Waiting for Britney

She may sell a lot of albums, but if the food at Britney Spears' new restaurant, Nyla takes as long to arrive as she does, it could be in trouble.

Last night it was pandemonium at the opening of the pop princess' eatery as about 500 fans — and many guests — waited in the heat, and then the rain and thunder, for her to show up.

"Are you looking forward to any particular dish at the Britney Spears restaurant?" I asked one hungry guest.

• McCuddy Visits Nyla

"I don't know what kinds of dishes she has," said former teen pop star Deborah Gibson. "But I'm a big shellfish fan so I'm looking forward to the first shrimp platter that goes walking by."

And although he was also waiting for Spears to show, magician David Copperfield couldn't muster the magic to make her appear.

"Are you pretty excited?" I asked him as he waited.

"Very excited," Copperfield said. "Is she here yet?"

"Can you please make her appear?" I joked.

"Not here," Copperfield said

There were plenty of Britney lookalikes and wannabes among the fans waiting outside. Yet Spears' restaurant partner, Morris Moinian, was unconcerned.

"We have the world's ultimate celebrity with whatever it takes to create that buzz," said Moinian.

"So is there a children's menu?" I asked him, referring to many of Spears' under-aged fans.

"Definitely not," answered Moinian.

But the fans didn't seem to mind. Some weren't even sure what kind of food would be served at the new restaurant, but they were happy to speculate.

"We heard it was good," said one young woman waiting to catch a glimpse of Spears. "It's southern, I think, southern with a twist, right? A New York twist."

The name of the restaurant, Nyla, is meant to reflect Spears' Louisiana roots and her love of New York, insiders said.

After waiting over an hour, a thunder, lightning and rain storm broke over New York City and drenched the crowd and the press.

Finally, the pop star arrived. But instead of stopping to talk to Fox News as Spears' handlers had promised, we just got a mini photo-op, an hour-and-a-half late.

And that's as close as we got to Britney.