NFT-driven restaurant in San Francisco falls apart

NFT-driven restaurant in San Francisco falls apart

The Luxurious Sho restaurant, situated atop San Francisco’s Salesforce Park, has been declared defunct. The restaurant, which had planned non-fungible token (NFT) memberships, will no longer see the light of day, a confirmation obtained from both the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and Sho Group’s CEO, Joshua Sigel.

Decline of San Francisco

Sigel, in a statement to SFGATE, expressed: “We have reached the difficult conclusion that bringing SHO to life atop Salesforce Park is not possible at this time.”

Various hindrances were mentioned, including the rising costs of building the restaurant and issues faced due to potential investors being concerned about San Francisco’s future. Sigel cited reasons such as “labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, geopolitical uncertainty, and inflation” as key factors impacting the increase in construction costs, which eventually sealed the project’s fate.

NFT memberships

Initially touted as a luxurious Japanese fine-dining experience, Sho Restaurant’s unique draw was its NFT memberships, ranging between $7,500 and $300,000.

Three distinct membership tiers were on offer: “Earth” at $7,500, “Water” at $15,000, and “Fire” at $300,000, with perks and privileges that could be further traded on OpenSea, an NFT marketplace. The sales of these memberships were set to commence in the latter part of 2022.

Sigel clarified that all members were fully refunded, stating that only around 100 NFT memberships were pre-sold.

In an earlier event, Sigel had confidently claimed that Sho Restaurant would serve as a beacon for the exclusive Sho Club, which would branch out to other cities. He highlighted the benefits of the NFT-based memberships, emphasizing how they would mitigate construction costs. Furthermore, he mentioned having the interest of accredited investors in his pocket as a backup plan.

Scrapped project

The building remained vacant despite the initial buzz and the groundbreaking opening event. Reports suggest that proper permits for construction were never obtained, owing to designers neglecting feedback from the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection.

The Transbay Authority spokesperson commented on parting ways with the Sho Group, saying:

“The TJPA has agreed to part ways with Sho Group and are turning our attention to engaging the community and our real estate professionals to identify the highest and best use of these three spaces.”

The reference was not just to the restaurant but also to the Sho Market spaces planned on Salesforce Park’s ground floor, which have also been shelved. Since September of last year, Sho Group’s digital presence has gone silent.

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