Money and Markets

The first 'NFT restaurant' costs up to R215,000 to join – before you pay for food

Business Insider US
Fish on display on Flyfish Club's website.
Flyfish Club
  • Flyfish Club is selling memberships through NFTs ahead of its launch in 2023, Fortune magazine reported. 
  • An "omakase" premium membership costs 4.25 ether, or about R215,000 at current exchange rates. 
  • The crypto project at the upcoming New York City restaurant has raised $14 million through the sale of nearly 1,500 tokens.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

    The upcoming Flyfish Club restaurant is being billed as the first to sell memberships through non-fungible tokens, offering high-end private dining as demand for the digital assets has soared. 

    According to Fortune magazine, the seafood-inspired restaurant will open in 2023 in New York City and will feature a cocktail lounge, a 150-seat dining room, an outdoor space at a location that's yet to be announced, and a 14-seat Japanese "omakase" room in a private section.

    The "Omakase Experience" in the private room promises a "transportive experience" led by a master sushi chef who will prepare curated dishes with fish flown in daily. 

    While you can't eat there yet, Flyfish Club this month began selling memberships through NFTs, or digital representations of collectibles such as art, music — and now, dining memberships. VCR Group, the hospitality company managing the Flyfish Club project, told Fortune it has already raised $14 million through the sale of nearly 1,500 tokens. 

    There are two tiers of membership, which can be obtained by purchasing a Flyfish Club NFT with ether, the cryptocurrency that runs on the ethereum blockchain. The "Flyfish" tier costs 2.5 ether, or about R130,000. The premium "Flyfish Omakase" level costs 4.25 ether, or roughly R215,000. 

    The Flyfish Club project comes as the NFT market in 2021 surged to a $41 billion value, according to blockchain data company Chainalysis. A major milestone for the market last year was the $69 million sale of NFT artwork by auction house Christie's

    The Flyfish Club NFTs, which appear as colourful renderings of sushi styles like nigiri, allow members to enter the dining club. But membership has other perks. VCR Group CEO David Rodolitz told Fortune that members can "also lease it when they're out of town, or even sell it." 

    The magazine noted that the tokens were already being resold on NFT marketplace OpenSea between Flyfish Club members and people who want to be members. 

    But one perk is notably absent. While a Flyfish Club membership requires using a cryptocurrency to buy an NFT, members will have to pay for their food and drinks through fiat money — meaning old-fashioned US currency.

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