A Boston steakhouse opened by a Turkish restaurateur and social media star known as Salt Bae has been ordered closed for failing to meet coronavirus safety rules.
A popular Instagram star is catching flak after Boston’s Licensing Board ordered his latest restaurant venture to close for failing to meet Covid-19 public safety standards, a city spokesperson told CNN.
Nusr-Et Boston was ordered closed Saturday just days after it opened. Boston’s Licensing Board said the restaurant opened by Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gökçe, posed an “imminent threat to public health and public safety resulting from the ongoing and repeated failure to adhere to COVID-19 public safety standards,” The Boston Globe reported.
The restaurant, Nusr-Et Boston, is part of a chain of steakhouses headed by Turkish celebrity chef Nusret Gökçe. “
“Salt Bae,” as he is better known, became famous on social media for the dramatic flair he added when butchering and salting his meat.
Violations listed on the city’s website included patrons and employees not wearing masks, along with blocked fire exits. Multiple complaints on the city’s 311 website also described cramped quarters, with many customers and employees going maskless. Video Gökçe posted to Instagram last week showed people closely lined up outside the restaurant, most in masks but some without, as crowds cheered the chef.
The city responded to the violations by ordering the restaurant to immediately cease operations, and indefinitely suspended its alcohol beverages license.
The licensing board is scheduled to hold inspection hearings for Nusr-Et Boston on Tuesday. Gökçe didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from the newspaper.
Officials said inspectors who visited the restaurant found violations including a “long line of patrons and failure to socially distance.”
City Councilor Ed Flynn, who represents the Bay Village neighborhood where the restaurant is located, said he will ask the board to suspend its license indefinitely.
“I have zero tolerance for this reckless behavior,” he said.
An emergency hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 29, a city spokesperson said.