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Boston’s ‘Salt Bae’ restaurant fails Covid-19 safety regulations and must close, city says

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 27: An unidentified man parks and takes a selfie next to the restaurant Nusr-Et, at 100 Arlington Street, which was ordered closed by the Licensing Board for the City of Boston in Boston on Sept. 27, 2020. The restaurant was opened by Instagram star Salt Bae a little over a week ago and has already landed in hot water with city officials, who said they ordered the eatery closed Saturday for repeatedly failing to follow COVID-19 safety standards. Now Bae whose real name is Nusret Gökçe is expected to face the citys Licensing Board Tuesday, when officials hold two inspection hearings, officials said in a statement Sunday. Gökçe, who secured his nickname through a viral video showing him gracefully sprinkling salt onto a freshly cut steak, opened his restaurant Nusr-Et Boston on Sept. 18 at 100 Arlington St., near Bay Village and the Back Bay. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

   (CNN) — 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.

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.

An emergency hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 29, a city spokesperson told CNN.

The restaurant chain did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

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