NFT restaurant opens in downtown West Palm Beach
The quota is virtual, but the food is real.
Such is the case at the Vinyl Fish Club in downtown West Palm Beach, a private-membership restaurant set to debut in October but already hosting pop-up culinary events under the moniker “Motel No-Tell.”
The venue, formerly the Kurafuto restaurant, is billed as “South Florida’s first NFT member restaurant” by the triumvirate of owners: Mykel Stevens (nightlife impresario), Uthman “Moose” Yamusenor (restaurateur) and Jaclyn Milford (founder of the Women of Wall Street organization ).
For the uninitiated, NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. NFTs, in this case a digital art purchase, are stored in a blockchain, the database that encrypts and authenticates NFTs. Fishing Club’s current collaboration is with Miami-based artist Miguel Paredes, no stranger to cryptocurrency himself.
“It’s about bringing like-minded people into the space,” explains Milford, who splits her time between New York City and West Palm Beach. “You have art collectors. You have investors. It’s like a social membership.
“You get benefits, which are a social club membership for the restaurant, where you get an elevated dining experience. It would be the same as having a social club membership for any restaurant, but since it’s an NFT, it means it’s an investable token, meaning you’re essentially investing in a membership that can make money. .. That’s how this is the new era of membership for people.”
At press time, 18 NFTs have been sold, making 32 lifetime memberships available. The price fluctuates a bit, but recently a membership cost $1,621.92.
You don’t need to be a member to go to Vinyl Fish Club when it opens, but membership will get you invitations to celebrity chef appearances, Japanese whiskey/sake tasting, access to a private lounge after hours, as well as the usual benefits of a private club (for for example events and menus only for members, reservations via concierge).
The partners do the decoration themselves for the space, with space for around 100 people inside and 50 outside.
“We did everything. It was like, ‘We like this, we like that.’ We just took it all together,” says Milford. “I think that’s what makes it special because it’s kind of turned our brains upside down.”
Milford and Stevens met about 10 years ago when they both launched and promoted Stache Drinking Den in Fort Lauderdale’s Himmarshee Village. While looking for a West Palm Beach location, the two met Yamusenor, who was looking to sell the location that housed his restaurant Kurafuto. Yamusenor liked the couple’s new concept so much that he signed up as a partner.
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The name Vinyl Fish Club refers to some serious attention to the restaurant’s audiovisual elements, with the mod lounges and dining room interior design built around their sound system.
“We spin records, they become vinyl records,” says Milford. “So it really takes you back to a nostalgic, vintage feeling.”
That’s the “vinyl” part of the name. The “Fish” part comes from the sushi-forward theme of the kitchen concept.
Milford explains that the restaurant will have an eclectic menu, including omakase (a form of Japanese dining where the chef selects the dishes). The chef is Kazuo Yoshida, who is known as the “Sushi Boss” by the smart set in New York City and The Hamptons.
And while West Palm Beach attracted many people in the financial and tech industries during the pandemic, that’s not the main reason the trio chose the city for their first joint effort.
“It’s definitely a big advantage for us,” says Milford. “When we first decided to incorporate, we were just thinking about how we can create something really special for the area. [But] it is really beneficial for people to understand economics. It’s really that the whole area is booming right now.
“We love that restaurant scene, so community-driven,” she adds. “That’s really one of the main points of being here. There are people who are very loyal in West Palm and very family-oriented. And our concept is exactly that. It’s about bringing the community into our space. You know, people who want to experience a cultural moment.”
- Vinyl Fish Club is at 340 Clematis St. in The Blackstone Building in West Palm Beach.
- Until the restaurant opens, the pop-up dinners are offered from 17.00 to 22.00 Thursdays to Saturdays. The pop-ups are open to everyone with a reservation. Make a reservation by emailing [email protected] or visiting VinylFishClub.com.