SWEET AND SALTY SPRINGS SHUFFLE!

East Hampton Restaurants Change Hands

Food and real estate are coming together, as they often do in the Hamptons, through a series of recent delicious deals in East Hampton. But if you think this is a feel good story about food and real estate like “Big NIght” with charming italian chefs, you’d be wrong. At least if you’re talking to Springs locals. They think it’s more like an evil James Bond villians kind of thing. Think Grace Jones and Christopher Walken hitting the destruct button from their blimp in “A View to a Kill.” But instead of buying only Zoran microchips, folks in the springs will now be recoiling at the idea of $60 NY Strip.

Harbor Bistro Joins East Hampton Point Portfolio

Hedge funder Heath Freeman purchased the beloved East Hampton eatery Harbor Bistro for $4 million just before Christmas, adding to his growing local empire and as I said, people are skeptical. Harbor Bistro, located at 313 Three Mile Harbor Hog Creek Road in Springs joins Freeman’s East End acquisitions, including the neighboring East Hampton Point Resort, which he scooped up in March of 2021 for under $20 million — significantly less than the original $50 million asking price 15 years ago, according to Page Six.

So long and thinks for the fish. Thanks for the tacos too!

While Vanity Fair has called him “the hedge fund vampire,” Freeman has put East Hampton Point back on the map and made Springs a fashionable destination. So, it’s fair to say the man has plans. Will tacos and poke bowls be replaced by overpriced sushi and an influx of Hermes, Birkin bags and Bentley’s? Stay tuned.

Landscape Details Buys Former Nichols Home

Rumor has it… East Hampton landscaping firm Landscape Details, located at 103 Montauk Highway, has bought the property across the street at 100 Montauk Highway, which used to house Nichol’s of East Hampton restaurant, Paul McCartney’s favorite local haunt until it shuttered in 2014 after 15 years and a handful of owners. Before it was Nichol’s, old school Hamptonites will remember the spot as The Quiet Clam from 1977–1998. This isn’t the first time Landscape Details has taken over a property with a long history of restaurant use. Their current home at 103 Montauk Highway held a series of dining venues over the years, including in no particular order: Prime 103, Beachhouse, The Moon, Little Rock Rodeo, Royale Fish, JL East, The Players Club, Peconic Coast, Bacci’s Charcoal Haven, Butterfield II, Duke’s and…deep breath…originally, the Oaks Inn. That’s a lot of restaurants! The good news is, we’ve heard Landscape Details actually plan on keeping their new purchase as a restaurant, and they want to lease out the space. And why not? They’ll be right across the street, keeping a close eye on any future tenants.

Simply Sublime Is Simply Closed

Simply Gone… but there’s a light!

The cute little building that housed Simply Sublime Wholesome Market & Juice Bar at 85 Springs Fireplace Road in East Hampton has sold and a new bakery will replace the health food restaurant and shop. Yeah, I’ll miss them too but it’s not all bad news. The folks who made some of the most unique and crazy good foods at the East Hampton Farmers Market will be taking over. The Cookery with Cyn and Trudy which had lines from their table all summer long will be taking over the spot. If you’re curious about about some of the inventive baked goods, visit their website!

Hello Strangers!

It’s been a few weeks/months/days since I visited my favorite Hamptons blog. Yes, this blog is now reminding me of the new “Sex and the City.” It’s past its prime and we’re not sure if anybody is really clamoring for more. So much as happened since I posted last. About 70% of the Covid Campers have left. 27 is no longer a parking lot. Babette’s in East Hampton closed. It’s allegedly soon to be occupied by Saint Ambrose. Mary’s Marvelous in East Hampton is closed. Hampton Chutney is going in the old Mary’s location and Bamboo Sushi is allegedly going in next door.

NOW IN SOUTHAMPTON!

So now that we got out of the way, let’s discuss what’s new. Everyone is talking about squatters in the Hamptons. A NY Post article highlighted one particular situation where the fed up landlord started a “squatters database.” The new SQUATTER RREGISTRY is up and running with tales of tenants milking the current NY State eviction moratorium. But either way I’m not getting involved but the signs all over town warning of the guy discussed in the article above are hilarious and apparently effective.

Now for some good news, Lobster Roll has finally opened in the former location of Princess diner. I’m glad that the location is no longer empty and finally there’s a good pit stop for those coming into town. Is it Ironic that one of the most calorically laden meals is now available next door to Barry’s Bootcamp? If you’re curious about the new menu in Southampton you can click here.

Speaking of Southampton activities, tomorrow is the 18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge. Yep for those of you who take joy in goosebumps and shrinkage this is the event for you! Benefitting the Heart of the Hamptons, the plunge will take place rain or shine and will benefit local families with food and services. If you want to register and participate be shore or sure to click here. If you’re curious what a Polar Bear Plunge looks like, look no further than the East Hampton New Years Plunge from a few years ago. I’m the guy in the parka taking the video and not jumping in frigid waters. It ain’t my thang.

COME ON FEEL THE NOISES!

The Sun Hasn’t Set on Sunset Fridays

Well, here we are—another East End summer is officially behind us, though I have to say, it doesn’t feel like the hustle has slowed all that much. I’m not seeing tumbleweeds since Tumbleweed Tuesday, and the Hamptons continues to run hot with lots to do and enjoy.

www.wolffer.com

Keeping that in mind, I’m thrilled that Wölffer Estate Vineyard still has three more weeks of their bucolic, wine-filled Sunset Fridays concerts among the vines in Sagaponack. The first is tonight, September 10 with popular East End band Hopefully Forgiven. The music begins at 5 p.m. and I suggest getting there on the early side because Wölffer doesn’t take reservations and they’re limiting capacity.

