Turkish butcher, steakhouse owner, and internet meme “Salt Bae” (real name Nusret Gökçe) appears poised to open a restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Nahita (100 Arlington St., Boston). The restaurant group behind his steakhouse and burger chains (Nusr-Et Steakhouse and Nusr-Et Burger) — also behind the now-closed Nahita — wasn’t immediately available for comment, but the evidence is mounting.
Several tipsters notified Eater that Salt Bae was inside the former Nahita space last night, and sure enough, Salt Bae’s own Instagram story shows him outside of the restaurant around 2 a.m. last night and then opening the door and walking through the unmistakable (and award-winning) space. There’s no narration and no other people visible, and after a short tour of the space, he’s on a train to New York. The Boston portion is preceded by a story panel that shows him on a flight, traveling “nonstop to Boston location,” and his train ride is going to the “New York location.” (He opened Nusr-et in New York in early 2018.)
If this will indeed be a Nusr-et location, Bostonians may one day be able to watch the handsome butcher dash salt onto plates of expensive meat, at least when he’s not elsewhere in his growing restaurant empire, which also includes Miami and numerous locations around the Middle East.
Nahita closed in November after operating for just a year. The restaurant focused mostly on nikkei cuisine, which is a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese food. It also featured some Turkish flavors as a nod to its ownership team, Doğuş Restaurant Entertainment and Management (Dream, stylized as d.ream), which has its roots in Turkey.
When Nahita closed, Dream released a statement that said, “We look forward to sharing many more memories and cooking up new flavors with you in the 100 Arlington Street space in Bay Village soon, stay tuned.”
So, the evidence: Salt Bae himself shared — with his nearly 25 million Instagram followers — that he was heading to his “Boston location” and then walked through the Nahita space. Dream, the restaurant group behind both Nusr-et and Nahita, indicated upon closing Nahita that it would be opening something else in its space.
And one more thing: On December 17, 2019, paperwork was filed in Massachusetts for Nusret Boston LLC, doing business as a restaurant, with 100 Arlington St. — formerly home to Nahita — listed as the address.
Eater will update this story if and when Dream confirms the incoming Salt Bae invasion. In the meantime, you can read up on the New York location: Here’s the rundown from multiple critics on the restaurant — or is it dinner theater? — that is Nusr-et.
Update, 4 p.m.: As early as June 2019, Gökçe was already talking about a Boston location, listing it alongside Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Milan, Paris, and Madrid — all could have Nusr-et restaurants in 2020.
Update, December 12, 2019: A new piece of Salt Bae’s Instagram story, showing text in front of an American flag, indicates that his restaurants “will [be] opening very soon” in Boston, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and Dallas.
Update, December 30, 2019: There are now several job postings up on Indeed.com for a Nusr-et Steakhouse in Boston.
• Glitzy Bay Village Restaurant Nahita Closes After a Year [EBOS]
• Nusr-et [Official Site]