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Issue Date: June 2005 Issue


Rock Star Perks


Amber Matheson

Swathed in delicate Gujarat quilts and accessible only via a private elevator, you could say Cleveland's newest playground for the elite is sitting pretty. But that would be understating it just a bit.

The 6-month-old House of Blues concert club and restaurant is already known for acting the merry prankster to our buttoned-up city. But its recently opened Foundation Room, which occupies the club's second and third floors, takes it one step further.

"It puts society's decadence out there for everyone," says general manager Dan Smith. In between spinning tales of the Porn Star Ball, held in the HOB New Orleans' Foundation Room, and explaining the history of a piece of folk art nestled among ancient statuary and hand-carved molding from Jakarta, Smith calmly sips a cup of coffee and beams at the massive body of art his staff has brought together.

Just 222 Clevelanders made up the core membership at the time of our late-April visit. Though Smith won't name names, he hints that local players in law, medicine, sports and the arts are sinking into the lush 50-foot wraparound couch and curtained private booths on a weekly basis.

So what does the $3,500-a-year gold membership or a $2,250-a-year standard membership get you? Access to all other Foundation Rooms in the United States, a six-person kitchen staff that caters exclusively to the Foundation Room, with a personal chef who maintains total autonomy over the daily menu, and, of course, the warm feeling that comes from knowing you hold the key to a hearty helping of opulence that few others get to enjoy.


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