The glittering, glamorous merry-go-round of new restaurants, nightclubs, and popup stores on the East End has come full circle yet again, and the outlook for the scene this season is worth buying a book of Jitney tickets just to experience. If you’ve been keeping up with the buzz about who’s bought what and renovated such and such a space you are probably on information overload. No worries. In the name of science and convenience we’re going to load it all into one big beachy shotgun shell and fire it right at your head. Dying to know which of your favorite executive chefs is behind David Lowenburg’s new digs? The devil and the details are all in BlackBook's Hamptons Guide and its über-helpful app counterpart, perfect for getting schooled on the go. For now, let’s talk business.
So where’s the party going to be this weekend? Everywhere, but for argument’s sake let’s start where the cool kids are hedging their bets: Montauk. No doubt the popularity of the Surf Lodge
, which has strained the town’s patience, infrastructure, and septic systems, chalking up something in the area of 700 violations in a season
, has lead many an investor to start snapping up properties. It's that good.
Lenny’s on the Dock, a former haven for charter captains, mates, and the occasional intrepid vacationer is getting a dash of class and is becoming Swallow East
. Yes, that is the name they chose, but far better than Swallow Montauk, which made its way through the rumor mill earlier this spring. An outpost of Swallow restaurant in Huntington, Swallow East will have a changing menu of both large and small plates serving higher-end Montauk fare like striped bass tacos.
Across the sand and clamshell-strewn parking lot from Swallow East, Salivar’s has also been acquired by a couple seeking to tap in to the Montauk money-making machine, but word is that their septic system isn’t up to snuff and major renovations are underway to get things up to code.
Also new this year is The Coast
on S. Euclid where Luigi’s used to be, and in the former Oyster Pond space, the East Village Bavarian beer garden Zum Schneider
, a pretzel, beer, and brat spot that might not be the next Sloppy Tuna, but oompa music and gigantic mugs of beer? Yes please.
Speaking of the Sloppy Tuna
, it’s getting a facelift this year with owners adding a rooftop restaurant dubbed Rocky’s Roofdeck, which will be run by local chef Reed Lucas, and an outdoor beach bar to capitalize on the fact that the place is basically on the beach. After the Memorial Day weekend opening, take Tuesday as a recovery day and then head back for taco and tequila Wednesdays on the top floor.
What else: Gosman’s
got a new chef, new glassware, and new menu, which stands by its standard seafood tradition with a sprinkling of higher concept items like the tuna tartare cones with lime dressing and wasabi tobiko. By now we’ve all heard the Surf Lodge
was sold and the new owners have already made it clear their new vision
will improve the “experience” for their guests while playing a “vital role” in the community i.e. not illegally clearing wetlands or operating without proper permits. Does this mean the end of the mile-long row of parked cars along Edgemere? Doubts it.
Notice anything different about the Ronjo? Other than the fact it’s fenced off? How about the new gilded paint job on the massive tiki head? What’s up with that? Bought by the guys from Solé East
it will be reopening as The Montauk Beach House sometime later this summer.
Veuve Clicquot is hosting two Montauk events: Saturday at Ruschmeyer’s
on the lawn with croquet and silliness, Sunday happy hour at the Surf Lodge
, and a keep-the-buzz-going Monday Polo brunch (whatever that is) over at Sunset Beach
on Shelter Island.
Farther West along the stretch, Banzai Burger
is gearing up for a big summer. This will be their first full season open and Steve Kasuba and Alex Duff have doubled the menu, slapped some lipstick on the interior, and amped up their cocktail list in preparation for the masses. Saturday they’re hosting a fete with Guest of a Guest
and DJ PJ Monte sliding into Reggae Sunday, which will hopefully become a regular thing. There hasn’t been a truly hip spot to get irie since the Haven days.
Come Monday, Three Mile Harbor Rd. will most likely be a river of champagne, shame, and lacy underthings thanks to Beaumarchais
and their debaucherous bacchanalian brunches. If this place doesn’t turn into an utter shitshow during its grand opening this weekend, they should just pack it up and head back to the city because they’re doing it wrong. Down the road is Andrra
, a Mediterranean seafood and chops concept with a yachtie feel over where the Boathouse used to be, probably a good option if you’re out that way and don’t want some drunk girl’s Jimmy Choo in your food.
The Southampton club scene must have done pretty well last year as this season doesn’t bring us a total shake up. The Capri
, and SL East
are staying put. Although it might not have the same sweaty feel as the old club spaces, the old Nello’s spot will be pretty tough door as Nammos Estiatorio
, a new arrival from sunny Mykonos, and over on Elm St. Southampton Social Club
got a helping hand from Paige Management and will be different enough to warrant some space in your schedule.
If smashing your way through the weekend and making poor life decisions isn’t what you had in mind, The Bell & Anchor
in Sag Harbor is opening its doors this weekend. Make sure you get in there before tables become impossible to grab. And so far, the ghost of Jean Luc hasn’t been making any trouble for Muse in the Harbor
, where a brunch menu is dropping this weekend.
Pop-up shops have shot up like the hyacinths around town pond. C. Wonder
hits Main St. in Southampton this weekend. James Fairchild’s eponymous lifestyle store
is already ensconced in what is billed as a former ice cream factory (read: plenty of space) on Hampton Rd. If you’re one of those hapless millionaires without a clue on how to fit in, both of these stores will make it look like your family has been summering on Gin Lane since the Depression.
If you’re looking for some cool, expensive stuff for your home that doesn’t involve listening to a lengthy personal story from Mr. Fairchild about how he found such and such a piece in the powder room of some Maharaja, MONC XIII
over in Sag is a bit newer, bigger and the proprietors are gorgeous, because, you know, that’s important.
Last but not least, call it blessing from the retail gods or mark of the beast (opinion is a 50/50 split) that there's a new Whole Foods in Wainscott.
Wrap your head around all that and come back once the weekend has worn off. Brace yourselves. This is just the beginning.