Among the many new private clubs in New York, Maxwell is a stand-out option. The one-of-a-kind member-only space is located in Tribeca, just around the corner from one of New York’s chicest hotels, Fouquet’s. Named after a well-known 1920s socialite, Elsa Maxwell, Maxwell is the kind of place where you pour your own drink and cook your own dinner. This is not a place to come do your work, but to live in the moment instead. 

Photography: Elsa Maxwell and Marilyn Monroe at the April in Paris Ball held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York in 1957

The club’s icon, Elsa Maxwell, was known for getting an eclectic group of people together for elaborate parties, conversation, and debauchery. She was often in the company of celebrities, millionaires, and luminaries. Getting unlikely people like Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, and Marilyn Monroe in the same room was her talent. As was the case with Elsa Maxwell, the owners of Maxwell social club hope to attract artists and thinkers looking to have a good time and exchange ideas. 

Dues are $250 per month and members who buy-in with an amount of anywhere between $2,500 to $12,000, are provided with additional bonuses. This includes private liquor lockers and extra invitations for friends. Co-owner, David Litwak, told us that his mission is for members to feel like this is their own space, a place where they feel like they belong and can truly be themselves. 

Photography courtesy of Maxwell.

We took a tour of Maxwell and upon entering you feel as if you were invited into someone’s tastefully decorated home. While 8,000 square feet might seem large, as far as New York clubs go, this space feels cozy. The interior has an excellent flow between rooms, but also smaller nooks for more intimate conversations. At the center of it all is an open kitchen that includes ladders, 10 burners, a stove, and hand-painted wallpaper. 

There are special details everywhere, including a mural depicting Elsa Maxwell’s life and travels. The interior was imagined and designed as a collaboration between the Maxwell team, with Kyi Gyaw and Mollie Nitzen as external design consultants. 

Photography by Paulina Kajankova

Our favorite space is the library. You can easily imagine yourself sitting here with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other. Then there is the large sun-lit space that includes a kitchen counter, and all the party essentials you might need to throw a special event. We even noticed a soda fountain. During New York Fashion Week Maxwell hosted parties, thrown by Tommy Hilfger and The Cut. Hidden away in the downstairs, you will find liquor lockers, a pool table and a speakeasy-inspired space for more entraining. Unfortunately the downstairs was being worked on and we did not get to see it for ourselves. 

Maxwell encourages a “no work, all play” environment. Unlike a lot of city’s older clubs, where members keep to themselves, Maxwell is looking to build a community. You will not see any laptops here. Instead members are free to throw an intimate dinner party, or a themed bash. Taking inspiration from a 1920’s socialite, Elsa Maxwell, this club wants you to get together, mingle, and socialize with people from all industries. Co-owners, David Litwak, Joelle Fuchs and Kyle Chaning-Pearce are onto something, and we look forward to seeing it grow. 

The legendary Elsa Maxwell famously said, “Giving parties is a trivial avocation, but it pays the dues for my union card in humanity.” Maxwell is certainly providing a place for people to do just that. 

Maxwell, 135 Watts St (betw Washington/Greenwich St), Tribeca