With Memorial Day approaching, the beginning of the Hamptons 2019 Summer Season will soon be at hand. It’s always fun to plan ahead on where to meet the many friends who eventually come out east to visit. Over the next sixteen weeks many friends from all different stages of my life will visit for a sail, a meal or just a cocktail. I am sure many of you go through the same thing every year. I thought I would just list over twenty places throughout the Hamptons that I find have a great vibe to get a quick drink and catch up with old friends. The best way to do this is to break it down into East Hampton Village, Southampton Village, Bridgehampton, Amagansett, Montauk and Sag Harbor. I picked places centrally located in each village.
My five go to places in East Hampton Village are places where there are no cover charges, usually room at the bar and great quick friendly service. Also easy parking, after all, almost everyone drives to get around out east.
In East Hampton Village I love the laid-back nature of the Blue Parrot for meeting someone for a quick drink. However I find the Maidstone Inn bar has a wonderful private feel along with all those spaces indoors and outdoors to wonder and sit for privacy. Some folks enjoy the feeling of the long bar at Cittanouva. The locals feel Rowdy Hall is the place. Then there are others who love the dramatic nature of the bar at The Palm. Honestly you won’t go wrong at any of these places.
In Southampton for just a drink, I have always enjoyed the location that is now the Southampton Publick House (forever the location was The Driver’s Seat) on Jobs Lane. Centrally located, 75 Main, is tricky crowd wise, as is the locals favorite Fellingham’s. For old school folks there is, Shippy’s, a place Jackie Gleason used to frequent long ago. I picked these places because you can get in without fanfare and usually find a seat at the bar.
Bridgehampton has a few special places to cocktail. I usually meet folks either at Bobby Vans or across Main Street at World Pie. Almond also has a very cool bar but getting a seat at the bar there can be tricky.
Amagansett in the season is known for it’s Stephen Talkhouse. However I would never meet anyone there for a quiet drink, although if you are looking for live music that’s the venue. For drinks I like Indian Wells Tavern or just out on Napeague, The Clam Bar (closes at sunset). All great places to meet up with friends.
Montauk is bar heaven in the summer, you could literally spend every 15 minutes of a whole day in a different place so to just pick a few here is tough. I lived in Montauk and my friends there enjoyed the dive bars like Liar’s Saloon, Shagwong and the Sail Inn. Visitors from NYC enjoyed the 668 Gig Shack, Montauk Yacht Club, and of course the world-famous Surf Lounge. My favorite is the upstairs bar at the Sloppy Tuna (used to be Nick’s) because it is right over the ocean. If you are under 25 then, The Point, is for you.
Next we come to Sag Harbor, another oasis of bars, restaurants and crowds. In the summertime Sag Harbor always has the feel of walking around Yankee Stadium before a World Series game. However there are some places that are great to meet up with friends. The iconic American Hotel is great except during dinner time. The bar at, Page, on the other hand is an easy place to access any time. The Beacon also has a cool bar. But the Corner Bar is the best affordable place to meet up.
There are two wonderful scenic places to have drinks but are just not that easy to get strangers to. Harbor Bistro and East Hampton Point both overlooking Three Mile Harbor have amazing sunset situations and both are in the Springs. They are located on Three Mile Harbor Road and worth the drive.
No doubt I left out scores of other places but I have used these locations and recommend them. They can be pricey so don’t be shy to ask prices before you order. Also inquire about happy hour times and bar deals. Summer 2019 is coming if it ever stops raining and finally warms up.