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Tao Group Jockeys To Take Over Opia

Clubstaurant kings sign onto two spaces this month

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Nick Solares

After 16 years, it appears the space on the second floor of 130 E 57th St. that housed Frederic Lesort's restaurant lounge Opia is about to change hands.

"My 15-year lease was up in September and I chose not to renew,'' says Lesort. "It is time to move on and do something else but I am still open seven days a week for now.''

Industry sources say that Tao Group, which owns Avra as well as Stanton Social, Tao, Lavo, and Vandal will be taking over the space.

"We are not ready to discuss this project,'' says Tao partner, Noah Tepperberg.

The takeover comes on the heels of last week’s news reported by the Post that the nightlife company behind Lavo and Beauty and Essex will be opening several restaurants and bars at the Marriott Moxy hotel in Midtown. The hotel at 485 Seventh Ave. at West 36th Street will have Tao-run projects on the second floor and on a 17th floor roof-deck bar, “with spectacular views of the Empire State Building.”

With wildly profitable restaurant-clubs, Tao operates more than 20 bars and restaurants internationally. Last month, Madison Square Garden Company bought 62.5% of Tao Group for a reported $181 million; the expansion mode continues.

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