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Is Michael Mina Opening a Scandinavian Restaurant in the Ferry Building?

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Prospective members of what appears to be a private club for the tech crowd say that’s what they were promised

Dried fish or stockfish on fishing nets over white marble background. Flat lay. space Photo by: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It has been three days since SFist reported that the restaurateur Michael Mina appears to have posted a job listing for a general manager position at a private club inside the Ferry Building — a venue called Shack 15. While official sources still refuse to comment, prospective patrons of the venue have provided Eater SF with additional details on the matter.

Shack 15 Eve Batey

Multiple sources, all of whom asked for anonymity, forwarded an email sent on September 18 to potential members of Shack 15, which is an as-yet unopened spot that occupies (per its website) 46,000 square feet at the north end of the Ferry Building’s second floor.

The email announces that Shack 15 is “delighted to welcome award-winning chef and restauranteur Michael Mina as the curator of SHACK15’s food and beverage program. In partnership with MINA Group, we will bring an entirely new restaurant concept to the waterfront — focused on the rich heritage and delicacy of the Scandinavian kitchen, reimagined through a Bay Area lens.”

Eater SF emailed representatives for Michael Mina and Shack 15 for more details about this Scandinavian restaurant concept. As in days past, there was no response.

Mina’s participation is but one piece of the puzzle, as Shack 15 — which appears to be owned and operated by a tech company called Meltwater — also says that it will contain “dedicated workspace, an array of lounges, an in-house restaurant, a coffee bar, a wellness center, and a pioneering event space.” People who have been inside the space confirm that while Shack 15 remains under construction, it appears that there has been some sort of buildout for the food venue or venues.

All four people Eater SF spoke to made comparisons to The Battery, an invitation-only private club in the Financial District that boasts multiple bars; restaurants that serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner; a wine cellar; and interior design by Ken Fulk (who himself owns a private club called St. Josephs). “It seems like the goal is The Battery but for tech people,” said one.

One person who had attended the launch party for Shack 15 (which was held in May of 2018) said that even then, potential members were promised food from “a Michelin-starred chef,” though the specific chef was not named. This individual, too, said that “it seemed like they were going for the same people who would like to be invited to The Battery.”

According to documents viewed by Eater SF, “early membership” was offered to Shack 15 potentials at a rate of $1,500 per year. “The space will be fully licensed to serve alcohol and will feature a Scandinavian inspired restaurant,” a flier to promote membership that Eater examined reads. In addition, “you will meet a broad collection of passionate, ambitious people from the global startup ecosystem.”

It’s unclear why Shack 15 is unwilling to comment on its partnership with Mina, given that it’s information that’s seemingly been in circulation for months. According to an email sent to prospective Shack 15 members on October 9, Shack 15 expects to begin “inviting members and guests to check out the space and attend inspiring programming around technology, the arts and the important issues of our day.”

Food was not mentioned in that message, but an attached promotional video (that’s it, above) depicts well-clad diners sitting down to a table. Throughout the video, however, the dishes on the table remain empty, and food — Scandinavian or otherwise — is never consumed.

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