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Restaurant Guy' leads star steak chef to Britney Spears' dining spot at Dylan.

Chef Arturo McCloud is hoping to have more luck than pop star, Britney Spears, with his first restaurant which he recently opened at the Dylan Hotel on 41st Street.

The head chef at top rated Peter Luger's Steakhouse for the past 17-years, McCloud has just opened his Benjamin Steakhouse in the hotel where the singer's ill-fated restaurant venture, Nyla, closed after just six months in business.

McCloud has signed a 12-year lease for the 5,000 s/f space at the hotel owned by Morris Moinian brother of Moinian Group CEO Joe Moinian.

The lease was brokered by Ed Kamenitzer, whose Kamenitzer Real Estate Group team has become dubbed 'the Restaurant Guys' after negotiating a string of dining deals that have included the Gershwin, Affinia Dumont and the Selborne Hotel.

"After Nyla, [Moinian] asked me to find a suitable tenant, and I brought Arturo, who had been looking for an appropriate location for about six months," said Kamenitzer, who represented both the tenant and landlord.

Kamenitzer worked out a percentage lease where rent is based on a percentage of the volume of sales at the restaurant. According to the Urban Land Institute, the typical percentage rents for restaurants is 4-7%.

"Hotels are usually more flexible when it comes to restaurants, because they have a need that has to be filled--in order to get three or more stars, they have to provide food for their customers. Basically, the more money the [owner of the restaurant] makes, the more money the landlord makes," added Kamenitzer.

Located at 52 East 41st Street, the boutique Dylan Hotel Was bought by Moinian for $6 million in 1997. Built in 1903, the ornate Beaux-Arts building was formerly a lecture hall for the scientific community. As well as Spears' restaurant, it has housed several other dining ventures over the years, including the upscale Virot and The Chemist Club.

McCloud is fulfilling a lifelong ambition to open his own restaurant and is confident about the success of Benjamin. "It's a prime location. It's beautiful, elegant and classy," he said.

Morris Moinian is a private investor who also owns the Wyndham Sugar Bay in St. Thomas, V.I., and Chattanooga Inc., a women's clothing line that manufactures under the Jordan Label.
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Author:Perez, Esther O.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Nov 15, 2006
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