Photo: Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images for Grey Goose
Party Patrol: A night at the Soho House, Part 1
Dateline: Sept. 6, 11:30 p.m.
The place: Finally, after three TIFF Festival seasons of pop-ups and a summer of foreplay, the members-only club that is the Soho House has opened a permanent Toronto chapter on Bishop’s Block (192 Adelaide St. W.) as part of its global expansion. The two-storey, 10,000-square-foot building dates back to the 1800s. It’s still under contrsuction(-ish), and there’s a makeshift side patio that also doubles as a secret star escape. There’s a moose head on the door, and the décor looks like what you’d imagine happy hour at a Vanderbilt complex to look like.
Paparazzi:Fan ratio: No snap-snappers inside—only one Getty photographer—so the action is at the door, where a few smarty pants with point-and-shoots try to act discreet and wait patiently.
The noshing: A+++. Grey Goose’s custom festival cocktails like Le Fizz (vodka, elderflower, lime juice); tuna tartar; a full spread of meats and cheeses, with breads and crackers, like every rich Italian wedding; macaroons and marshmallows. Where is that guy with the meatballs?
The looks: The House aims to crater to the creative class, so dressy is what you make it. Fashion magazine’s Randi Bergman is always my favourite, because she’ll show up in a Metallica tee and sequin pencil skirt; there’s a young-ish architect dude pairing a vintage tee with a McQueen scarf; society gals and PR someones are clinging tight to statement necklaces; no festival lanyards. Servers look like French maids, bartenders like they used to work for Al Capone.
The sounds: DJ Brendan Fallis, fresh off a stint at FNO with Holt Renfrew, plays a pitch-perfect score with a mix of classic rock and stuff like M83’s “Midnight City.” There is no dancefloor, so a handful of us decide to do something about that.
Stargazing: I have a pesky habit of missing anyone you’d want to read about. But not tonight. Gravity pulls your stare immediately to the back of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s head. I’ve got to say it: He’s mad shorter than I thought (at least shorter than my 5’10 “), but has an ass halfway up his back—the work of a celeb trainer. “Emily Blunt is in the red dress, she’s in the red dress! No, not that red dress,” says my watchful star-wrangler. Oh shit, did I miss her? Nope, found her outside by the brick wall. It’s a power summit. Blunt is chatting to husband John Krasinski while co-star Noah Segan migrates about. No one’s drinking, or smoking, or cussing. Stop being so chill. Also on the scene: Jason Reitman and Bruce Willis, who—natch!—posed with Soho founder Nick Jones for a picture. Oh, and, uh, Dan Levy and Matte Babel. Moving on…
Fun factor: If Soho House were a movie, its plot summary would read: “Be cool.” Half of the fun is that the Soho House is new and therefore uncharted. OMG, Willis just hugged Blunt and kissed her on the cheek. Both Jo-Gord and Emily—yes, we’re all that close now—trip in the same spot on their way out the side of the side door, where she’s holding hands with her man and hopefully going to bed.
Not so fun? The lack of a working A/C. Construction bluez!
Verbatim: “Can you not smoke next to my wife, please?”—a concerned husband on the patio with his lady in a chair, overheated, and feverishly dabbing with cold cloth. You see, it’s that good she just can’t leave.