By Dawn Scotland
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter
Attendees lined up outside of the newly repurposed Haas- Jordan Umbrella factory on 1447 N Summit St. Saturday evening October 23 for the official opening of TolHouse. The members-only exclusive club provides a social playground for the creatives of the city to collaborate, socialize and enjoy.
The innovative and pioneering space is unlike anything seen in Toledo.
Will Lucas, Toledo native and entrepreneur, saw the vision for TolHouse while in New York City. This sparked a six and-a-half-year vision that, on Saturday evening, officially came to fruition.
“You guys are living in my literal dream right now,” said Lucas, founder of TolHouse, Creadio and brand manager for AfroTech and Black Green Money, who addressed his acknowledgements to 200 attendees and supporters, while thanking the people who help to foster this dream with acknowledgements from Sandy Spang, City of Toledo commissioner of Small Business Services, and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.
Attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and access to the club’s four lounge spaces, two bars and coffee house.
So, who is the space for?
“This place was designed for people who are doing the work to help Toledo be what it could be if we got out of our own way.” Lucas ensures that the vibrant is not limited. “Whatever work you’re doing whether it be in the creative industries, law, education, whether you’re a homemaker or retired and you’re mentoring now. If you’re doing the work in your way to help us be better – that’s who this is designed for.”
Lucas pinned the 50 founding members of TolHouse club with gold numbered pins. The members will have exclusive access to events, ticket sales and additional perks.
Tolhouse hosted major events during Solheim Cup Week and recently the afterparty for John Legend’s one-night engagement at the Toledo Museum of Art. While public access to preview the space for nonmembers ended October 22, the public can enjoy access to this private club through events and programming.
The space will include a jazz venue, Lucille’s, that will be open to the public with hopes for its official opening by the end of this year.
It is important to note that while most private clubs of its ilk are exclusive by economic status, TolHouse is not.
“It’s not meant to be economically discriminatory. There are people who can’t afford this and we found a way to get them in. There are people who can afford this and did not get approved.”
Lucas has one message – Apply.
“Don’t be put off by the rates: Apply. We find ways to get people in whether it be through scholarships, grant programs… we find ways to get people in who can’t straight up write a check,” says Lucas.
“I want people to know that this is a place for us to be among people who are also doing the work. So, if you feel like you’re missing that ecosystem. That network of people who are doing great work and you just want to be around people who are pushing the ball forward and you can add value to other people who are pushing the ball forward. This place is for you.”
TolHouse’s next event is BUT MAKE IT FASHION on November 11 and will provide “an inside look into the minds of two of our communities most successful fashion designers,” This is the club’s inaugural speaker series of many and features Toledo native Darryl Brown, founder and creative director at Midwest Kids and Darryl Brown Clothing Brands, and Erin Feniger Maggio, founder and creative director at Rialto Jean Project. Tickets are on sale on the club’s website at TolHouse.com
To apply for membership and learn more visit TolHouse.com/Apply.