It looks like SHŌ — the NFT-backed restaurant/club in San Francisco that was supposed to open this fall as a two-story “culinary entertainment and nightlife experience” operated under SHŌ Group — is never going to happen. After Nation’s Restaurant News previously reported on apparent construction delays on the project following a groundbreaking ceremony in Aug. 2022, amid lower than anticipated response to NFT membership sales, the project will not be completed.
“We have reached the difficult conclusion that bringing SHŌ to life atop Salesforce Park is not possible at this time,” Josh Sigel, CEO of SHŌ Group said in a statement published by Eater.
According to Eater, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which oversees Salesforce Park, where the NFT restaurant was supposed to be located, terminated its lease in July. SHŌ Group did not respond to requests for further comment.
SHŌ was first announced in June 2022 during the NFT craze, when many operators thought that pricey crypto-backed digital memberships would be the future of exclusive dining clubs for an elite customer base. SHŌ San Francisco was supposed to be the company’s flagship and prototype business model that could be repeated in other cities around the world. When it was first announced, Sigel said the company would have offered three tiers of access to customers costing between $7,500-$300,000, with perks ranging from priority reservations and courtesy car pickup/dropoff, to exclusive curated trips to Japan.
However, just 10 months later, the project was struggling. In an interview in early 2023, Sigel revealed that only 100 NFTs were sold during the initial private sale, and that the promised wider public sale of the initially promised 3,275 NFTs had not yet happened, though it was set to occur within the next four weeks. As initially reported by SFGate, that wider public NFT sales never happened.
SHŌ isn’t the only group struggling to grow interest in exclusive NFT clubs. Brooklyn Chop House in New York City was also supposed to open a subterranean NFT lounge under its steakhouse with memberships costing between $8,000-$100,000, but the plans were scrapped, since Brooklyn Chop House co-owner Robert Cummins told Nation’s Restaurant News that customer tastes — and demand for NFTs — have changed and withered. Another similar project, helmed by New Jersey-based Dragonfly Brands, was abandoned early on in the development process.
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