Sushi pop-up at Flintstone House up in smoke as city officials order cancelation

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Terry Chea/AP

An upscale "private dining experience" serving sushi at the Flintstone House in Hillsborough has been shut down days before its scheduled launch, due to mounting concerns from city officials and town residents over potential zoning law violations.

The pop-up, headlined by Michelin-star chef Masa Sakaki, sold out its $230 reservations last week in under a minute, promising to open its doors Friday. However, these plans quickly simmered, as they found themselves receiving a letter from the city earlier this week that ordered the dinners to be cancelled.

"Restaurants and other commercial uses are not permitted in a residential zone, even on a temporary basis," the letter read.

In response, Stone Age Omakase, the company behind the dining experience, released a statement on their Instagram claiming that they will refund the reservations and are "diligently working to address these issues with Hillsborough"

Hillsborough and the Flintstone House have a history of tensions boiling over.

A 2019 lawsuit from the city alleged that statues erected in 2017 by Florence Fang, who owns the property, created a "highly visible eyesore," and violated laws requiring permits for exterior decoration. Fang then countersued, claiming she was being racially discriminated against because other non-Chinese residents in the area likely did not pursue permits for their own exterior renovations.

Fang and the city eventually settled in 2021, agreeing to pay Fang $125,000 in return for her applying for permits which were guaranteed to be approved.

NBC Bay Area reached out to the City of Hillsborough but did not immediately get a response for comment on Wednesday.

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