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May 16, 2016 4:46 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Cyril's Fish House Will Close For Good, Citing Restrictions Following Court Conviction

The owner of Cyril’s Fish House has announced that it will close. KYRIL BROMLEY
May 17, 2016 4:25 PM

One of the South Fork’s most famous bars, Cyril’s Fish House on Napeague, will not reopen for the summer of 2016 after losing a long battle with the town over numerous building code violations at the ramshackle fried food and frozen drink dispensary.

The owners of Cyril’s announced on Monday that the often-overstuffed roadside bar and restaurant will close for good in the wake of a deal with the town by the property’s owners that called for an overhaul of the building and placed stringent limits on the number of people allowed on the premises at any one time.

The announcement was made on the restaurant’s Facebook page, saying that there will be a yard sale at the property on May 28 at which everything in the restaurant and bar, from artwork to kitchen equipment, will be sold.

An employee of the restaurant said that owner Cyril Fitzsimmons told the staff that the restrictions placed on the restaurant by the town and the landlords made reopening for the summer season not worthwhile. On Tuesday Mr. Fitzsimmons left town for Anguilla, where he spends winters and once owned a sister Cyril’s establishment.

Mr. Fitzsimmons reportedly tried to secure the lease for another restaurant building nearby, most recently known as @Bernies, but lost out to another business, believed to be connected to Gurney’s Inn.

The agreement, reached by the property owners—three members of the Dioguardi family—and the East Hampton Town Attorney’s office, required that the main bar be removed entirely from the front of the building, that all restaurant and bar patrons remain behind a screened fence on the west side of the building and that no more than 150 people may be on the premises at any one time.

The bar, made famous by its signature drink, the Banana-Bailey’s-Colada, or BBC, has stood out in recent years for the large crowds that failed to fit into the tiny bar area on summer weekend afternoons. Crowds mingled in the parking lot and often nearly in the traffic lanes of the highway.

In 2013, the property was issued dozens of code violations for expansion of the building and business without permits.

Earlier this month the landlords agreed to make the physical changes to the property to bring it into compliance with the code and avoid going to trial. Mr. Fitzsimmons fought the code violation charges but last week was found guilty by a jury of 45 violations. He is appealing.

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It's about time. That place was a death trap. I hated to drive that portion of the Stretch while it was open, always afraid some drunk fool would stumble out into the road.
By nsea93 (39), Southampton on May 16, 16 6:52 PM
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By semperfi9263 (23), quogue on May 16, 16 9:54 PM
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By semperfi9263 (23), quogue on May 16, 16 9:58 PM
Right, 93, because it would have been too much of a hardship for you to slow down while passing there.

Too bad this guy paid rent for so many years to people who thought it expeditious to throw him under the bus.
By VOS (1240), WHB on May 17, 16 1:48 AM
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I am sick to my stomach about this. Cyrils is an institution in this town. After a long miserable, cold winter, the one thing I could count on was going to Cyrils to have a few bbc's. Now that's gone. When is enough enough?? This town is losing the things that we hold so dear. I understand that code is code but is this decision doing more harm than good for the people who live out here and just need a respite from the BS that is now our home. There are not many staples left from my youth and early ...more
By yanks684 (3), Wainscott on May 16, 16 8:21 PM
Good riddance. I'm surprised no one was killed in front of that place stumbling into on coming traffic after a few too many "signature" cocktails. I would also bet many of the drunken knuckleheads who desecrated Montauk started their drinking at Cyrils.
By Rich Morey (378), East Hampton on May 16, 16 9:32 PM
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You should check your facts about how many fatalities there have been in front of the Lobster Roll over the years. Yes, RIGHT IN FRONT OF, the Lobster Roll. I can only imagine there will be more this summer now that the location that used to be Cyril's is vacant. But I hope not. Time will tell.
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on May 21, 16 10:11 PM
Looks like you could use a couple of BBC's Rich.
By Tcc17 (1), Boston on May 16, 16 11:37 PM
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I'll admit I enjoyed a few happy hours there in years past, but the place spun so wildly out of control and the overcrowding and stumbling drunks on the highway made it too dangerous. Cyril was warned numerous times to comply, but he thumbed his nose at the law and enforcement while hauling in huge amounts of CASH. How much is stashed away in Anguilla, Cyril? I think he's quitting while ahead of the game, no doubt his luck was doomed to run out this season with the tremendous liability both he and ...more
By SisBoomBonacker (106), Hamptons on May 17, 16 7:32 AM
What's wrong with operating the place with 150-person max occupancy? That's larger than many restaurant/bars out here. Cyril is giving up on his customers. Shame on him.
By harbor (414), East Hampton on May 17, 16 8:21 AM
Again - posters should check their facts - there are many, many, many restaurants/bars that have have more than 150-person max occupancies - but it just may be this Board's mission to shut them all down. Except for places in the Village, of course, where Larry did such a good job he deserves to be King in the Town. Wake up people!
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on May 23, 16 12:49 AM
Spent a few hours at cyril's , decent food. BUT he broke ton's of law's and got a slap on the hand. Just went too far. Didn't see many locals employed there? It was time for EH to drop the hammer...
By knitter (1940), Southampton on May 17, 16 8:27 AM
End of an era. Gosman's, Cyril's. What's left? Liars?
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on May 17, 16 8:49 AM
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Don't worry.A new place called Cyrilz will be opening there soon.
By harbor (414), East Hampton on May 17, 16 8:58 AM
Additionally, the place has had the outside bar far longer than 2013 and I'm sure the building has been out of compliance with town code for far longer than that as well. I'm not sure why it took the town until 2013 to site Cyril and/or the property owners.

