Applications being taken for Salt Lake City’s new private social club

Edison House is scheduled to open in September, and already has 3,000 on its waiting list.

(Edison House) An architectural rendering of Edison House, a social club that will be located at 335 S. 200 West. Applications for the club opened on May 20, 2022.

A new private social club in downtown Salt Lake City is now accepting applications — and encouraging people to sign up even though there were 3,000 people on the waiting list.

That shouldn’t discourage people from applying to Edison House, at 335 S. 200 West in Salt Lake City — or re-applying if they aren’t accepted in the first round, said Lauren Boyack, the club’s head of membership.

Applications opened Friday on the club’s website, and the club is targeting a September opening date.

“We plan to open with a thousand members, but we feel strongly that the operation could support a much larger member community,” Boyack said. “We just want to make sure we’re firing on all cylinders operationally when we open our doors on day one. But we will have the opportunity to grow beyond that thousand.”

Memberships run $225 per month, plus a $500 onboarding fee. Spouses and partners can be added to the membership for an additional $100 per month, with a $100 onboarding fee, and members can bring two people with them per visit. The club also is offering some discounted sponsored memberships, for those unable to afford the full membership fee.

Edison House is the project of brothers George Cardon-Bystry and Charlie Cardon, eighth-generation Utahns who have spent time in larger cities and wanted to bring a more metropolitan vibe to downtown Salt Lake City. That’s balanced out by the deliberate use of the word “house” in the club’s name — the brothers said they want to create a “home away from home” for members.

The 30,000-square-foot club will house a fitness center, a theater, a rooftop bar that borders a swimming pool, a piano lounge and a karaoke bar. Also in the works are concerts, lectures, and film screenings and drag brunches on the roof. There will also be off-site events, like hikes and picnics.

“We also have an absolutely gorgeous performance venue [called Speakeasy], which is where we’ll be hosting lots of events,” Boyack said. “We always talk about Edison House and how to support it in three parts. The community is key; the clubhouse is amazing, and then the third leg of that stool will be experiences.”

The club has hired a full-time programming director, who will schedule events using that performance space, Boyack said.

The club recently hired Zachary Willey as its executive chef. Wiley was the chef and owner of Pallet, the atmospheric restaurant on 400 West that received many accolades during its nine-year run, but closed during the pandemic.

Willey will oversee the club’s two restaurants: Society, a higher-end venue on the first floor, and Atrium Bar and Grill on the second floor, which is more casual. He’ll also be in charge of the bars in both restaurants, as well as the one on the rooftop pool deck and the one inside Speakeasy.

Boyak said the Edison House model isn’t the cigars-and-plush-chairs club of yore, but more like London’s Soho House — though that’s not a totally parallel comparison.

“They focus on purely arts and entertainment professionals,” she said. “We are looking to build a community that really embraces diversity in the truest sense. Member clubs have historically underrepresented women and people of color, and that’s something that we want to control for. So that is part of our process.”

Boyak added that in the conversations she’s had so far with potential members, she’s heard that in Salt Lake City, “it can be very difficult to break out of your professional bubble. I think people tend to get kind of siloed in their industry and don’t interact with a lot of people outside of that workplace. So we really want to represent all different professional backgrounds as well.”

Edison House has already sent out an early round of invitations, and will make the application link available on Friday through its website.

“It’s a very brief 5-to-7-minute application, where you talk a little bit about yourself — what your interests are, what you hope to get out of the club, all that good stuff,” Boyack said. “Then you’ll be contacted by a member of our membership committee to do a brief interview, and that’s really the entire process. …

“We’ve discovered over the last few months of networking and meeting people and offering them the opportunity to apply, there’s no substitute for meeting someone,” she said. “You can ask all the detailed questions you want on the application, but until you sit down with someone, it’s hard to get a true sense of who they are.”

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