Upscale sushi pop-up at famed Flintstone House in Hillsborough on hold

11 April 2019, US, Hillsborough: A sign "Private property - no trespassing - violators will be prosecuted" stands in front of a colorfully painted house in unusual construction in Hillsborough near San Francisco. Photo: Barbara Munker/dpa (Photo by B

It was expected to be a unique, high-end culinary experience on a renowned and intrigue-evoking Bay Area landmark, but it's been put on hold even before it got off the ground. On Saturday, the famed Flintstone House in Hillsborough was set to open as a sushi pop-up run by catering company Stoneage Omakase.

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Stoneage Omakase first posted a photo on Instagram on June 29 of a dimly lit cave dining room with a U-shaped wood dining table ready to serve an intimate meal seating up to 10. 

The pop-up with Michelin Star chef Masa Sasaki at the helm was reportedly offering a 15-course menu for $230 per person.

There were reports that it didn't take long for reservations to fill up. 

But then on Monday, the company posted an update to Instagram saying, "Due to concerns raised by the city of Hillsborough, we have temporarily paused our catering operations at this location."

Stoneage Omakase also stressed that it was operating not as a restaurant but as a catering business and said, "We are diligently working to address these issues with Hillsborough."

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City Manager Doug Davis told KTVU the city was working with the company to make it work.

Davis said the city received word on July 2nd about Stoneage Omakase plans at the Flintstone House. 

Phone calls from concerned residents triggered an investigation by code enforcement officials. 

On July 5th, code enforcement sent out a letter to Stoneage Omakase, according to Davis. 

Davis noted that because the pop-up would be in a residential area, there were zoning considerations. He also said that as a food services operation, county health department guidelines also needed to be weighed. 

The company decided on its own to put its plans on hold until issues with the city get sorted out. 

In a statement to KTVU, the company's co-founders Sean Fang and Tim Cheung said, "We have decided to pause our operations as we prefer to work collaboratively with Hillsborough." 

They went on to say, "Unfortunately, we have been incorrectly classified as a restaurant, which has led to this misunderstanding. We look forward to working with the city to resolve this issue and resume offering our unique culinary experiences to our clients."

Stoneage Omakase thanked its customers for its understanding and continued support and promised anyone who paid for a reservation up front would be refunded. 

An edited version of the company’s initial posts offers catering services in private homes, and the company said the opportunity allowed it to service clients throughout the Bay Area.

Stoneage Omakase said it would be keeping its customers updated about any new developments and said, "In the meantime, we are excited to bring our services to new venues."