Categories: DiningNews

This Proposed S.F. Members-Only Club is Peak Tech Culture


Michelin-starred chef Michael Mina is throwing his weight behind a members-only club directed at tech startups and other “entrepreneurial communities,” up for a liquor license on Thursday.

Word about Mina and Shack15, members-only club geared toward startup founders and innovators occupying 46,000 square feet in the Ferry Building, spread in November when SFist found a job listing to lead the team but no confirmation was given. More details are in the public record now that a liquor license is up for approval at the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee on Thursday morning.

There’s no way around it: Shack15 is aggressively tech. It aims to “build the next generation of startups and products” to tackle local and global issues by connecting startup founders, venture capitalists, and innovators over tech tutorials, meetups, and roundtables. Also, group yoga and wellness-related programming “designed to nourish and fulfill other aspects of the ‘life of the mind.'” Its website is full of airy, meaningless pronouncements like “Where ideas go to breathe” and “For those who do extraordinary things” that would be skewered in an episode of Silicon Valley.

How Shack15-goers nourish their stomachs will be up the Mina Group, the chef’s company that operates more than 40 restaurants. He plans to offer food “highlighting the elegant simplicity of Scandinavian cuisine” using fresh seafood from local suppliers complete with a bar of Nordic-influenced cocktails and cafe run by Norwegian barista Tim Wendelboe.

A menu sample provided in the application packet offered sandwiches on baguettes, macarons, milk tea, ice cream, coffee and cold brew. However, the application packet includes an email from a planning department employee noting that the referral from the Health Department they approved doesn’t match the narrative description.

It won’t be cheap. EaterSF estimated that the 46,000 square foot space on the third floor of the Ferry Building could cost at least $4 million a month in rent.

It’s unclear when the restaurant would open but judging by its aesthetically pleasing Instagram page with scant actual information, the space appears to have held some events since November. Shack15 has 10 employees at the moment, per its LinkedIn page.

Representatives from Shack15 and the Mina Group did not respond in time for publication.

The bid for a liquor license will be heard at the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee at 10 a.m. in room 263 at City Hall.

Ida Mojadad

Ida Mojadad is a reporter at SF Weekly, often covering politics, housing and transportation. Her words can also be found in the Orange County Register, KQED (NPR), Faribault Daily News, Northfield News and SF Examiner. You can reach her at (415)-359-2728 or by email at

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