East Hampton Town officials said Thursday they won a battle in a court case against a Montauk eatery accused of operating as an overcrowded nightclub.
State Supreme Court Judge Denise Molia issued a restraining order Wednesday preventing Harbor Raw Bar and Lounge from operating as a nightclub and exceeding its maximum occupancy of 68 people, town officials said in a news release.
East Hampton code enforcement officers had cited the establishment for overcrowding multiple times since May after finding as many as 300 people inside, town officials said.
Harvey Arnoff, the restaurant's Riverhead-based attorney, said Thursday he would not comment. No one answered the phone at the establishment Thursday.
Harbor's website advertises a Mediterranean-style menu and sunset views that "kick-off to a night of dancing and debauchery with DJs and live performances into the wee hours."
Rapper Ja Rule performed at the lounge on Memorial Day weekend, according to a report on News 12 Long Island.
East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said in the news release that the case against Harbor is part of a broader effort to "address those businesses that have turned their establishments into nightclubs without the requisite approvals and invited overcrowding without regard to the occupancy limits set forth in state law."
Cantwell said the restaurant is not equipped with a sprinkler system for fires.
The Harbor case comes amid mounting complaints by Montauk residents that their hamlet's recent boom in popularity has resulted in an out-of-control nightclub scene, overcrowded streets and drunken behavior.
On Tuesday, nearly 300 residents packed a four-hour town board meeting in Montauk where many attendees complained about a chaotic Fourth of July weekend. Town officials said they would take steps to increase code enforcement for things such as noise ordinances.
Molia's restraining order is in effect until July 30, when both sides are due back in court, town officials said.