The splashy NFT-backed restaurant complex that was to open atop San Francisco’s Salesforce Park transit center is now officially dead.
Though reports have indicated for months that the multi-layered project seemed to be coming to a halt, the operating company SHO Group LLC only recently posted on its website that the restaurant will not happen.
“We have reached the difficult conclusion that bringing SHO to live atop Salesforce Park is not possible at this time,” the SHO Group website said. “Despite a strong demand for the concept we ultimately could not address the many concerns brought about by potential investors, most of which have been around the future of SF and the rising costs of constructing the restaurant.”
The two-story restaurant and rooftop lounge was initially scheduled to open this fall and serve as a flagship restaurant at the transportation hub, which is topped by a 5.4-acre park. The much-hyped project was being led by Josh Sigel, who was also CEO and founder of Silicon Valley consulting firm Lasso Ventures. The menu was to be designed by Berkeley, Calif., chef Shotaro “Sho” Kamio, who is also know for the restaurant Iyasare.
The concept was to be funded in part by the sale of NFT memberships to the private SHO Club, which offered various tiers ranging from $7,500 to $300,000. The NFTs were to be sold on the Ethereum blockchain.
Sigel did not respond to requests for comment, but he told SFGate that the full cost of memberships sold had been reimbursed.
Meanwhile, Sigel and chef Kamio have partnered with the Michael Mina Group spinoff TableOne Hospitality on the concept Mizunara, offering Japanese comfort food and a wide selection of whisky and sake at the food hall The Sundry in the mixed-use development UnCommons.
SHO was the second of two much-hyped restaurant concepts announced last year.
The first was Flyfish Club, a seafood concept to be created by New York-based VCR Group founded by serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk with restaurant veteran David Rodolitz, who was a founding partner of Empellon Restaurant Group.
Flyfish was to be operated as a private club with memberships sold as NFTs, also on the Ethereum blockchain, long before the concept had even signed a lease.
In November 2022, Flyfish Club had reportedly leased an 11,000-square-foot, three-level space in a Manhattan office tower, according to the New York Post.
Initially scheduled to open this fall, the VCR Group website now puts the opening date for Flyfish Club in early 2024. Meanwhile, the club’s membership appears to be gathering for virtual and IRL events, at least according to social media postings. And Flyfish chef Josh Capon served tastes from the menu at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in August.
Flyfish officials, however, did not respond to requests for an update on the brick-and-mortar dining club.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Josh Sigel's name in a headline.
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