quarter earnings call. The factory, located on the former Harold Green-turned Tesla Road, sits on more than 2,000 acres of land in southeast Travis County.
Here's a glimpse inside the factory.
Model Ys will be the first Teslas to come out of Giga Texas with an estimated delivery of August. The wait estimate comes after Tesla noted supply chain issues have affected their factories, which have been running below capacity for several quarters. A deep blue metallic like this goes for $1,000 more than a white or silver Model Y, totaling $61,990.
Model Ys began being produced at Giga Texas at the end of 2020. In general assembly at the factory, the Teslas get their major interior components to finish the vehicle.
Workers at Austin's Gigafactory are attaching seats to a structural battery pack. It's been described by some as the biggest difference between Texas-made Model Y's and the current version at the Fremont, California factory. It shouldn't have a major impact on the owner's experience, but Tesla has updated instructions for the jacking procedure, as the lift points are different.
With a sleek, open office setup, workers can take in a view of the factory from their seats. It's a component CEO Elon Musk wanted for what is now the headquarters of Tesla.
On the Austin, Texas public location Snapchat, a photo of inside Giga Texas has appeared. On the left you can see a sneak peek of a Model Y body.pic.twitter.com/N7zliZ5vkL— Sawyer Merritt (@Sawyer Merritt) 1643081462
With Snapchat's maps, anyone can look at everyday activity happening at the factory. To view these geographically-linked stories, click the bottom left "map" icon and search "Tesla Giga Texas." Once you've found it, you can view the Snapchat story of those in and around the facility. While most stories stay up for only 24 hours, Giga Texas is a designated place on Snapchat, allowing users to view a collection of photos and videos from the inside.
Following Model Ys, Texas-made Teslas will include the Cybertruck, Semi and Model 3. But it might be a while before those other models arrive. EV makers have been hit hard by the chip shortage, and it's thought that changing features are contributing to Cybertruck delays as Tesla works to compete in the electric pickup market.
Joe Rogan paid a visit to buddy Elon Musk this week. The two have been seen around town since both moving to Texas. Naturally, Rogan was impressed with the prototype.
If you're dying to get a closer look at this factory, you just might get to. In December, Musk said the factory would have tours available to the community early this year.
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