The Core Club in Midtown, which courts a wealthy careerist crowd, followed, then NeueHouse and the now-defunct Norwood. Like gossip and wildfire, the trend has accelerated since the pandemic, with a half-dozen new private clubs and restaurants.

Zero Bond has been drawing the young and casual, along with Mayor Eric Adams, to its art strewn NoHo loft. Casa Cipriani hugs the Battery along Manhattan’s southern tip like an old-world ocean liner, with members clutching status handbags and phones as if they were life preservers.

The Aman New York in Midtown has a private jazz club, and the Fasano Fifth Avenue has duplex apartments overlooking Central Park. An offshoot of 5 Hertford Street, another London import, is slated to open on the Upper East Side. And San Vicente Bungalows, a private Hollywood clubhouse, plans to open at the former Jane Hotel in the West Village.

How much more exclusivity can one city take?

Most of these clubs charge between $4,000 or $5,000 in annual dues, but Casa Cruz is different. It is technically not a club, but a restaurant with an investor group of partners that pay between $250,000 to $500,000 to join, according to Kate Bartle, a spokeswoman.

The 99 current investors get exclusive access to the fourth floor and rooftop terrace, where there are lounges and dining rooms, accessible by a private elevator. The main restaurant and lounges on second and third floors are open to the public, assuming one can get a reservation.

“And when partners invest in something, they end up promoting it to their friends, so you don’t have to do any marketing” said Mr. Santa Cruz, who left a career in investment banking a dozen years ago, and has three restaurants in London and one in Buenos Aires. “To be successful, I don’t have to attract that many people.”