'Salt Bae' restaurant closed; virus deaths surpass 9,200

BOSTON (AP) — A Boston steakhouse opened by a Turkish restaurateur and social media star known as Salt Bae has been ordered closed for failing to meet coronavirus safety rules.

Nusr-Et Boston was ordered closed Saturday just days after it opened. Boston's Licensing Board said the restaurant opened by Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gökçe, posed an “imminent threat to public health and public safety resulting from the ongoing and repeated failure to adhere to COVID-19 public safety standards," The Boston Globe reported.

The licensing board is scheduled to hold inspection hearings for Nusr-Et Boston on Tuesday. Gökçe didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from the newspaper.

Officials said inspectors who visited the restaurant found violations including a “long line of patrons and failure to socially distance."

City Councilor Ed Flynn, who represents the Bay Village neighborhood where the restaurant is located, said he will ask the board to suspend its license indefinitely.

“I have zero tolerance for this reckless behavior,” he said.

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LATEST FIGURES

Massachusetts' coronavirus death toll surged past 9,200 on Monday as the state reported an additional 11 confirmed deaths.

The official death toll now stands at 9,202, though the actual number likely is higher because of deaths not attributed to COVID-19.

The state Department of Public Health also reported 367 new confirmed cases, pushing the total to nearly 129,000. Just under 420 patients were hospitalized on Monday, up slightly from Sunday.