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Mar 5, 2014 10:53 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Rumba Installs New Septic System

Mar 6, 2014 3:31 PM

After years of battling Southampton Town Hall and dealing with complaints from neighbors, Rumba Rum Bar in Hampton Bays replaced its aging septic system in mid-January, according to a lawyer representing the property’s owners.

Since opening on Canoe Place Road in 2011, Rumba has been the recipient of criticism from community members, partially because of the traffic and activity the popular bar draws. Many of the complaints have also been aimed specifically at the restaurant’s more than 20-year-old septic system, which some blame for sinkholes and a collapsed portion of the driveway that occurred during the summer of 2012. Each summer, the system had to be pumped out weekly, if not more frequently, due to its limited capacity and proximity to the water.

But Ron Arcate, an attorney representing Bradley’s Fishing Station LLC, which owns the building and land that houses Rumba, said those days could be behind the restaurant, as the new septic system can hold twice the amount of sewage.

“We did what we were supposed to do, we fulfilled our obligation, and that’s what it’s all about—doing the right thing,” he said.

Rachel Hersh, who owns and operates Rumba with her husband, David, declined to comment this week on the new septic system.

The old system, which Mr. Arcate estimated could hold about 210 gallons of waste, limited the number of people the restaurant could legally serve—another issue for town officials and neighbors. Despite only being allowed to accommodate 100 people legally, the restaurant has been known to serve more than 200 at a time, according to neighbors and town officials.

The new septic system, which Mr. Arcate said can handle about 420 gallons of waste, will increase the restaurant’s occupancy to about 130 people. The new system also is three feet above the high water mark rather than two.

Rumba was able to avoid being cited by code enforcement for more than a year, between the summers of 2012 and 2013, because the owners of the restaurant and land sought variances from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals for additional parking and a change in the property’s code of occupancy. Both appeals were dropped at the end of last summer as Southampton Town Chief Building Inspector Michael Benincasa credited Rumba with an additional 10 parking spots in exchange for the property’s 20 boat slips, and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services signed off on the new septic system. Both moves resolved the parking and occupancy issues that had continued unchecked for months.

The restaurant still is seeking a setback variance from the ZBA to allow for room to install a handrail in front of the restaurant to prevent people from spilling out into the street, Mr. Arcate said.

“We needed to do this first, to see how everything was going to turn out,” he said of the new septic system. “Now that we know where everything is at and we don’t have to change anything, we can move forward with [seeking the setback].”

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"Despite only being allowed to accommodate 100 people legally, the restaurant has been know to serve more than 200 at a time, according to neighbors and town officials."

Know? Jeez, does anyone check what they write here at the Press anymore?
By G (329), Southampton on Mar 5, 14 5:25 PM
so what, a typo. I understood what it was suppose to be, sorry you didn't...get a life!
By Jaws (241), Amity Island on Mar 6, 14 3:27 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By G (329), Southampton on Mar 6, 14 4:41 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By G (329), Southampton on Mar 9, 14 4:02 PM
Still wont solve the larger issues at the site which is parking, over-crowding, noise, drunk people walking on the road. These "fixes" might seem to alleviate the smaller issues but it will be a long summer for this business.
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Mar 9, 14 4:52 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Mar 9, 14 4:53 PM
The larger issues may just be successful commerce, people enjoying themselves and a reason to go to Hampton Bays. Any purported problems can easily be dealt with by enforcement of existing laws without adopting a sledgehammer approach.
By VOS (1183), WHB on Mar 9, 14 9:30 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By G (329), Southampton on Mar 10, 14 7:43 AM
I've been to Rumba several times for dinner and enjoyed it with no problems of noise, drunks or parking problems. We parked at Marinas Cove Marine and took the Rumba bus. Great food and atmosphere. I think some are jealous of their success.
By Jaws (241), Amity Island on Mar 13, 14 2:18 AM