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Jan 30, 2012 1:04 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Bucket's Deli In East Hampton To Close Permanently

Jan 31, 2012 3:00 PM

Bucket’s Delicatessen in East Hampton Village, a local landmark for decades, is closing for good on February 24. Everett Griffiths, the owner, said he will be retiring at that time.

“I’ve been kicking the subject around for a couple of years now,” Mr. Griffiths told his Monday lunch customers as he bagged and rang up purchases. Hand-written signs behind the counter and at the front door alerted them to his plans to shut down permanently rather than take his customary winter vacation. He’d put them up before opening for business at 6 a.m. Monday, he said.

“I just, after 33 years, I’m tired and I want to get out,” he explained later. He plans to stay in Amagansett, where he lives, and spend more time with his wife, Angela Griffiths, who helps with the morning shift.

Mr. Griffiths bought the deli from Bucket Daniels, for whom it is named, in 1979. Before then Mr. Griffiths had worked for seven and a half years in the deli department of the North Main Street IGA, which was then owned by Chuck and John Heaney. Mr. Griffiths first opened for business on April 1—“It was a Sunday. I remember that.”

Bucket’s, which is on Newtown Lane, has a pressed-tin ceiling and walls and a brick exterior. Mr. Griffiths said he thinks the building was either started or completed in 1926. He didn’t change the interior much over the years, except to add “a couple of new refrigeration units.” He gestured to the countertop near the cash register, which was well-scuffed even when he first got behind it. “A lot of one-dollar bills went over that thing,” he said.

“We added a lot of stuff” to the menu, Mr. Griffiths added. “We introduced the egg sandwiches here.”

He’s been working 14 hours a day—he corrected, 13 and a half. He and his wife arrive at 4:30 to prepare for the day. “The rolls come in, they’ve got to be buttered, the peanut butter rolls need to be made. The coffee needs to be made,” Mr. Griffiths said. The grill has to be hot, the salad case prepared, the newspapers dealt with, because there are customers waiting for the door to open at 6 a.m.

“It’s a lot of work: go, go, go for one and a half hours,” Mr. Griffiths said. When he and his wife were first married 28 years ago, Bucket’s was open seven days a week. About 12 years ago they eliminated Sundays, and then three or four years ago they eliminated Saturdays, as well.

“I’m looking forward to spending time with her,” Mr. Griffiths said. They hope to do some traveling, but he said he hasn’t had time to cultivate many hobbies. He envisions walks on the beach and visiting the dog park, perhaps.

Bucket’s has less than a handful of other employees, and Mr. Griffiths said he thinks “they’ll be okay” as far as work goes after the deli closes.

“I feel sorry for my customers,” he said; some come in throughout the day for breakfast and coffee plus lunch. “We become friends and shoot the breeze about different topics.”

“It’s enjoyable,” Mr. Griffiths said. “I’m going to miss it.”

Bucket’s has long been popular with contractors and other workers as well as with East Hampton Middle School students and, when they were still allowed to leave the campus, East Hampton High School students as well.

“I’ve got nobody to replace me,” he told some of his clientele at lunchtime on Monday. “Who’s going to buy it?” he said of the delicatessen. “The building’s for sale.”

Mr. Griffiths said his landlord is John Cavagnaro; village tax records list the building as being owned by John and Barbara Properties. While it has been on the market, Mr. Griffiths said, he has been leasing the deli on a yearly basis.

Asked if his customers took stock of the signs he put up Monday morning, Mr. Griffiths said “a lot of people had a lot to say.”

“It’s all good,” he said.

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You will be missed by jeezus! Enjoy your retirement. You've earned it!!
By Spikeland67 (25), Sag Harbor on Jan 30, 12 3:54 PM
Sorry to read this. No more breakfast specials? Enjoy your retirement Everitt!
By beachbag50 (18), East Hampton on Jan 30, 12 4:32 PM
Always stopped by when in the area. Best to you and yours.
By coyote (14), southampton on Jan 31, 12 9:50 AM
Wishing you a great retirement but feel sad for the Bonackers. With the loss of Buckets and Cavagnaro's that corner will never be the same. SO SAD.
By Loretta (2), Barefoot Bay on Jan 31, 12 9:59 AM
Thanks for employing the high school kids around town and being my families first choice for breakfast. Thanks for all the years of good service and the best Roast beef in town!
By JDICKERSON33 (1), Winter Springs on Jan 31, 12 2:38 PM
Bucket Daniels was the MAN!
By patrickstar (67), hampton bays on Jan 31, 12 5:05 PM
No more bonac burgers and bonac tonics (Schwenks boxed iced tea for those non locals or to young to remember). Good luck, hate to see another locally owned establishment close bubby.
By Local dad (51), North Sea on Feb 1, 12 5:49 AM
We'll miss you Everett, our loss but you deserve a break!
By Wagoneer (28), Southampton on Feb 1, 12 9:39 AM
A well earned retirement, and an opportunity for the next deli entrepreneur.
By smacw (240), New York on Feb 1, 12 7:37 PM
Oh no! No more $3.50 bottles of Vitamin Water, darn.....Happy Retirement!
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Feb 1, 12 9:47 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Feb 4, 12 10:51 AM