Salt Bae’s London restaurant is closer than ever, with the living meme freshly arrived in the city before opening Nusret London at the Park Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge on 23 September.
Nusret Gökçe is currently quarantining in a luxurious central London hotel, presumably that of his restaurant, having arrived from the United Arab Emirates, where he had told watching steak stans that he would see the city “soon.” He then, in typical fashion, announced an opening three years in the making on his Stories.
In a series of preceding Instagram grid posts — the only place Salt Bae does any kind of restaurant announcement — he posted an admirably staged photo of him doing “deep notes” for the imminent opening, replete with sunglasses and stretches of the kind to tax anyone’s brain.
Salt Bae’s London restaurant has been in the works since early 2018, in which time he has been slapped with wage theft lawsuits, obtained mixed reviews of his wet-aged wagyu beef, promised gold-embalmed steaks, considered doing burgers in London instead, and, ultimately, not opened a restaurant that is now two-and-a-half-years overdue.
But all these things being true, he has over 30 million Instagram followers, a large restaurant group, and plenty of people who want to eat — or be seen eating — at his restaurants. Just as the appearance of impassioned reviews for a restaurant that didn’t even exist likely said more about the phenomenon than any London restaurant critic will muster when it does open, a man who relies on grandiose showmanship teasing that opening in such an understated way says something about the power that his brand wields