When you’re looking for an elite urban getaway, X really does mark the spot. Three Xes, actually.
That’s the calling card for The Battery, a private social club in San Francisco’s Financial District that opened late last year.
When you walk up to The Battery you’re met by sheets of frosted glass, immediately tempting you to wonder what goes on inside. Three Xes on each of the front doors say “you’ve arrived” a lot more than the club’s muted sign farther down the building.
When I stepped inside I was greeted by an ornately designed glass hallway, and a receptionist.
I told The Battery’s staff which member had invited me (dues at The Battery are reportedly around $US2,400 a year).
“Ah, I believe he’s at booth seven,” the receptionist told me, gesturing toward a large room he then ushered me into.
I walked into The House Bar, an expansive lounge with the vibe of a steakhouse where no one had yet ordered food.
For a room nearly the size of the entire floor I work on, the bar was surprisingly empty. A few members gathered around in booths, while others sat alone on their laptops, presumably wondering if their angel investments would pan out.
The first thing you notice about The House Bar is the bar itself, located in the center of the room.
I didn’t have time to peruse the bar’s selection, though as you can see hard alcohol is easy to come by.
Oh, did I mention all of the taxidermied game on the wall?
Once I found my host, who had strayed from the aforementioned booth seven, we sat down on leather furniture that would have been right at home in an antiques store.
My host encouraged me to order a drink, so I did. A glass of 10-year-old Bourbon will definitely make you reconsider whether you’re in the right profession.
As I listened to my host I noticed a garden courtyard just outside the bar. While I didn’t get to visit this urban oasis (called simply “Garden Bar”), it gave me the impression that The Battery is vying to be a refuge for San Francisco’s new-monied tech community, not another place to conduct business.
Eventually I had to leave, though not before inspecting the club’s men’s room. Nothing says “you’re rich” like fully walled-in tile stalls.
Although I didn’t run into any famous angel investors, I wouldn’t have been surprised if I had. The Battery’s open lounges and glass walls seemed designed to facilitate casual run-ins.
After I said goodbye to the taxidermied Elk, my carriage turned back into a pumpkin and I was thrust back into downtown San Francisco, still bustling and noisy.