Inside the Ultra Exclusive $2,400-a-Year Club for Silicon Valley’s Elite

The Battery is a premiere members-only club that opened its doors to the select few last February in the Financial District of San Francisco.

@t_lekometros, @beautifulhotels

@markctoro, @schmooey

The architects behind the plan are Michael Birch, a British physics major, and Xochi Torres, a business major from the Bay Area. They met in the summer of 1990 in London’s Southside Bar and have since built a handful of startups including UK social networking company Bebo, which they sold to AOL for $850 million in 2008.

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@tarynsouthern, @anthonym1221

The two have now ventured into a new niche that they are both passionate about — bars and people. The end product was the Battery, a private social club in a renovated marble factory located in the Financial District of San Francisco, according to SFGate.

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The luxurious club features five levels covering 58,000 square feet of area that includes a fancy restaurant, four bars, a wine cellar, conference rooms, a gym and spa, outdoor garden, library, 13 hotel rooms and a penthouse suite that offers scenic views of the Bay Bridge.

@table8dining, @continents

@jseid, @schmauggle

The club requires wanna-be club members to apply via an application process. Birch explained that the exclusivity of the club is meant to foster familiarity:

“We’re fans of the village pub, where everyone knows everyone.”

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“A private club can be the city’s replacement for the village pub, where you do, over time, get to know everyone and have a sense of emotional belonging.”

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Prospective members need to be nominated by a current member since the club is not open to the public.

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A council then votes on whether that person will be permitted to join the pricey club, with dues set at $2,400 annually.

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Though the idea of a private social club elicits thoughts of elitism and snobbery, the founders envisioned the Battery to promote a sort of Silicon Valley-style meritocracy. Those who earn a place in the club will promote diversity, rather than homogeneity.

@krismulkey, @archw

Birch elaborated: “The reality is, many things in life are exclusive. A job requires qualifications, for instance. So does a credit card, or a bank account. It’s not about being snooty.”

@foodtog, @anderyang

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