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As anyone in the business will tell you, restaurants are one risky enterprise. But, at least for right now, The Lion, a chic bistro that Dan Abrams and Dave Zinczenko (among others) opened in May on a tree-lined street off lower Fifth, is king of the Manhattan jungle. One need only stand outside the eatery’s unmarked entrance during supper hours for proof. A steady stream of famous and famous-looking diners — some in straight-from-the-office attire, others in jean cutoffs — stride in for a bite. Last week alone patrons included Katy Perry, Vera Wang, Francisco Costa, Ingrid Sischy, Kelly Rowland, Joel Schumacher, Sean Avery, Gucci Westman, Brian Atwood and Jason Wu. (A dapper gatekeeper is on hand to shoo those without reservations away.)

The draw? Perhaps it’s more than just the stylish scene. Boasted the maître d’ of the restaurant’s $18 hamburger, “That’s the best deal you are going to find around here.”

This story first appeared in the July 26, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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