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Mar 23, 2010 5:05 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Poxabogue manager to meet with Southampton lawmakers about Fairway future

Mar 23, 2010 5:05 PM

Members of the Southampton Town Board plan to meet with Poxabogue Golf Center manager Ed Wankel this week to discuss the future of the Fairway Restaurant at the Sagaponack property.

According to Southampton Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi, the meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 25, is a last-ditch effort by the board to convince Mr. Wankel to find a way to work out a new contract with the Fairway’s longtime owner, Dan Murray, that would keep the tiny cafe operating much as it has for the last 20 years.

Mr. Nuzzi said that the future of Mr. Wankel’s own management contract, which is up in three years, will not be far from the minds of the Town Board members when they meet with him in the closed-door executive session.

“There will be any number of things board members will consider when the possibility of extending his contract comes up. This will be one—needless to say, an important one,” Mr. Nuzzi said. “I think our message has been clear: The towns of Southampton and East Hampton are content with things as they are now, and we’re looking to work with Long Island Golf Management to see that they stay that way. I think this is a last opportunity to see if he is willing to work with us.”

Mr. Wankel’s company, Long Island Golf Management, is in the second year of a five-year contract to manage the Poxabogue property. When the contract was inked in 2007, the towns turned over control of the restaurant and food vending lease to the management company, with the stipulation that Mr. Murray be given the right of first refusal on the lease when it expired. Mr. Murray’s current lease, which he signed with the town in 2007, expires on March 31.

Mr. Murray, who has run the Fairway since 1991, refused to sign a lease agreement Mr. Wankel offered him in October, saying it imposed too many requirements and controls on his business—such as requiring that the cafe be open for dinner—to be financially feasible. Mr. Wankel has since agreed to lease the cafe space to the owner of Love Lane Cafe in Mattituck.

Mr. Murray said that if the last-ditch efforts by the Town Board to keep the Fairway in place fail, this coming Sunday will be his last day of business and he will be out of the restaurant space by April 1.

michael wright

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hands down best breakfast in NY
By david h (405), southampton on Mar 26, 10 1:02 PM
Mr. Wankel has to go!!!!
By Bel (86), southampton on Mar 28, 10 10:19 PM
Wankel is a political animal who has sucked on the taxpayer teat for way to long. He survives by dealing in favors and this appears to be another one. He needs to find out what it's like to have to get a real job. Keep Murray!
By we could run this town! (128), wonderful Wainscott on Mar 29, 10 7:54 AM
Tell us more about the history of this "political animal."
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 30, 10 10:05 PM
Yank the Wankel!
By PBR (4869), Southampton on Mar 29, 10 5:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is a disgrace to the Town Board for their blatant mismanagement of this situation. Good Job in destroying another fine east end establishment!
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Mar 30, 10 5:54 PM