SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development


High-Society Tech Club Reborn in San Francisco

The tech industry has produced a new generation of San Francisco high society, with Internet companies spawning overnight millionaires, and startups changing the downtown landscape.

Now Michael and Xochi Birch, a tech power couple famous for selling their British social media site Bebo to AOL for $850 million, are building a new generation of private club.

Housed in the historic Musto Plaza Building at 717 Battery St., which the Birches acquired for $13.5 million in 2009, The Battery will be home to a fine dining restaurant, four distinct bars, a Barbary coast library, numerous event parlors and a spa and fitness center overlooking a koi pond.

There’s also a 14-suite luxury boutique hotel, a 3,000-bottle wine cellar with a ceiling made out of reclaimed wine barrels and a penthouse with a roof deck and garden that boasts views of both the Bay Bridge and Transamerica building.

“There are very few places like this in the world,” said The Battery’s general manager, Tex Doughty. “There are private member clubs, but they are very staid, boring and old-fashioned.”

Indeed, the club is more avant-guard than old guard, doing away with dress codes and old-school secrecy, while welcoming women, children and members of various income levels and industries.

Read more: San Francisco Business Times High-society tech club reborn in San Francisco