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Exclusive experience: Members-only bar opens in Waterloo

A new bar in Uptown Waterloo is offering an exclusive experience based around a members-only model.

LaLa Social House has people pay up before they sit down through a monthly membership fee of $79. That price is subject to change, but what guests do get are unique benefits.

From music performances by Canadian and international artists to tech talks and different themed nights, staff say they want to give guests what they can't get at other local bars.

"Reps coming in as well and doing some food pairings with that and giving people the opportunity to try wines or spirits that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to get at the LCBO," said assistant general manager Tyla Jensen.

That is a main draw for member Robert Miller.

"The markup on [wine] is so low. You know, it's one of the benefits of private club membership. They're able to offset the cost of a wine, so if you're here maybe once, twice a month enjoying a bottle of wine, it basically pays for your membership right there," said Miller.

He says LaLa's has also been a bit of a mystery – one he wanted to discover himself.

"That FOMO, that fear of missing out, right?" he said. "It's kind of fun because people don't necessarily know that it's happening, so having this cool, secret little place to go. I mean, the secret is going to be out soon."

Staff say the members-only model allows them to get to know people on a deeper level.

LaLa Social House in Waterloo is offering a special members-only experience. (Spencer Turcotte/CTV Kitchener)

"We thought, how great would it be if you always felt like you were with a group of your friends every day and a club membership gives you that opportunity," said Todd Diamond, vice-president of operations.

But does each person at a table have to be a member? Not necessarily.

"You can come as a recurring guest. There are some limits on things like that. Once you get to know us two or three times, we're optimistic that you're going to want to join us," Diamond said.

As LaLa's continues to grow its membership, they are allowing non-members to come in on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on a short-term basis during lunch and dinner hours to try the place out.

So whether it’s the QR code scanning for members at the front door, or the quirky designs and décor, LaLa's is laser-focused on being different. And different, it is.

For anyone looking to reserve a table, or have any questions answered, you can email Top Stories

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