The San Francisco Chronicle reported the news Friday. Rumors have been swirling locally for a few weeks that Matsuhisa has partnered with none other than former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to open a Nobu inside downtown Palo Alto’s Epiphany Hotel, which Ellison bought in 2015.
Sources confirmed today that the Nobu team is looking at restaurant spaces in Palo Alto and the Epiphany is one potential option. No word on what would become of the hotel’s current restaurant, Lure + Till, if that happened.
Rumor has it Nobu is eyeing a new location at the Epiphany Hotel on Hamilton Avenue in downtown Palo Alto. Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Weekly.
"The official response is 'no comment,'" Leah Goldstein of Leah Goldstein Public Relations Inc. wrote on behalf of the Epiphany Hotel in an email to the Weekly.
This wouldn’t be the first project for Matsuhisa and Ellison: The two teamed up to build a hotel called Nobu Ryokan located on the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Matsuhisa has also built other hotels globally.
A Nobu spokesperson reached in their corporate office in New York Friday said she couldn't "confirm anything yet" but the restaurant group is "discussing certain details" about a Palo Alto location.
If true, this would be the first Nobu in Northern California. There are restaurants in Beverly Hills, Malibu, Las Vegas, Aspen, Miami Beach and New York City as well as Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Milano, Mykonos, the Bahamas (yes, the Bahamas) and elsewhere.
Nobu is known for a fusion style that reflects his own background: He was born and raised in Japan, but went on to open a sushi restaurant in Peru for several years (and then lived in Argentina, Japan and Alaska before moving to Los Angeles, according to an biography on the Nobu website). Nobu opened his first restaurant in the United States (Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills) in January 1987.
Stay tuned for more details on Palo Alto.