Sprinkle some salt on this new restaurant opening, Miami: Salt Bae is coming to the three-oh-five.
The man, the meme, the legend, chef Nusret Gökçe, who rose to internet fame by flamboyantly butchering a tomahawk steak and finishing it with a salt flourish, will open his first U.S. steakhouse in Brickell next month, a member of the restaurant’s management team said.
“He’s been long wanting to come to the U.S. to open a restaurant,” said Yavuz Pehlivanlar, executive vice president of Doğuş Restaurant Entertainment and Management, which also owns Zuma (as well as Coya and Etaru) and will convert the closed Coya restaurant at 999 Brickell Avenue into the new Nusr-et Turkish Steakhouse.
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Nusret Gökçe (pronounced NOOSE-ret guck-CHEH) is no flash in the sauce pan. More than 10 years ago, he founded Nusr-et Steakhouse, which has 10 locations in cities such as Istanbul, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. A trained butcher and chef, his fancy knife skills and signature salt finish earned him a loyal following online, primarily on Instagram, until the internet decided his salty style needed to go viral overnight.
That led to an announcement earlier this year that he would open a restaurant in New York, likely in November. But with some mild retrofitting, Coya (a former Peruvian restaurant) will come online first.
“He’s Salt Bae, as you know, but he is well known in other parts of the world,” Pehlivanlar said.
Gökçe has his U.S. visa and has been in Miami to help hire the staff, Pehlivanlar said. He wanted to be involved in every hire and to oversee the restaurant’s renovation, which will include a more wide-open kitchen and hunks of meat on display, as is the Turkish steakhouse tradition.
And if any of the prospective job candidates ask for a selfie with Salt Bae?
“That’s totally fine,” Pehlivanlar said. “He’s got charisma, for sure.”