New York Post – 26th February 2018
Robin Birley, who built 5 Hertford Street into one of London’s hottest clubs, is expected soon to open his first US club in Manhattan, The Post has learned. The club will be in Union Square and include a hotel, sources said.
The billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, who are Birley’s landlords in London, just closed on the $39.5 million purchase of 14-16 East 16th St., a landmarked building where the US club will be, The Post has learned. The London club, known as 5HS, is where American princess-to-be Meghan Markle had her first date with Prince Harry. It includes the uber-posh basement nightclub, Loulou’s. Guests at the UK club run the gamut from celebs and royals to heads of state like Benjamin Netanyahu.
The New York club, however, will be its own entity — not an outpost of 5HS. “It’s not an outpost of 5 Hertford Street,” a source said. “Any club that Robin opens in New York will be substantially different,” a source said.
The Reubens, who invest as a team, were ranked by Forbes as the 60th-wealthiest people in the world — worth an estimated $14.4 billion.
Birley, a charismatic, larger-than-life figure, was just 11 years old when he was mauled by a tiger he petted at a friend’s private zoo. His head had to be pried out of the tiger’s jaws and he suffered permanent facial disfiguration. The 60-year-old businessman is the son of Lady Annabel Goldsmith and the late nightclub owner Mark Birley, the famed former head of exclusive Annabel’s and Harry’s Bar. Robin Birley ran Annabel’s before a falling out with his father led to his disinheritance.
The six-story Union Square building expected to house Birley’s US club — with 64,400 square feet of air rights — formerly housed the non-profit Institute for Family Health.