Let's face it: There a particularly high tide of artisanal masculinity sweeping the city of late. From fancy barbershops harkening back to simpler times to bespoke style (don't worry, we had to look it up too) and the near city-wide prevalence of hunting-lodge bar ambiance, men seem to be getting out, dropping $$$, and taking pains to reinforce their dudeliness like never before. And while I love good bourbon, leather seating and hickory smoke as much as the next red-blooded human, I can't help but feel there's something a tad bit compensatory about the vibe as a whole. (Don't even get me started on this.)
Enter the Wingtip Club, the latest installment into SF's catalog of high-end man-tastic pursuits. Blending nearly every aspect of SF's fetish for exclusivity, top-shelf everything and ample retail tie-ins, this neo-boy's club is a private downtown lodge for fans of Wingtip's retail store (no, it's not a mens-only club, although "the amenities are most likely to appeal to those with masculine tastes"). With a whiskey bar, a wine cave, a champagne room and private parlor rooms, game rooms, wine lockers, Audi car service and a soon-to-be roof deck complete with toys ("think 1960s Russian anti-aircraft binocular set"), part of me is secretly dying to spend a day in old-school leatherbound luxury while the other part thinks this whole thing is just a clever parody of itself.
After perusing the Wingtip Club's manifesto, here are a few of our favorite lines:
"Life’s too short for overcrowded bars, uncomfortable wooden chairs, loud music, paper cups, servers that don’t remember your name, plastic coat hangers, and single-ply toilet paper." [Note: why didn't anyone tell me this 10 years ago?]
"At its most subversive, the club is a showcase for the finer things in life."
"All of the furniture in the bar is upholstered in Dormeuil suiting fabrics, making it one of the most expensive pieces of bar furniture you’ll ever sit on ..."
"In order to provide you with your daily fix of feuds, fights and fixtures, we house an interactive entertainment Mecca built to unleash your competitive energies without your having to break a sweat, or spill a drink. We are all competitors at heart, with killer instincts fine tuned and on point ... "
"The only thing worse than preparing to light your cigar or a lady’s cigarette with your fancy S.T. Dupont lighter and finding it’s empty, is to pull out your Visconti pen to sign a huge deal and realize it’s out of ink."
The cost of all this luxury? Loyalty to Wingtips men's store and/or wads of casherolle to spend on clothes. "With the monthly dues fully redeemable at the stores or online, each member is essentially committing to spend a couple grand a year at the store." So if you're ready/willing/able to drop a couple large on clothes, cufflinks, "pewter-mounted drinking horns" and cigar accessories, the club is essentially a free landing pad. Note that while we resent you, we don't totally blame you (and I am inordinately interested in the highly sexual description of the champagne room, complete with "a modicum of privacy, comfortable seating, authentic riddling racks, [and] a bullseye for practicing sabrage ..."). In fact, if you do become a member and are looking to fill your 3 guest allowance, give me a call.
Until then, I'll save my aspirations for membership in a private club for the Mechanic's Institute Chess Room and Library, where the nerdiness is distinctly equal opportunity.