If you’ve not been, Wölffer at sunset is among the Hamptons’ loveliest spots. The atmosphere is casual and guests can sip the winery’s wines and ciders by the glass and munch on bar menu items, served in takeout containers, on the back patio. They suggest bringing a blanket so you can lounge on the lawn, and I concur. Unfortunately, no dogs allowed – GRRRRRR SAYS RUSSELL. But remember, those vines are growing actual wine grapes, and no one wants to see lifted legs around the fruit that will one day be bottled as Wölffer Finca or Summer in a Bottle rosés—even my Bella and Russell can understand that (as much as they don’t like it).

Sunset Fridays continue through the end of the month, with Kristen Thien Band playing on Friday, September 17, and Charles Certain Moves on September 24. More info at wolffer.com/news/sunset-fridays-return.

Airport Future Is Up in the Air

Vintage photo but you get the idea!

In other news, the East Hampton Airport may be on the verge of shutting down following years of noise complaints from the nearby residents. East Hampton Town is hosting workshops for the community to help decide its future. They started in-person yesterday, September 9 at LTV Studios in Wainscott. A virtual workshop begins via Zoom tonight at 7 p.m. (visit ehamptonny.gov for a link), and a second in-person session is scheduled for Monday, September 13 at 7 p.m. in the Montauk Playhouse. The final virtual workshop is happening (also via Zoom) on Monday, September 20 at 7 p.m.

Attend these if you want to add your thoughts to the conversation, for or against. I happen to live right in the airport’s flight path and it has become increasingly vexing over the years since I bought my house—knowing full well, by the way, that airplane and helicopter noise might be an issue. But it wasn’t that bad early on. The problem has become exponentially worse with each passing year, to the point where I’ve woken to the sound of jet engines at 3 a.m. some mornings, and the so-called enforcement has not been enough. The fines are not enough. People flying PJs to the Hamptons don’t care about the cost, and the pilots don’t care because they’re getting paid by the passengers who don’t care. Like everything in the Hamptons, it’s just too much sometimes.

That said, the airport is a valuable and important asset and resource to this community and I would really hate to see it go, but something needs to change, desperately. The town or FAA or East Hampton Airport management needs to figure out a solution soon, or we’ll lose an 80-year-old local institution.

By the way, if you want to take a closer look at the airport and get a sense of what they do offer, the East Hampton Aviation Association is hosting a “Just Plane Fun Day” there this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s such a wild coincidence that this family event extolling the airport’s virtues is happening at the same time as the community workshops to discuss its ultimate fate. Isn’t that amazing? So weird.

The Just Plane Fun Day will have lots of beautiful antique and historic airplanes and cars on view, as well as flybys, a raffle, activities for kids and several excellent East End food trucks. More info at hamptonflyers.com.

THE NEXT WAVE THAT’S GOT A BAD BEAT AND NOT EASY TO DANCE TO!

The Next Wave

JUST A GENERIC DINING PICTURE… USED BECAUSE I LIKE THE SUNSET.

Some say service in the shops and restaurants this summer has been challenging to say the least. We agree (ROYAL we). But as Carly Simon once sang, “these are the good old days.” ANTICIPATION. Things are about to get worse. But it has nothing to do with Covid. I’m hearing from lots of local businesses that they’re sweating bullets about the end of August when a good chunk of staff will head back to schools, city and fall gigs. With staffing already a major issue in the Hamptons it’s going to take an extra dose of patience everywhere from the grocery store to the local watering hole. REMEMBER, FOLKS BE KIND – COVID HAS EVERYONE STRESSED. SO, TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND WAIT THE EXTRA MINUTE TO BE A CONSIDERATE HUMAN BEING.

Hamptons Dogs Show for Local Lions

In keeping with our reputation for being pompous and pampered, we Hamptonites need to make our dogs special, too. With this in mind, I implore all local doggo stage moms and dads to enter your pampered pooches in the 3rd Annual Hamptons Dog Show at the Amagansett Legion Hall (15 Montauk Highway) this Saturday, August 7 from noon to 3 p.m.

PREPPING FOR THE EVENING WEAR COMPETITION…BELLA AND RUSSELL

Competition will be fierce as dogs vie for awards in Most Unique Breed, Most Unique Feature, Best Trick, Dog/Owner Look-Alike and, of course, Best in Show categories. If they had a fastest eating contest, I know my Bella would crush her opponents. Come down and enjoy ice cream trucks, live music and face painting—no word on whether our pups can get a new look, but a painted face would certainly help win Most Unique Feature! Heck, if you and your dog get matching face paint, you’d be shoo-ins for Dog/Owner Look-Alike.

The show will also offer dog treats and apparel, and a cash bar (stay for one minute and it will be past noon, which we all know is a perfectly acceptable time for cocktails). Proceeds benefit The Guide Dog Foundation of Long Island and East Hampton Lions Club. Adult tickets are $10 and free for kids. However, if you want to pit your dogs against other canines in the actual contest, pre-register them for $40 at the East Hampton Lions Club Facebook page (facebook.com/easthampton.lionsclub).

It will be a fun day for a good cause.