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Turkish salt sprinkler vows to restrain himself on future visits to Boston

The Boston Licensing Board voted today to let Salt Bae's steak joint on Arlington Street re-open immediately, on condition his staff break up any lines outside and bar admittance to people without masks.

A "security and operations" plan submited by Nusret also promised that should the Bae ever return to Boston while it's still in the grips of the pandemic, he will not rush outside to pose for photos with celebrity hounds and that he will not even try to pose with photos with patrons seated inside, which, in the past, has been part of his shtik. He won't even post any sprinkly photos from Boston to his Instagram account while Covid-19 remains a public-health emergency.

At a hearing on Tuesday, his local attorney and two of his sub-Baes apologized for chaotic scenes outside and inside his restaurant last week, when the sprinklers repeatedly went outside to pose for photos and did his salt-sprinkling thing with patrons inside, as people crammed Arlington Street hoping to catch a glimpse and people inside enjoyed ambling around maskless.

City inspectors shut the restaurant on Saturday and fined the place $300 for violating city and state Covid-19 regulations.

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PDF icon Nusret security plan100.96 KB

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Comments

this place survives once the word gets around that Chef Scofflaw Sprinkles isn't going to be there for 364 nights out of the year.

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Voting closed 28

We could also take your comment and apply it to Guy Fieri's place over at The Hub at North Station. I have not once seen any activity in there since it opened.

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This whole situation is among the dumbest things I've seen recently. Why is this idiot even a celebrity at all?

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Voting closed 35

... "famous for being famous."

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That Salt Bae in sunglasses could be Robert Downy Jr.’s doppelgänger?

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the rise and fall of Todd English wasn't this rapid.

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they're both very good-looking as professional chefs go, with the caveat that Todd used to be a great conceiver and executor of astonishing, inventive, over-the-top pile-ups of Mediterranean flavors, an indie entrepreneur who actually manned the stove at a couple of his own terrific restaurants before he sold out.

I don't think Gökçe has a whiff of that: he's purely a hollow Instagram-meme phenomenon, a steakhouse line cook with great abs and expensive PR, cannily exploiting the ridiculous, tasteless Veblen-good crowd. (To be fair, he might be a genuinely skilled butcher.)

The original Olives was my favorite restaurant in Boston in its heyday. I was heartbroken to see Todd crater as an artisan once he started reaching for the brass ring: it was like seeing a beloved obscure punk band suddenly whoring for Michelob. He deserves credit for mentoring young chefs like Barbara Lynch, Tiffani Faison and Michael Serpa who turned out to be brilliant restaurateurs, a positive influence that still echoes throughout our scene. And I don't blame him for chasing fame and riches. He made bank in a very tough business. But the way he did it is damnable.

Like Gökçe, he is a shit-heel of a businessman, among similar sins a wage thief. Todd has routinely fucked over his employees, contractors, vendors and landlords every time one of his ventures goes belly-up, yet he always manages, Trump-like, to escape a single consequence of his failures, always damaging the little people.

I haven't thought about English in years -- he ran out of gullible creditors in Boston long ago, had to flee here except for one not-terrible spot at Logan -- but my 2009 piece about his Faustian-bargain success still holds up, I think. And I didn't even mention the many local women I know inside the industry and out who were abused by his heartless-fuckboy habits.

When you live for the art of chefs doing beautiful food driven by passion and talent and grinding toil, it stings the heart to see a former hero devolving into shameless hucksterism of glamour-tinged mediocrity. English's lasting legacy might be that he helped pave the way for glittery, empty, social-media-driven charlatans like Salt Bae.

Too bad it's a fallen world.

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Voting closed 26

Kinda silly that restaurant owners have to police the sidewalk in front of their establishment as if they don’t have enough to fucking take care of.

It’s too bad there isn’t some kind of organization we could pay exorbitant amounts of revenue to who could handle this type of thing.. Oh well.

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We (with our taxes) pay them to protect the public, not to help business owners comply with the permits they agreed to comply with. It's a health code issue that is conditional to them being allowed to stay open - why should we pay for that?

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But nice that you don't think public health is important. No reason at all police should be involved in helping Boston reduce its risks from a potentially fatal disease?

In any case, there's a reason Boston pays particular attention to the public-safety risks of crowded restaurants and sidewalks, blocked exits, etc. There's a marker about a block down Piedmont from this place that sums it all up.

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the author of "everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten," a key principle is "put things back the way you found them."

In this case, what that means is that if the problem is wholly created by the restaurant; if the problem would not exist if the restaurant was not there, then, yeah, I'd like to see the restaurant dealing with the problem rather than having the police deal with it at the taxpayer's expense.

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If the restaurant is responsible for policing, then stop paying police.

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No, I am making the very different point that if the restaurant is creating the need for policing above baseline, then the incremental policing above baseline is the responsibility of the restaurant and not of the tax paying public.

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You want a strike zone for that? You want that union deciding which services they provide at the existing cost?

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Why am I seeing wall-to-wall news coverage on the comings and goings of an internet meme from (checks google) early 2017?

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