The Summer Season of 2016 is at hand. With the coming of Memorial Day, the doors of the rental homes, second homes, and vacation homes swing open so that they can be stocked with food, clothing, beverages and other comfort items that will get everyone to Labor Day. Most summer home windows will all be opened to let in the clean East End air, whether it is ocean or bay breezes. The grills will be brought out of storage with a quick cleaning and a few test lightings before the grilling begins! Everyone is always curious if the pool guy has been by to open up the pool and whether he tuned up the pool heater. Yes, it is a ritual and it comes around every Memorial Day.
For the locals, Memorial Day means traffic, traffic and even more traffic. At once all the restaurants, food stores, post offices and drug stores become annoyingly busy. Sometimes the influx of tourist and summer rental folks seems like an invasion. As beach parking lots become filled with cars, for many locals, a countdown begins until Labor Day, when things will get back to normal.
The expectations for most single professional “Summer Hamptonites” are always huge. To many, the anticipation of huge house parties, late night clubbing, pool parties and all those social charity cocktail parties that make up the summer calendar is part of the allure of the Hamptons. Hooking up with familiar neighbors to catch up on how the year has gone is also part of the ordeal, as is eyeballing the new neighbors, housemates, and friends of friends, along with a first visit to the Stephen Talkhouse. Soon it will be time for amazing summer dresses, and cool men’s shorts, wild tee shirts and comfortable summer foot wear. One never knows when that certain special someone just might materialize. It does happen, this writer is living proof.
Going for that first visit to your favorite restaurant, bar or beach shack is always a blast. Stopping by the Clam Bar, or The Lobster Roll for your first sampling of the East End summer cuisine with your favorite summer beverage helps you justify the enormous cost summer in the Hamptons has become. As always, there are some changes.
In Southampton, The Driver’s Seat on Jobs Lane has closed up shop after an 80 year run. In its place, the Southampton Publick House, formerly on 40 Bowden Square, has moved after the usual lease kerfuffle.
In Bridgehampton, Loaves and Fishes has moved from in town to their new complex just a touch further west on Route 27.
There is new ownership at the Sagg Main store in Sagaponack. Hopefully the food will be as good, if not better.
There are no major changes restaurant-wise in East Hampton Village, and yes, the Blue Parrot has opened for the summer. I ran into Rico Martinez, the chef there for the last 30 years, and he is looking forward to another great summer!
However in Sag Harbor, Harlow, which was located in the former B. Smith’s location, will not be open this summer. The $33,000 per month lease might be the issue.
Reports of a new opulent place replacing it were premature, as were the reports of a sale of Claudio’s in Greenport, the oldest continually family owned restaurant in New York State, that reported deal fell through.
Heading east out towards Montauk, Cyril’s Fish House has been permanently closed by the actions of the Town of East Hampton. I actually had a Cyril’s Baileys Banana Colada (“BBC”) last year the day they closed, not realizing I would never have one again. In Montauk, The Sloppy Tuna is open, even as its partners duke it out in court, but The Surf Lodge will have to iron out its car parking problems now that East Hampton Town has changed the parking situation on Edgemere Street by banning all parking. The Surf Lodge is also having a cabaret license issue with East Hampton Town affecting its presenting live music, as it did last year. Also, the ocean beaches in Montauk Village have restricted access, due to dune preservation work.
Don’t forget to procure the proper beach parking stickers from either the folks you are renting from or from the town you are renting in. In East Hampton, beware of the new Registry Law concerning summer home rentals. The town can fine both the owner of the property and the people renting the homes for violations. The law is available on the East Hampton Town website. As I am writing this, I am monitoring the launching of my 22′ Catalina sailboat, the CINDI LOU, into Gardiner’s Bay for 2016. I bring this up because if you are a boat owner, make sure your registration and insurance are up to date, along with the required safety items.
Lastly, let me wish everyone the best summer ever! I aim for that every summer, and of course, bookmark your www.Hamptons.com website on all your devices to catch the weekly calendar of events!