This week, the team behind SHŌ Club, the ambitious venture that hopes to make history as San Francisco’s first NFT-based club and restaurant, announced more details on the financial side of the project, including how much each of the three membership levels – dubbed Earth, Water and Fire – will cost and what perks members can expect.
First and foremost, anyone looking to buy one of SHŌ Club’s 3,265 finite memberships should be prepared to shell out no less than $7,500 and up to $300,000 if you expect to earn these “ownership benefits” teased in the project’s media push. earlier this month. The good news for anyone raising an eyebrow, as cryptocurrencies experience huge fluctuations in value: you will be able to buy your SHŌ Club membership with good old-fashioned dollars if you like, although you will still receive your membership proof in the form of an NFT, which are, of course, inherently tied to the Ethereum blockchain.
For SHŌ Group CEO Josh Sigel, this is the main point. “Currency, for us, is less important than the underlying technology that is innate to NFTs,” says Sigel. “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy.” Sigel, who brings food and technology expertise to the project, says it’s the security provided by blockchain that draws the company into selling NFT-based memberships — as opposed to, say, physical cards. Plus, he says the technology allows the company to do things like additional airdrop benefits (think, tickets to an exclusive event) for member holders. “This is for us a long-term game,” he says.
So what does a SHŌ Club membership really bring you? At the lowest level, members receive services that include a house account and a concierge; access to priority bookings, a members-only menu and a members-only lounge; and experiences, including online events, educational programming and guaranteed access to one quarterly event per year. The company plans to mint 2,678 of these Earth-level memberships and will maintain another 200, for a total of 2,878 Earth-level SHŌ Club members. Sigel says there are no plans to add additional memberships after the fact, so if you don’t get one at launch, you’ll have to get them from the secondary or resale market.
For the $15,000 Intermediate Tier, Water members receive all the same benefits as Earth plus a few more: complimentary valet parking or car service, access to all quarterly membership events, plus admission to a annual Water and Fire event. These 377 memberships, 50 of which will be held for internal use, also include access to a monthly omakase dinner, although food and drink are not included in the membership fee. Finally, there’s that $300,000 Fire tier – open to just 10 members who will enjoy all the aforementioned perks and more. Most notably, the $300,000 NFT entitles the holder to a share of the club’s revenue and a seat on the Fire Board, according to a press release. There’s also a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip to Japan, although it’s a one-time perk, meaning if this NFT changes hands, you’re out of luck there.
Sigel says the team thought “a lot” about the right price for each level. “We always look, in terms of pricing, to make sure we’re creating exponential value for our members,” he says. Considering the membership entitles the holder to a lifetime of benefits for a one-time fee, he says that up to $15,000 is a “fair price.” And yes, restaurants have a reputation for being often short-lived, but Sigel’s adamant SHŌ Club folding and leaving members with a worthless digital token is “incredibly unlikely”; in fact, he points out, the company is already in talks for additional locations in cities like Las Vegas, Miami and Tokyo. Founding members – like the first 3,265 lucky members of the main San Francisco location – can also expect some benefits at all future locations.
In terms of food, chef Shotaro “Sho” Kamio (also behind Berkeley’s Iyasare) explains that the two levels will offer distinct dining experiences for both members and the public, who will be able to make reservations at both the fine-dining restaurant and the bar on site. cover and hall. On the main floor, the SHŌ restaurant revolves around a 12-foot by three-foot irori-style grill. These charcoal grills served both as a kitchen appliance and as a source of light and heat in Japanese homes; at the restaurant, he will use it to introduce more customers to what he calls “Japanese farm” cuisine. It will create deep umami flavors through aged fish and meats and takes advantage of the natural flavorful qualities of smoke and seaweed. Upstairs, things take a more modern turn. The bar and lounge will showcase “sushi made San Francisco style,” he says — think, California rolls and spicy tuna. There will also be a selection of sake for casual customers to explore.
Sigel says it expects to begin member presales in August, with construction on the project expected to begin later this fall. The restaurant will be atop Salesforce Park, the four-block green space situated on the roof of the Salesforce Transit Center, and there will be a retail market called SHŌ Market on the ground floor. It’s been hard work navigating the intricacies of building on top of existing infrastructure, but Sigel says the team plans to host events and pop-ups between now and the project’s completion. It’s a way to build a community around the SHŌ Club, he explains. “In the hospitality world, I think we’re seeing a move toward recognizing that community is an integral part of the success of restaurants and brands,” he says. “For us, we really wanted to develop a close-knit group of people that we could not only foster a direct connection with… but also create a way that those individuals could come together.”
Pre-sales for SHŌ Club members will start in August. For more information about the SHŌ Group or how to obtain a membership in the SHŌ Club, visit the SH Club website.