Britney Spears Once Owned a Restaurant in NYC

Britney Spears has had plenty of successful business ventures over the years, from perfumes to her lucrative music career. But few fans know about the Grammy-winning singer’s past as a New York City restaurateur.

Britney Spears of Crossroads
Britney Spears | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Britney Spears opened the restaurant Nyla in 2002

Louisiana has had a special place in Britney Spears’ heart since she was a child. She grew up in the small town of Kentwood, and was always proud of being from The Pelican State.

In March 2002, Spears opened a restaurant in New York City called Nyla. It was located in the Dylan Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, and the name was derived from the postal codes for New York and her home state of Louisiana.

The restaurant itself was a celebration of everything Spears loved about Louisiana, all in the heart of New York City. It served Cajun cuisine to tourists and fans of the singer.

Britney Spears wearing blue with her arms up
Britney Spears | Fred Duval/FilmMagic

Britney Spears parted ways with Nyla after less than a year

Spears launched Nyla in June 2002, but MTV News reported in November of that year that she had parted ways with the restaurant. 2002 was the same year Spears and Justin Timberlake were dating and famously broke up, so it’s likely that Nyla wasn’t a high priority for Spears at the time.

Spears partnered with celebrity restaurateur Bobby Ochs for the project. Ochs claimed in an interview with New York Magazine that the restaurant was $350,000 over budget on opening day, yet he had been told that Nyla did only $1,900 in business. Traffic to the restaurant slowed, and other sources noted health code violations as well as switching from Cajun cuisine to Italian.

Britney Spears didn’t know the extent of Nyla’s problems

Things behind the scenes at Nyla were anything but pleasant. In October 2002, three vendors filed an involuntary petition of bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court against Pinky Enterprises LLC, which ran Nyla, alleging they had not been paid more than $25,000 that they were owed.

For her part, Spears kept it cordial and gave simple reasoning for her departure from the project. “I wish the restaurant and its current ownership continued success,” she said in a statement. She noted that she had no involvement in the day-to-day affairs of Nyla and never derived any money or other benefits from the restaurant. As a result, she felt that creditors had dragged her into their payment disputes, and insisted that any suggestion that she should be responsible for the debt of the restaurant was ludicrous.

Spears’ team released a separate statement that shed some light on the pop star’s decision to cut ties with the brand. “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 information relating to the restaurant and its operations,” the statement read.

RELATED: Mariah Carey Was Almost Placed in a Conservatorship Years Before Britney Spears