Here’s How the Elite Will Eat and Drink in Boston’s Exclusive New Social Club
From high-end sushi to rooftop Champagne, the 'Quin House is a stunning playground with more than a dozen restaurants and bars—if you can get inside.
Now is a very good time to have friends in high places—or, barring that, to climb a few more rungs on your own social ladder.
After all, that’s the only way to get inside the ‘Quin House, a private club that opens to members and their guests this weekend in the Back Bay. You’ll find it behind the ornate limestone facade of a historic building on Commonwealth Avenue, longtime home to the 1886-founded Algonquin Club, where generations of Boston Brahmins have networked, cocktailed, and compared investment portfolios (in the most discreet, non-gauche manner, of course).
Under the new ownership of Boston power brokers Sandy and Paul Edgerley, though, the palatial six-floor space—which holds about a dozen distinct restaurants, bars, and lounges for wining and dining—has been newly reimagined as the ‘Quin. It’s minted as an “aesthetically stunning playground” that is “envisioned to convene a varied cross-generational group of the regions’ interesting and interested leaders, creators, innovators and rising stars for mingling and cross-pollination,” per an opening release.
So—what does that mean for you? Depends. Right now, the ‘Quin is only inviting newbies via referrals from current members. In other words, if you’re angling to join, ask your executive assistant to set up some overdue golf course or ACK outings with the most powerful string-pullers in your digital rolodex.
Otherwise, as a guest of a member (or attendee to a private event inside), you can always ride some coattails through the front door and into one of four restaurants helmed by culinary director Jean-Paul Lourdes, former chef at the Soho House in Malibu and at Joel Robuchon in Bangkok. At the ‘Quin, Lourdes has designed very different experiences.
At Bondo, for instance, diners sink into sumptuous leather banquettes for modern Japanese-meets-New England cuisine, plus access to a sushi and raw bar, as well as a 34-seat wine vault with over 1,100 best-of-class bottles for uncorking. The Pub, meanwhile, is where to find American gastropub fare, draft beers, a media wall live-streaming every game imaginable, and tabletop activities like billiards, foosball, and shuffleboard for playing your own. Then there’s the cozy Café Q and the garden patio-inspired Terrace, which both offer European-style all-day dining for light bites, baked goods, and bevvies.
There are also nine (yes, nine) bars and lounges inside the ‘Quin. Among the truly standout spaces are the rooftop Sky Deck, where phone calls, a.k.a. loud distractions from lovely sunsets, are banned after 6 p.m. (not a bad idea, honestly); Dive Bar, which specializes in Japanese whiskeys and gets its name from George Hoyningen-Huene’s iconic photo of Parisian pool-goers (part of the ‘Quin’s extensive collection of fine art); and Scottie’s, an Art Deco-style retreat for bar snacks and bubbly summoned by “Push for Champagne” service buttons.
If high tea is more your thing, you’ll find it in the Reading Room, a lavish lounge with dark woods and floor-to-ceiling windows; the comfortable Living Room, on the other hand, is a fine place to catch up over coffee or cocktails while listening to vinyl records on a state-of-the-art audio system; and the aptly named Little Bar is a 12-seat perch for polishing off a nightcap in an air of intimacy. The other food and drink locales are the Hideaway, a small cocktail-equipped space behind a secret door; the self-explanatory Coffee Bar; and ultra-exclusive Founders Room, reserved for, well, founding members only.
Every inch of the place is pretty gorgeous, owing to the work of interior design star Ken Fulk, the same name tapped for the Newbury Boston’s new rooftop hotspot, Contessa. The ‘Quin is all about bringing in the power players, after all, so expect to see a few if you step inside—whether you’re a boldfaced entry in social registers, a blue checkmark on Twitter, or just lucky enough to go by “first name, Plus, last name, One.”
217 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, thequinhouse.com.