The butcher-turned-salt-sprinkling-Instagram-sensation — Nusret Gökçe, aka Salt Bae — will make his London debut, not with a Nusr-Et Steakhouse on London’s Knightsbridge, as has been widely reported in the last 18 months, but with a burger restaurant. His brand Nusr-Et Burger, is thought to be opening on Mount Street in Mayfair sometime in the new year.
Eater understands that the international celebrity chef and personality — whose brand value is perhaps best demonstrated by his 23.7 million Instagram followers — will take over the site formerly occupied by The Audley pub, at 41 – 43 Mount Street, a strip which is home to Scott’s seafood restaurant, The Connaught Hotel, and a Christian Louboutin boutique. This is a street at the very centre of London’s most wealthy neighbourhood; The Audley — an old-fashioned wood-panelled pub, owned by Green King brewery — closed earlier this year.
A spokesperson for Gökçe confirmed that the group would be opening a burger restaurant in London on Mount Street, but would not confirm the address, saying that the site was “under construction.”
Gökçe’s expansion of the burger division most recently saw it open in Dubai; it had been reported to be in the works in New York shortly after the high-profile opening of his steak restaurant in the city. There is as yet no further news on plans for the Nusr-Et Steakhouse, which had been expected to open at The Park Tower Knightsbridge Hotel in December 2019.
From a preview shared by Gökçe this week, it appears the flamboyant, theatrical and unorthodox approach to eating (as well as cutting and seasoning) large pieces of meat is extended to his consumption of a burger bun: Present the item, consider the item, touch the item a lot, slow action, jarring action, ends. All while wearing a fitted white t-shirt, sunglasses, and gloves.
In total, Gökçe operates 12 steakhouses and four burger restaurants, three of which are in Istanbul. His restaurant empire is not without controversy: up to 200 employees are legally able to sue his Miami steakhouse for tip skimming, as well as not paying the minimum wage and / or overtime. His New York restaurant went through a similar suit, and he has also come under fire for “feeding Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, serving Large Adult Son Donald Trump, Jr., operating restaurants that maybe aren’t all that good, [and] possibly violating health codes,” per Eater’s Jenny G. Zhang.