I'm glad to see the owners are doing what is needed to get the building back to code and I hope they find a new tenant to run the place as the location is great but the way Cyril ran it was horrible.
By Rich Morey (378), East Hampton on May 17, 16 9:13 AM
All of those complaining that this is a travesty failed to read the article and understand that this was a settlement agreed upon by the parties involved. If Cyril can't make it work - that's his choice. The violations are all legit, this isn't a witch hunt and it's been going on for years.

Funny how the Lobster Roll and other places along that stretch seem to make it work with no problems. Good for the Town for cracking down
By Nature (2966), Southampton on May 17, 16 9:31 AM
Well said.

To clarify further, there are two legal cases here:

1. In a recent settlement between EH Town and the property owners/landords, the owners agreed to make certain physical changes to the facility;

2. In a separate legal action, Cyril -- the operator of the business -- did not settle with EH, but instead went to trial on various code/zoning violations, and was found guilty.

What a tangled web we weave.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 17, 16 9:46 AM
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WE? No, what a tangled web the property owner and Cyril chose to weave for years.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on May 17, 16 10:24 AM
The town denied Cyril's the same accommodation they gave the Lobster Roll 13 years ago. Re-zoning with added parking off the street.

Cyril's biggest crime was starting to attract people under 30.
By RtRoth33 (9), Cheshire on May 17, 16 12:31 PM
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According to the conviction tally, the biggest crimes were related to never getting permits and hazardous conditions. Plus, and I've met Cyril, he always and consistently snubbed his nose at authority and did not act in a manner which one would call diplomatic.

If you've ever been there and taken a good look around the place, every single violation from plumbing to electrical was legitimate and ongoing.

The biggest shame of it all is that the property was not invested in properly. ...more
May 19, 16 8:41 PM appended by Mr. Z
P.S. The Lobster Roll itself is almost as big as the lot Cyril's sits on. That's not counting the parking lot that surrounds the Lobster Roll.
By Mr. Z (11828), North Sea on May 17, 16 8:41 PM
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To clarify even further, there is a fence up there now that has no approval from the ARB, the Planning Board, or the ZBA because it is within 150 feet of the wetlands. As a matter of fact, the Planning Board, the ARB and the ZBA haven't yet approved ANY of the changes Chris Kelley promised "were going to happen by May 26" in the deal made by "The Town" and "The Owners". But Larry Cantwell did visit the property just before the town and the owners settled. Hmmm - smells like town politics at ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on May 23, 16 12:43 AM
No one was ever hit by a car there- correct?
By Danny51 (5), East Hampton on May 18, 16 1:44 PM
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So, you'd prefer the worst happen, then corrective measures be taken?

Normally, petulant children and brats don't like to be told what to do...
By Mr. Z (11828), North Sea on May 19, 16 3:57 AM
Check with the Montauk Fire Dept....I think they've responded to plenty of car accidents over there.
By ValGal03 (58), Montauk on May 19, 16 7:57 PM
One person was injured up the road a while back ... not crossing at Cyril's. Fatalities of those leaving the Lobster Roll or traveling that stretch of road over the last 25 years? At least 15 - 20. So congratulations to the owner and the Town for making this place so "safe" now, and increasing the businesses of the Lobster Roll, the Clam Bar, and other places. What, you don't think the people that went there aren't just going to go someplace else, like Montauk? I didn't see where the owners ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on May 21, 16 10:08 PM
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By kiddio (16), SOUTHAMPTON on May 25, 16 1:56 AM