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!

MOBY’S SWIMMING BACK TO THE SCENE! PLUS CLEANING THE COBWEBS ON MAIN STREET.

BACK IN ACTION! Moby’s after last month’s fire!!

East Hampton’s great white whale of a restaurant—whatever that means—Moby’s just opened for their eighth season on Wednesday. After a fire last month the Italian and wood-fired pizza joint, and market, has returned to its circa 1880 home at 341 Pantigo Road between East Hampton and Amagansett. Apparently they took my advice (see my previous blog) and are operating primarily out of their backyard tents (which are really awesome). They have good food to-go and outdoor and patio dining with a toasty fire that I just love, as well as bottled cocktails and wine. Check them out for dinner Wednesday–Sunday. It’s fun and worth the visit.

One, apparently, is no longer the loneliest number, at least not in East Hampton! I recently received an email asking for coverage of “one,” a new retail concept opening this weekend at, you guessed it, ONE Main Street.

Tahari no more…. it’s now “one.”

This is no one-of-the-mill store. Located in the building, formerly occupied by Elie Tahari, one was conceived as “an open-ended space for brand, artist, designer and artisan pop-ups” under a single curated umbrella. The 5,000-square-foot marketplace is spread out across two floors (and 2,000-square-foot basement with VIP salon) and features more than 70 fashion, design and jewelry brands, various home goods, contemporary art, indie magazines, art books and other treasures from around the world. As the name suggests, one is basically a one-stop shop for chic Hamptonites, especially anyone who might be in the process of dressing up a new home or looking for a fab summer wardrobe, complete with sparkly accessories.

And along with what sounds like a satisfying experience for even the most prolific spender, one is planning a variety of special events, including artist talks, book signings, trunk shows and capsule collections throughout the summer. It’s all about the bringing back the joy and pleasure of IRL shopping in the age of Amazon and online retailers. And let’s face it—after the last year of forced virtual commerce, we could all use some time browsing and buying physical items in person at a brick-and-mortar location.

THE BEST HAMPTONS PROFRESHIONALS!

Hamptons Farmers Markets Are Back!

Back in the day I would get excited about going to clubs and hearing the latest music but not anymore. Instead of getting psyched for fresh beats I now get excited by fresh BEETS! Ha. Sorry. Hamptons foodies rejoice! Farmers markets are back, or coming back, this summer. With markets up and down the South Fork, we’ll have no shortage of fresh produce and locally sourced goodies until the leaves change. I, for one, cannot wait to dig into the many organic and artisanal delights, like local honey, gourmet mushrooms, fresh pies and heaps of fruits and veggies.

SEE THE SITES AND HOUNDS OF EAST HAMPTON FARMER’S MARKET ON SUNDAY MORNINGS!!

Navigating all that’s out there can be challenging, so I’ve put together this handy list of markets along the South Fork, from Montauk to Westhampton Beach.

Montauk Farmers Market
New vendors and returning favorites will convene on Village Green (743 Montauk Highway) every Thursday from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. starting June 3. The day switches to Fridays on September 17 and will continue with the same hours every Friday through November 19. Covid rules remain in effect, including masks, social distancing and one-way aisles.

East Hampton Farmers Market
This local favorite returns on Fridays at its new Herrick Park location starting May 28 and will continue every Friday from 9 a.m.–2 p.m., rain or shine, through December 12. The Sunday market is already underway at Herrick Park, but the final day is slated for May 30, following the return of Fridays. You’ll find something for every taste, including your dogs.

Look for: Arlotta Foods, Artisan Knives by Gary Parker, Balsam Farms, Blue Duck Bakery, The Complete Burger, The Cookery: Cyn & Trudy, East End Apiaries, Eli’s Bread, Finn’s Smoked Fish Dip, Hamptons Barkery, Hamptons Sourdough, The Hampton Grocer, The Heavenly Hive, Island End Farms, Knot of This World Pretzels, L’Acquolina Pasta, Manna Sauces, Mecox Bay Dairy, Montauk Scallop Co., Open Minded Organics, Papa Pasquale Italian Specialties, Peck’s of Maine, The Perfect Pickle, Regina’s Farmstand, Rena’s Dream Patties, Sand & Soil Farm, Sang Lee Organic Farm, Sharp Cat Knife Sharpening, Solemate Cakes, South Fork Bakery, Terra Nut, The Ferm, The Tumeric Store, Tulo’s Milk, Wickham’s Fruit Farm and Wolffer Estate Vineyards. Personal fave…. The Cookery with Cyn and Trudy! They have amazing fruit tarts, breads and pies!

