Willie Jack Degel certainly knows a thing or two about the restaurant business, but what fans of his Uncle Jack's Steakhouse or his "Restaurant Stakeout" Food Network show might not know is that Degel is also a player in the Hamptons real estate game.
Degel, who lives in an Old Brookville home he built himself, has been building and selling homes on the East End for more than a decade. In 2003, he sold his first home, in Bridgehampton, to Frank Valentini, the former executive producer, director and composer for the ABC soap opera "One Life to Live," for $1.550 million.
Degel currently has two homes for sale, one in Quiogue, the other in Quogue. The first is a 6,000-square-foot, six-bedroom house, on the market for $3.695 million. The house was built for entertaining and has, appropriately, two kitchens, including one with a large granite-topped center island in the main house and another with a herringbone brick floor in the pool house.
"Me being in the hospitality business, the house has that sense," Degel says. "It's a resort environment."
Outside is a heated saltwater gunite pool with a waterfall, which sits by a raised lounge area with gas fire pits. Degel has also embraced the sustainable movement with his Jack's Shack Organic Eatery in Glen Head, and the home features tons of reclaimed wood, including an office paneled with antique painted barn wood from Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
Degel is also selling a house in Quogue, a 4,500-square-foot, seven-bedroom home that he built in 2003, listing it for $2.495 million. That home includes a pool house with a restaurant-style bar, with counter seating and a flat-screen TV. Both homes are listed with the Enzo Morabito team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate.