Founded in September 2005, CORE only allows a few hand-picked individuals get past its unmarked doors. While not new, the club’s members-only model is a timeless one, having been popularized by British High Society in the 1800s and making its way to New York City.
The first clubs to adopt the model include the Union Club, which was established in 1836 and believed to be the oldest of its kind in the city, and the Colony Club, the first women’s club to be founded in 1903.
Portal to power
The New York Times called CORE “a portal to power”, a place where “a geographically and socially diverse set of wealthy people” can “gather and meet others of the same disparate tribe.” At the time the article was written in 2011, the club’s members numbered at around 1,500.
The Manhattan-based club counts hotshots from the NYC’s major industries among its members, including former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman, fashion tycoon J. Christopher Burch, and former Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz.
The club is so prestigious that even U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and former White House communications director, Michael Cohen, supposedly took money out of a rumored shell company to pay dues, according to The New Yorker.
Members must pay a $50,000 initiation charge and an estimated $17,000 in annual fees.
CORE is run by power couple Jennie and Dangene Enterprise, who wed in 2011 and legally changed their surnames to reflect their business mindset.
They curate their exclusive membership roster by way of meritocracy, choosing only the most accomplished individuals from the fields of politics, tech, business, media, sports, and fashion.
The clubs first 100 members, including J. Crew chairman and chief executive Millard S. Drexler and chief executive of Yahoo Terry Semel, reportedly paid $100,000 each to get CORE off the ground.
A curated lifestyle
What sets CORE apart from other members-only clubs is its hip, modern, and casual atmosphere, a far cry from the formalities and sense of propriety of its traditional, old wood-paneled counterparts.
There’s no dress code, for one – it’s not unusual to see members going in and out of the club in athleisure and luxury street wear.
The Enterprises also wanted this new age “anti-club” to be all-inclusive and apolitical. And, according to Jennie, there’s an equal number of male and female members.
And while NYC’s traditional clubs maintain strict rules, such as prohibiting business meetings and the use of cellphones and tablets, CORE has hosted exclusive events for hip-hop mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who brought rappers Jay-Z and Nelly as guests.
But make no mistake – CORE members do enjoy the perks and entitlements reserved for the ultra rich. According to the Enterprises, the key to attracting high-profile members was “high-end curation”.
Club members dine on Kobe beef sliders and lobster salad on a typical midday meal. The restaurant was designed by top chef Tom Colicchio. The likes of Italian chef Davide Venturini and French master chef Bernard Liberatore have taken charge of the kitchen.
Members also get invites to CORE’s parties and events – of which there are more than 350 each year – as well as perks from partner companies like Bulgari Hotels, YachtLife, and Wheels Up.
It’s not unheard of for members to enjoy personal viewings of private art collections in New York – several members had the opportunity to see Raymond Learsy and Melva Bucksbaum’s art collections, which feature works by Andy Warhol and Henry Matisse.
Art is a cornerstone of life at CORE. Members will see artworks on display throughout the club, including art installations at the lobby. The entrance is lined with contemporary paintings that have been curated by New York Times columnist Bee Shapiro, among others.
Nearly all of these artworks are on rotation, and on loan from some of the club’s members. One of the few pieces that never get taken down is a large painting by Barnaby Furnas, which can be viewed at the restaurant.
The artwork in the library, however, is curated separately. Caroline Taylor, who specializes in up and coming artists, curates the space where members can hold business meetings and get work done.
The furniture also changes periodically, a way for the club’s owners to keep the space fresh and exciting.
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