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Aug 8, 2017 1:10 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Takes Two Montauk Restaurants To Court Over Late-Night Party Scene

East Hampton Town officials say the Grey Lady has been transformed into a nightclub after dinner service. KYRIL BROMLEY
Aug 8, 2017 3:37 PM

East Hampton Town took one Montauk restaurant to court last week for violating its occupancy limits and is preparing to do the same with another this week.

On Tuesday, the East Hampton Town Board authorized Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski’s office to pursue a temporary restraining order against Ruschmeyer’s, on Second House Road, which the town attorney said on Monday has been cited on multiple occasions this summer for overcrowding.

A State Supreme Court justice issued just such a restraining order on Friday, at the request of the town, demanding that those in charge of the Grey Lady in Montauk’s harbor area adhere to the building’s official occupancy limits or face contempt of court charges.

Justice Elizabeth Emerson granted a restraining order requested by the town on Friday afternoon barring the small harborfront restaurant from hosting more than the 68 people it is certified for, according to town officials, and from transforming the restaurant into a nightclub after dinner service hours.

“They’re limited to having 68 people, and they can’t operate as a nightclub … which means they can’t move all the tables and chairs out and pack the room full of people late at night,” Mr. Sendlenski said on Monday. “Going to the [State] Supreme Court is always our last resort, but they were written [citations] for two weekends in a row. Now, if they don’t comply, they can be held in contempt.”

Fire marshals had said last week that the total occupancy limit for the restaurant is 99 and have cited the operators for having up to 190 people in the space.

Mr. Sendlenski said that town authorities were on hand to monitor the crowding situation at the popular nightspot for compliance this past weekend but would not comment on whether the business met the court’s demands. He said only that the situation is still under investigation by town fire marshals.

Last month, town fire marshals twice halted the late-night revelry, took head counts, and cited the owners for overcrowding and changing the use of the legally approved restaurant to a nightclub by removing tables and chairs from the dining room.

This is the second time the town has sought court orders to back up local authorities’ attempts to rein in the party scene at the property at 440 West Lake Drive. In 2015, another state judge issued almost identical constraints on the owners of the restaurant that then occupied the building, Harbor Raw Bar and Lounge.

The owners of The Harbor at the time were Robert Hirsh and James Willis. The property itself was purchased in 2015 by a limited liability company called Spiritoso. Spiritoso LLC is still listed as the owner of the property and was cited in the court papers filed by the town on Friday, along with Grey Lady East LLC, the operators of Grey Lady Montauk, and of its eponymous sister restaurant in Manhattan. Ryan Chadwick and Callum McLaughlin are named on the property’s liquor license.

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hey Grey Lady are you crazy ? Haven't you heard fun is Illegal on Long Island.who do you think you are transforming a restaurant into a night club? Its not like your the Hampton Bays diner.

Your mistake is your not calling it "Latinos después de la oscuridad" if you do they will leave you alone!
By Undocumented Democrat (1910), southampton on Aug 8, 17 3:31 AM
Yea--let's wait for a horrific fire, with body bags lined up outside.

Can't you just see the news cameras reporting: "The Town was aware of the ongoing violations at this establishment, and chose to ignore it. Now innocent people have paid with their lives..."
By aging hipster (177), Southampton on Aug 8, 17 6:42 AM
2 members liked this comment
The place is all windows, I have never seen anything more escapable It not like it is 75 main or anything lol

Get real
By Ditch Bum (765), Water Mill on Aug 8, 17 9:03 AM
Owners knew the occupancy when they bought/rented the space and the price/rent of the restaurant is largely based on that figure. If they want to operate a club at night then find another space? See... it's that simple.
By harbor (392), East Hampton on Aug 8, 17 9:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By mtkfish (59), montauk on Aug 8, 17 11:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
You cant get a c/o for alcohol without a pre exsisting use. All the places that conform are to small to handel any real occupancy.

Its a nice neat little system you have going on there. Nice way to make the F D your own little maffia hammer. And then you want to know why all the young people move away, you want to blame the high cost of living when the real reason is Long Island has turned into a giant bitter old folks home.

Aug 8, 17 1:10 PM appended by Ditch Bum
Please excuse any grammatical errors on the phone at lunch hour, But really think about what I said If you go off long island there is life this place feels so sad
By Ditch Bum (765), Water Mill on Aug 8, 17 1:10 PM
East Hampton/Montauk seems to be following the late '90s to early '00s Southampton/Hampton Bays route. They should be careful of trading a 3 month a year problem into a year round problem and end up like HB
By HB90 (157), southampton on Aug 8, 17 9:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
I;ve always said the same thing about HB. It's ruined.
By Babyboo (266), Hampton Bays on Aug 9, 17 7:07 AM
no more than East hampton, Southampton or Sagaponack
By Ditch Bum (765), Water Mill on Aug 9, 17 8:17 AM
How did getting rid of nightclubs that brought drugs, drunk driving, and crime "ruin" Hampton Bays? I was happy to see Neptune, etc., go away, but maybe I'm missing something here?
By Tay (31), Hampton Bays on Aug 17, 17 12:17 PM