It looks like Manchester United footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and Burak Özdemir could be teaming up to give Salt Bae a run for his money with a new restaurant venture in London.
The smiling Turkish chef, known as CZN Burak, whose TikTok and Instagram videos of him smiling to camera as he builds massive fire pits in the desert get millions of views, is already a restaurateur, with five establishments to his name in Turkey, Dubai and Tajikistan. He is rumoured to be adding to the collection with the first foray for the brand in London, and he has a big name backer in CR7.
Not many details are available on the new venture, but it is understood that the opening is aimed for November of this year and could take the premises currently occupied by Turkish restaurant Ishtar at 10-12 Crawford Street, near Baker Street.
A report by Daily Sabah revealed the news, with the chef quoted as saying: “In the 11th month this year, we will be opening our venue in the United Kingdom. We will open a venue in London in partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo. We are not revealing this too much, because we were supposed to make a beautiful surprise at the opening.”
Compatriot and fellow living meme Salt Bae has already opened a London eatery, Nusr-Et Steakhouse in Knightsbridge, and the chef has leveraged his considerable social media following to ensure a steady stream of celebrities come through the doors for steak. Ronaldo and Özdemir have a combined social media following of nearly a billion, so their London venture is certain to become similarly attractive to the same clientele.
This is Ronaldo’s first foray into the restaurant business since 2018, when his Japanese-influenced Mediterranean restaurant, Zela, in Covent Garden, closed after just two years in business.