- Zero Bond, a private social club founded by the brains behind 1 Oak, opened in October 2020 in NYC.
- Since then, the members-only club has attracted A-list celebrities, politicians, and businesspeople.
- See inside the club, which has a $US3,000 ($AU4,199) annual membership fee and a $US1,000 ($AU1,400) initiation fee.
As pretentious as it may sound, Manhattan is full of places to see and be seen.
And one of the latest venues to enter this scene is Zero Bond, a members-only social club that officially opened its doors in October 2020.
The club is hush hush about the identity of its over one thousand members …
… but since its opening, Zero Bond has been visited by the likes of Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Eric Adams, mayor-elect of New York City, and Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO.
Lounging and dining around celebrities in an exclusive space (Zero Bond) isn’t a new concept: There’s a long list of private, members-only social clubs speckled throughout Manhattan with fees that could beckon only the city’s elite.
Source: Gotham Magazine
One that immediately comes to mind is Soho House, a trendy influencer favorite with branches in Los Angeles, Miami, London, Mumbai, and Mykonos.
Source: Soho House
But unlike Soho House — which targets members in “creative” industries — Zero Bond doesn’t cater its space to people working in specific trades.
Instead, it wants its members to be a “mix of everyone, people all over the spectrum of business,” Will Makris, Zero Bond’s managing partner, told Insider. “It’s a real variety of people from all different backgrounds and nationalities.”
“The people that meet each other at Zero Bond [are pretty amazing],” Makris said. “It’s incredible to see … [members that] would have never met each other anywhere else.”
There is, however, one aspect that all Zero Bond-goers have in common: the financial means to pay for a glitzy social club membership.
The general membership fee is $US3,000 ($AU4,199) per year on top of a $US1,000 ($AU1,400) initiation fee.
Source: Zero Bond
If you’re younger, you’re in luck.
Members who are under 28 years old have reduced payment requirements: a $US2,200 ($AU3,079) annual fee and a $US500 ($AU700) initiation fee.
But if you’re over 45, get ready to cough up more cash. Annual membership fees for this age demographic sit at $US4,000 ($AU5,598) on top of a $US5,000 ($AU6,998) initiation fee.
If you think this fee is too high to be worth it, “come give it a try and see for yourself,” Makris said.
“It’s a bit of a family situation where everybody gets to know each other,” he said. “It’s not going to be for everybody, but I do think the sense of community and feeling like you’re a part of something is important, and people really seem to enjoy that.”
And it’s more than just a place to lounge around and socialize.
The club has a bar, cafe, restaurant, omakase bar, screening room, and several lounge-like seating areas spread across two floors.
Speaking of which, let’s take a tour around the space, which is located in lower Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood.
Scott Sartiano is the brains behind Zero Bond. If this name doesn’t sound familiar, you might recognize some of his other ventures.
Sartiano also co-founded the Butter Group, which helms 1 Oak, a multi-location club.
Zero Bond’s home was first constructed in 1874 and was initially used as a Brooks Brothers factory.
Now, the 20,000-square-foot club is surrounded by trendy bars and restaurants just north of SoHo and east of Washington Square Park.
The interior of the club has luxury loft-like qualities, such as exposed brick, large arched windows, and a relatively open floor plan.
Zero Bond’s art collection is then speckled throughout this space …
… and includes work from famed artists like Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Robert Mapplethorpe.
Let’s start the tour with the lounge spaces right off the elevator entrance.
The two couch-lined seating areas are the first things you’ll see when you step into the space. These two seating areas pay homage to New York City with wall art that reads, “The Times” …
… and stacks of the New York Times newspapers that serve as coffee table legs.
There’s also a row of small tables and seats just across these couches and by the windows, an ideal space for coworking during the day.
Zero Bond “encourages” coworking during the day, although after a certain hour, laptops aren’t allowed inside the restaurants or lounge areas, according to Makris.
The club even has four soundproof phone booths to make the space more conducive to working.
But according to Makris, the decision to create a coworking environment didn’t come out of COVID-19’s remote work frenzy.
Phone calls aren’t allowed in the main part of the lounge, so implementing a phone booth allows its members who didn’t book a conference room to still take calls, he said.
Now, back to the tour. For remote work members who need a quick caffeine boost, there’s a cafe at the end of the aforementioned row of tables and chairs.
Now onto the next room, which is just past the two large archways. This separate lounge area topped with a large skylight that floods the room with natural light.
And past yet another set of archways is an even larger but darker lounge space with more tables, chairs, couches, and artwork.
Here, you’ll find a bar …
… access to another lounge …
… and the omakase bar and restaurant, both of which are reservations only.
Besides these two restaurants, all the other seating spaces are first come, first serve.
Members can bring up to three guests into Zero Bond unless they decide to book a full room or one of the restaurants.
The upstairs half of the club has a library, another bar, more lounge spaces, and a screening room, but we weren’t allowed to take photos of this floor.
If you can imagine yourself lounging around this $US3,000 ($AU4,199)-per-year space, you’re not the only one.
Zero Bond now has a roughly 9,000-person waitlist, Makris told Insider. However, the company declined to provide proof of the waitlist, citing the privacy of its members and the people on the list.
Zero Bond will slowly let more people off the waitlist as time passes, but for now, it wants to give its members full access to the club without making them feel like they “can’t get a table or reservation” according to Makris.
“We don’t want to overpack the place because our new members are coming in like every night,” he said.
Zero Bond uses member nominations and its membership board to recruit new club-goers.
And all applicants must submit a headshot and have a letter of recommendation from a current Zero Bond member in order to be considered.
The board, Makris, and Sartiano then review all of the applicants to decide who does or doesn’t get accepted.
But if you submit your application today, don’t expect to hear back within a day.
According to Makris, there’s no timeframe for the waitlist and its applicants: “It depends on who it is and what they do.”
“You can get through in a week or two weeks, or it might take six months,” he said. “[For example,] if we’re letting in five new members that are male, we try to balance it with females, so that plays a part in the timing as well.”
However, Makris doesn’t want Zero Bond members to see the club as a one-stop shop for all things social club related.
Instead, he wants New York City’s social club scene to mimic that of London, where people have several memberships to different clubs, according to Makris.
“I don’t think Zero Bond should be the only membership that someone has,” he said. “They should have membership to whatever other communities and what other things they’re interested in. I would actually love more [social clubs] to open up here.”