Members-only social club coming to China Blue corner

A members-only social club is coming to the former China Blue space — and if you want to go back further, formerly Capsouto Frères — at 451 Washington at Watts. And it’s an unusual concept that I have only ever seen at the ultra-WASP community of Point o Woods on Fire Island, where you keep a bottle of gin labeled with your name written on masking tape behind the bar at the clubhouse.

Owner David Litwak said his inspiration for Maxwell Social is the gastronomic societies of San Sebastián, Spain, where members join for life as a way to entertain their friends and family in a home-away-from-home situation. The business model here is fee-based; they do not intend to make money on food or bev, and the club will not have chefs, waiters or even bartenders. Members will have access to a commercial kitchen and will be able to cook themselves. They can buy liquor there by the bottle, which they can then store in liquor lockers. You basically use the space to have dinner parties.

The fee is $250 a month, and Litwak wants to cap membership at 600. He also said there would be discounted memberships for people in the arts community.

The space is 4900 square feet (ground floor only — not the basement) and will have 10 tables, 50 lounge seats and 12 counter seats — capacity is 162. And they will use the loading dock as outdoor seating as it always did.

It’s wacky! but sounds pretty fun. Litwak also mentioned plans for another one in Dumbo.

“This is a different model of nightlife than anywhere else in the world — people keep their memberships their entire life,” Litwak said.

A few more details: there are a few founding members signed up already; there will be some DJs and live music on weekends, but nothing crazy, according to them; it will not be open to the public at all; hours are 9a to 1a daily.

There’s another angle: takeout. The club has already been in touch with Greca and other local eateries as a way to partner to provide food there.



  1. Kinda like what used to be Soho House but is different. Love your bottle of gin proof of inclusion comparison. Noting multiple new businesses are members only cropping up.

  2. Pitch deck, slide 1: The WeWork of Entertaining

  3. I’ve only heard about “Txokos”. Curious to see how this turns out