Fruit Tart from THE COOKERY WITH CYN AND TRUDY!

Sag Harbor Farmers Market

Kicking off next Saturday, May 22 and continuing every Saturday on the corner of Bay and Burke streets from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. through Halloween, the Sag Harbor Farmers Market has all the requisite fresh foods, produce and local products from a long list of vendors. You might even spot a celebrity or two.

Amagansett Farmers Market / Amber Waves Farm and CSA
Operating on land conserved by the Peconic Land Trust in 2008, Amber Waves Farm focuses on their effort to unite food and community “with the mission to provide rich educational opportunities in agriculture for aspiring growers, thoughtful cooks and eaters of all ages.” Visit seven days per week to find fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits and herbs, among other goodies, from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. at 367 Main Street. And ask about their CSA program if you want to go full-on crunchy granola.

Westhampton Beach Farmers Market
Open Saturdays from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Village Green (Main Street and Beach Lane), the Westhampton Beach Chamber of Commerce’s market hosts over 60 vendors, growers and producers offering locally grown, caught made items such as breads, fruits and vegetables, herbs, honey, local wine, pickles, mushrooms, Greek yogurt, shellfish, ravioli, fudge, cheese, cakes and pies, eggs, fish, flowers, sauces, spice rubs, chicken, gourmet items and much more.

Go to one or go to them all! This is Hamptons living done right.

MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR!

Summer Heat Brings Hamptons Hunger Games and No Contingencies

We’re certainly not living in Panem here on the East End, but the Covid dystopia is fading and a new series of real-life Hamptons Hunger Games are catching fire in the local dining scene. As restrictions fall away and outdoor dining finds an even firmer foothold, my friends in the restaurant biz are anticipating getting absolutely slammed this summer. Remember, Europe is probably not an option this summer so get ready for the crowds.

One high-profile area restaurateur I know says demand for reservations couldn’t be stronger. They’re getting calls for tables all the way through Labor Day! In fact, this one particular restaurant group has stopped taking standing reservations rather than endure what was shaping up to be a booking nightmare. I’ve been told standing tables end up with one of three results—the customers show up, they don’t show up, or the reservation is given to someone else with a different number of diners, which can cause all sorts of problems at a packed restaurant. And if business is booming, who needs it?

THE UNION DOUBLE AT UNION BURGER BAR (UBB)

“We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Southampton Social Club, Union Burger Bar (UBB) and Union Sushi & Steak owner Ian Duke said, pointing out that he’s not surprised people are making reservations in anticipation of fewer restrictions and the possibility of this pandemic finally running its course. During what we hope are the takeout-and-delivery-only days of yore, Duke found great success in Southampton with his recent chicken to-go concept, The Coop, but times are a changin’. With brick-and-mortar dining now on the mend, he’s moving The Coop from its ghost kitchen on Elm Street to UBB on Bowden Square where he can feed fried chicken and wings to actual in-person customers. And Duke says “The phones are ringing.” 

Meanwhile, East Hampton Village just approved outdoor dining on a more permanent basis. Local restaurants, retail food shops and other eateries—including inns and hotels in residential neighborhoods—will be permitted to operate sidewalk café areas and private outdoor spaces between April 15 and November 15.

Needless to say, reservations are hot stuff right now. They’re beginning to look like Village beach passes—everybody wants them. So, if Hamptons restaurants don’t skip it altogether and continue to offer tables in advance, I wish you good luck actually getting one.

As they say on Panem, “May the odds ever be in your favor.”

Oh, and in case you were wondering, word is that private chefs are also in severely short supply. Perhaps curbside pickup will remain popular after all?

Forget the Contingency if You Want Your Deal to Live

3 Bridge HIll Lane, Bridgehampton

Just like local dining and reservations, Hamptons real estate is on fire right now. But even in this roaring market, mortgage contingencies are a surefire deal killer. Yes, contingencies are pretty standard in purchase agreements but in peak season, sellers aren’t willing to risk going into contract only to have the deal fall through two weeks before Labor Day because a buyer can’t qualify for financing. It’s a bad look and a great way to lose all that summer heat. No one wants to wait another year when they’re ready to sell now. 

Bottom line: Buyers, be ready to buy. Sellers, there’s no shortage of demand, so make sure you take advantage of it.