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SBE to open Papaya King, the Sayers Club, Mercato di Vetro Italian restaurant and a lounge called the Library in the Redbury Hotel

April 14, 2011 |  6:00 am

On Wednesday, SBE officially announced its buyout of Hollywood nightlife king David Judaken's Syndicate Hospitality, a move that made SBE founder Sam Nazarian the most powerful operator of clubs on the West Coast.

The story that ran in Wednesday's paper also highlighted a number of new restaurants and lounges that SBE will roll out in the coming months: a West Coast location of New York hot-dog stand Papaya King, a live music venue called the Sayers Club, an Italian restaurant called Mercato di Vetro and a second-floor lounge at the Redbury Hotel called the Library.

Nazarian so loves Papaya King that he bought the restaurant's West Coast franchise rights in order to open this first outlet, as well as outlets in Nevada, Arizona and Miami. And to tease the new location, Nazarian plans to roll out a Papaya King food truck to dole out hot dogs across the city.

"Who doesn't love a hot dog?" said Nazarian. "Papaya King was the first juice bar in the country. Babe Ruth named it. It has a tremendous history."

Those visiting the Papaya King will receive an added treat when they realize that they can walk through the restaurant's kitchen (Nazarian was inspired by La Esquina in New York) to enter a live music venue called the Sayers Club that will probably open in mid-to-late May.

The venue will be less glitz-driven than other SBE properties, and it will be helmed by nightlife director Jason Scoppa, who pioneered the popular Bardot Sessions at that club. Similar to the Bardot Sessions, performances at Sayers will also rely on the unexpected and spontaneous. You won't know who you're going to see or what you're going to hear on a given night until you're at your table.

"Jason brings an element to our team that we didn't have before," said Nazarian. "We have high hopes for him in our organization."

Sayers is in the former Nacional space on Wilcox in Hollywood. "The design is not sleek or contemporary or modern. The building is from the 1930s, so it's more accessible, more authentic," Nazarian said. 

And that's just how Scoppa wants it, said SBE nightlife chief Costas Charalambous. "If you took everything he's done over the past five or six years and combined it, it would have been Sayers," he said.

In addition, SBE plans to launch a new Italian restaurant called Mercato di Vetro in the old Mi-6 club space in September. The menu, as with SBE's successful Mediterranean restaurant Cleo in the Redbury, is being crafted by SBE executive chef Danny Elmaleh and will feature classic Italian antipasti, pasta, pizza, seafood and meat dishes.

Nazarian hopes that the West Hollywood restaurant will follow in Cleo and Katsuya's footsteps by becoming a brand with multiple locations. For example, when SBE opens a new Redbury Hotel in Manhattan (which it is on track to do), it will also open a Cleo.

The final bit of news is the Library, a lounge on the second floor of the Redbury. Besides the fact that it is a work in progress, no additional information was released. We'll post updates here when we get them.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: MyStudio is one of five lavish nightlife properties that moved under the umbrella of Sam Nazarian's hospitality company, SBE, when he bought David Judaken's Syndicate Hospitality. Credit: Skott Snider