Turkish butcher and chef Nusret Gökçe has over a dozen restaurants around the world, including locations in Doha, Dubai, Instanbul, and Miami. Most recently, he opened a steakhouse in New York City. But that is not why you know about him. You know him because he is “Salt Bae.”
And now, as he continues to grind every bit he can from his 15 minutes of fame, Mr. Bae is headed to Los Angeles. He has signed a lease to open his first U.S. burger shop, according to the New York Post. In Turkey, he already operates four burger joints under the name Nusr-Et Burger, but for the American market he’ll be re-branding them as (what else?) Salt Bae. The concept is described as a bit more formal than Shake Shack—there’s table service rather than ordering from a counter—but considerably more casual than Gökçe’s steakhouse locations.
Just getting the burger shop rather than the full steakhouse experience means we may miss out on some of the more outlandish flourishes of sword butchery and bare-handed seasoning that made Gökçe an internet sensation (although, some allege his web-celeb was fake hype all along). But given the reviews coming out of New York, that might be just as well. There have been complaints about mediocre food, prices that are high even by NYC standards—the smallest steaks start at $70, but you’ll pay $275 if you want it hand-sprinkled by the Bae himself, GQ reports—and there’s the matter of the New York Health Department citing the restaurant for improperly handling meat with ungloved hands.
The exact location of the Salt Bae burger shop has yet to be revealed. What we know is that the property leased by MRR Developments will be about 4,000 square feet and carries a full liquor license.
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