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Celebrity touches coming soon to the Dylan hotel.

What's in a name? Plenty, believes Morris Moinian.

Moinian's East 41st Street hotel--the Dylan--will soon house a Britney Spears' backed bistro called Nyla. The young pop star's restaurant will occupy space previously taken by an upscale French restaurant, which vacated last fall. Prior to Virot, the space was taken by another restaurant called Rx, which occupied the high-ceilinged space for a few months.

"Virot didn't have the hipness that I wanted," said Moinian, whose hotel has 108 guest rooms.

Celebrity restauranter Bobby Ochs will manage Nyla Ochs' trademark is running other celebrity restaurants such as Patrick Swayze's Mulholland Drive Cafe and pop duo Ashford & Simpson's Twenty:Twenty.

Ochs will be part owner of Nyla, though he will handle all of the restaurant's day-to-day operations.

The space is a relic of the days when 50-54 East 41st St. housed the Chemists Club, where members ostensibly congregated around the tall hearth located in the center of the room.

Perched above this space is a balcony lounge area. Eventually, a catwalk will rise up from below and connect this balcony with the ballroom. The designer of the space will even create a landing for a disc jockey who--according to Ochs--will play music after 11 p.m.

A Greenwich-based architect has been hired to design the space, which will feature a 14-foot diameter ceiling chandelier.

"We hope to help Britney shape her "look" for her eating spot in a theatrical yet cozy atmosphere," said Jay Haverson, principal of Haverson Architecture.

On a recent tour of the space, Haverson explained how the space will be "theatrical" and "vivacious"--with plenty of Spears' favorite color, pink. The restaurant was originally called Pinkie's, incidentally.

"The space will encourage people to interact. There will be music. But it will not be loud. It will be alive," said Haverson.

The 6,000 SF, 10-year lease was brokered by Lansco. Broker Mike Antkies represented both parties in the negotiations.

"This will be an ideal fit for a trendy eatery," said Antkies colleague Brett Zelner, who also worked on the deal.

Both brokers agreed that the space is "very unique" due to its configuration--very high ceilings, massive fireplace and a balcony lounge.

News of the restaurant has already spread throughout the world on the basis of Spears' involvement. When the restaurant officially opens this summer, it's likely to generate even more press--especially if young Spears makes an appearance.

"New York has a few of these celebrity restaurants, but they can be a tough sell. I don't think any boutique hotels have tried this sort of thing here," said one hotel consultant with deep knowledge of the boutique hotel business.
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Article Details
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Author:Chapman, Parke
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:May 15, 2002
Words:438
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