Britney Dumps Half-Baked Nyla

Pop princess has reportedly cut all ties with her floundering NYC restaurant

By Julie Keller Nov 26, 2002 10:10 PMTags

Commitment just isn't Britney Spears' bag.

First there was that whole Justin breakup. Now, just one day after her troubled New York restaurant Nyla announced a menu revamp and a mere six months after it opened, comes word that the pop princess is pulling out of the eatery.

Spears has decided to stick a fork in her heavily hyped, much-criticized investment rather than have bad reviews, bad food, mismanagement and possible bankruptcy tarnish her golden name.

In a written statement, the Britney camp says, "Britney Spears has severed all involvement with the Manhattan restaurant Nyla and the company which operates Nyla. Spears believes that she has been let no alternative other than to terminate her relationship with Nyla as a result of management's failure to keep her fully apprised of infomation relating to the restaurant and its operations."

"I wish the restaurant and its current ownership continued success," Spears herself says in the kiss-off statement.

Calls seeking comment from Nyla were not returned Tuesday.

Nyla has been faltering since its inception. Opening night in June was nearly washed out by a deluge of rain, soaking the press and causing A-list celebrities to scuttle their plans to christen the stylish scene. Then, it was hammered by the critics. (New York Citysearch said "she left the good cooking at home," when describing the restaurant's offering of Southern fare, courtesy of Spears' native Louisiana--Nyla is named after her two favorite places, New York and Louisiana.)

At the time, Spears put on her game face and promised to make it her new hot spot. "I am so excited," the popster told reporters on opening day. "This is going to be my new hangout."

But, alas, when the going got rough, the pop tartlett got going.

Britney's just the latest to bail on Nyla. Her original founding chefs and her partner Bobby Ochs, who has the dubious distinction of helping launch the culinary careers of Marla Maples (Peaches) and Patrick Swayze (Mulholland Drive), have already pulled out.

On top of that, Nyla's menu makeover, from cajun-flavored to Italian, received dismal reviews from New York critics. "If you're a serious diner in New York City, there's no way you'd be caught dead there," sniped Time Out New York critic Reed Tucker.

The restaurant also faces possible Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Smoking Gun reported Monday that three Nyla food suppliers who claim to be owed $25,000-plus in unpaid bills for seafood and dairy goodies and equipment supplies are petitioning the court to force Spears' Pinky Enterprises (which runs Nyla) into bankruptcy.

In her statement, Spears says she's not involved in the day-to-day operations of the restaurant and hopes the money battle will "be amicably resolved." Her rep says the creditors "have sought to drag Spears into their payment disputes with the restaurant because of some perceived advantage they could obtain by exploiting her celebrity status. Any suggestion that Spears has any personal completely untrue and without merit."

With Nyla and its bad pub behind her, Britney looks to move on with her day job. The singer, who turns 21 next Monday, is officially out of her six-month hiatus three months early and has been working on her next album. "I've been in the studio for a while," she revealed to MTV News earlier this month. "I've written plenty of stuff. It's really cool, really good."

She'll also lend her pipes to an upcoming Christmas special on CBS. She'll voice the role of Donner, one of Santa's flying reindeer, for two 30-minute specials about Robbie the Reindeer, set for broadcast December 13. Ben Stiller plays Robbie; Spears' character is fighting for his affection against a sultry competitor named Vixen.