Brace for it: Salt Bae — the salt-flinging meme otherwise known as Nusret Gökçe — is opening up a second outpost of his steakhouse chain Nusr-et in NYC. The cavernous restaurant, located a few steps down from Starbucks’ recently unionized Reserve Roastery, at 412 W. 15 Street, near Ninth Avenue, in the Meatpacking District, is slated to open on Saturday, May 7.
Gökçe’s second NYC steakhouse, like the first, is a self-proclaimed “spectacular meat feast” complete with racks of lamb wrapped in gold foil, tomahawk steaks, and cheeseburgers with caramelized onions and french fries. New to this location is a butcher shop, according to a representative, with slabs of meat available for takeout. The Meatpacking District location is slightly larger than the Midtown outpost — located at 60 West 53rd Street, near Sixth Avenue — with 160 seats spread out across 6,700 square feet.
This is the group’s first opening since the panned Salt Bae burger shack landed in Union Square in February 2020, touting a questionable free-veggie-burgers-for-women promotion. The first Nusr-et steakhouse descended on Midtown in January 2018, kicking up a flurry of attention between its Instagram-star leader and $1,000-plus steaks on the menu. The city’s critics, from Eater’s Robert Sietsema to New York Times’s Pete Wells, mostly thought it was a gimmicky meal not worthy of the eye-popping price tag.
Separately, Gökçe and his restaurant group have been the subject of multiple labor lawsuits since landing in New York. A former server filed a class-action lawsuit in 2019 alleging that Gökçe pooled all of the front-of-house tips and then pocketed some of the money before distributing the tips back to employees. The case ended in a $300,000 settlement, according to court documents. Two years later, employees filed an overtime wage lawsuit, directed at Gökçe’s restaurants in New York, Miami, and Dallas, that was eventually dismissed. Gökçe was also sued by a Brooklyn artist who claimed that the steakhouse chain used his portraits of Gökçe sprinkling salt without permission. That lawsuit was also dismissed.
Both the Salt Bae burger spot and the Midtown location of Nusr-et steakhouse remain open in NYC. Nusr-et also runs locations of the steakhouse in other parts of the country, including in Boston, Miami, and Las Vegas. There are over 20 locations across the globe.