Published February 21, 2008
Oscar weekend is almost here and the stars are all heading, as Gerry Goffin once wrote in the song, up on the roof.
Soho House, the private club from London that also runs a division in New York’s meatpacking district, has found a new home in Hollywood. After several seasons of occupying rented mansions in the hills above West Hollywood, the club may have found a permanent location on the top floor of a very high office building.
As the song says: “Right smack dab in the middle of town, I’ve found a paradise that’s trouble proof.”
You can’t call it a skyscraper, because this is Beverly Hills and there aren’t any of those around here. Instead, Soho House’s solution to neighbors complaining about parking snarls and loud guests is ingenious: take over an entire floor of a nondescript building sitting on a hill with incredible views of the city and an underground garage.
The club has gutted the roof floor, thrown down Persian rugs, added comfy overstuffed furniture, lit the place romantically, put in a discreet deejay, provided delicious (and free) catered dinners and made it really hard to get in. The result? A place called Luckman Plaza, which previously no one except a Mr. Luckman ever heard of, is about to become the hottest spot in a town that changes them every six weeks.
Wednesday night, we ran into a very sober and sweet Tara Reid as she waited for the elevator downstairs. Where’s she been? “Europe! I thought, as long as there’s a strike, I might as well have a good time.” Indeed, she did, getting photographed all over the continent as she enjoyed the hiatus.
Upstairs, Soho House’s perch has an immediate dramatic impact. It’s literally just one room. So far, no private areas have developed, and that’s created a surprisingly democratic and refreshing buzz to the atmosphere. Anyone can be there, if you can find them. The lighting is very strategic, especially considering nearly all the guests are wearing black.
There was word from various corners last night that a pregnant Jessica Alba had been in the house. “Casey Affleck was here, too. I saw Jessica in the bathroom!” someone said. “Demi Moore was here last night.” And so on.
We ran into some New Yorkers: Harvey Weinstein, who gave his blessing, made a brief appearance. Griffin Dunne, just in from looking at footage of “The Accidental Husband,” the latest film he’s directed, actor/producer Fisher Stevens and producer Jason Blum hung out in a conversation pit.
Elsewhere, scattered around were “Sex and the City” actor Jason Lewis, director Alek Keshishian, actor D. W. Moffett, various producers and a lot of people with British accents.
By coincidence, I also bumped into "Grey’s Anatomy" actor Eric Dane, whose encounter with TMZ.com paparazzo I mentioned the other day in this space. “Thanks for sticking up for me,” he said as we talked about the weird piece of video I described. For the record, no one’s ever looked healthier.
The pre-Oscar parties Wednesday night weren’t just at Soho House; that’s just the final destination. Around town: the Diamond Information Center is hosting several events at Chateau Marmont. Julianne Moore, Milla Jovovich and other pretties are getting sparkly treatment and guests don’t mind the tasty hors d’ouevres.
Later, billionaire Nicholas Berggruen gave a late-night party that had limos lined way up Sunset Boulevard. Down at Avalon nightclub in Hollywood, Global Green USA hosted an eclectic group including Dana Delany, Adrian Grenier, Salma Hayek and the aforementioned Jason Lewis.
By the way, remember a couple of months ago when the tabloids insisted that Lewis was the father of Jennifer Aniston’s baby? Remember how positive they all were?
“I’m good, but I’m not that good,” Jason said, laughing. He’s never met Aniston and she’s not pregnant anyway. “The hard part was, it was the holidays and I had to keep explaining it to my family.” He added: “I think they were a little disappointed.”