Amsterdam Residents Fight Back Against Soho House, Reach Out to LES Dwellers for Help

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 at 5:53 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Soho House wants to open in this Amsterdam building, Photo: Dichtbij.nl

Local activists put the collective tail between their legs in October after Soho House successfully swayed the State Liquor Authority to grant a full liquor license for its 139 Ludlow Street location. The LES Dwellers spearheaded the opposition campaign against the upper crust club, and was able to elicit a tough stipulation as part of the license. Rooftop hours between 9am and 6pm with no alcohol allowed.

But pushback against Soho House is not relegated to the Lower East Side, the city and state of New York, or the USA. Apparently, co-owner Nick Jones and company are fixing to open an outpost in the historic center of Raamgracht, Amsterdam. Those plans certainly aren’t going over well with the locals there. So much so, that a local group called “No Soho Netherlands” formed to battle the Goliath. Note the parallels in their missive:

Project developers Aedes Real Estate want to buy them in order to rent them to ‘Soho House’, an international club with night club, restaurant and 40 guest rooms. The neighbourhood is very much opposed to this idea…The nuisance of tourism at this place is already enormous, with 3000 hotel beds spread across nine hotels in the immediate area. Nevertheless, the executive committee of the local council (stadsdeel@centrum.amsterdam.nl) want to set aside the existing development plan because the new hotel is aiming for a “trendy and classy group”!

 The neighbourhood does not care how special these new tourists are supposed to be, but is opposed to any club, any hotel or anything else that will attract even more tourists. Residents clearly see how the authentic character of their neighbourhood is disappearing under the pressure of tourism.

These Amsterdam protesters reportedly reached out to the LES Dwellers for help, using their research and experience to formulate strategy. Final judgment on the matter will be made at a council meeting next week.

“Our hard fought battle to stave off Soho House from opening an outpost on Ludlow Street brought about strong restrictions on the use of the roof from the NY State Liquor Authority but fell short of a complete denial,” said Ms. Diem Boyd, founder of L.E.S. Dwellers. “We are pleased, however, that our hard work and research was able to help what looks like a successful effort in Amsterdam.”

She went on to say that, “Soho House’s plan for expanding the ‘Starbucks equivalent of nightlife’ to attract a transient crowd is antithetical to supporting community. The organizers in Amsterdam saw through this and empty promises about preserving their neighborhood, and so do we.”

This image has been archived or removed.

139 Ludlow St., future home of Ludlow House

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