Salt Bae's Restaurant, Known for $99 Milkshakes, Closes After Criticism for Serving 'Worst' Food
Nusret Gökçe, popularly known as 'Salt Bae', amassed millions of online fans with his famous sprinkling of salt on expensive meat. His restaurant, Salt Bae Burger, has closed abruptly after being dubbed the "worst in New York City."
Gökçe owns eateries around the globe where diners are charged hundreds and thousands for their meal. However, this seems to have stopped at Salt Bae Burger in New York, as the restaurant at 220 Park Avenue South just shut its doors. According to a notice on the door, the company is moving to the exact location as Gökçe's international network of steakhouses, Nusr-Et Steakhouse, at 412 West 15th Street, according to NY Eater. The steakhouse also has a place in Midtown at 60 W. 53rd Street, close to Sixth Avenue.
The restaurant franchise was a follow-up to the Nusr-Et Steakhouse, which the Turkish butcher introduced to Manhattan in 2018. It has more than 20 sites globally. It was unexpectedly well received, although the mood had begun to shift in the months before Salt Bae Burger opened. Numerous lawsuits were filed against the restaurant's parent firm, Nusr-Et, including allegations of sexual harassment and wage theft. Al Avci, the company's chief operating officer, said that there was "no problem whatsoever" at the restaurants when questioned about the complaints in 2020.
A month before the pandemic initially prohibited dining inside, Salt Bae Burger opened at 220 Park Avenue South, next to Union Square Park. At the time, Eater's critics said that the restaurant "had all the charm of an airplane hanger," and that its menu resembled the priciest, worst-tasting variation of the Black Tap burger franchise. A wagyu beef burger that was foil-wrapped in gold, a vegetarian "ladies burger" that was free for females, and "golden" milkshakes that cost $99 at the time of sale were on the list of offenses made by the restaurant. It was dubbed the worst restaurant in the city by a Gothamist writer.
This was not the first time that Nusret Gökçe had come under fire for charging outrageous prices for poor meals. His avocado burger received harsh criticism from foodies, who said it was offensive to both vegetarians and meat lovers. A $180 signature sandwich and a $100 golden burger are among the outrageously priced offerings, yet the menu was described as "terrible" and "flavorless," as per The U.S. Sun. Additionally, some complained that the truffle fries lack crispiness and taste similar to normal fries.
The first Salt Bae Burger store opened in Dubai in 2019, and the now-closed Union Square location followed in 2020. Later in the year, a Los Angeles location was supposed to open, but that never happened. Nusr-Et declined to comment when The Sun contacted them about the business closing.