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Montauk bar cited for overcrowding loses bid to lift restraining order

An application to stay a temporary restraining order

An application to stay a temporary restraining order against the Harbor Raw Bar and Lounge in Montauk was denied at a court proceeding Friday, July 24, 2015, an East Hampton Town official said. Credit: Ian J. Stark

An application to stay a temporary restraining order against the Harbor Raw Bar and Lounge in Montauk -- ordered last week to prohibit overcrowding and using it as a nightclub -- was denied at a court proceeding Friday, an East Hampton Town official said.

Acting Supreme Court Justice James C. Hudson in Riverhead stayed the action against one of the defendants, bar owner Robert Hirsch, but kept it in place "for all other parties," East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell told Newsday.

On July 5, state Supreme Court Judge Denise Molia issued a restraining order barring the establishment from exceeding its maximum capacity of 68 people and from operating as a nightclub. Since May, the bar has been repeatedly cited by town code enforcement officers, including an instance where about 300 people were found inside.

The case is due back in court Aug. 19, a town official said.

Hirsch said Friday that his establishment has not violated occupancy limits.

"We understand the town's concerns and we will continue to abide by town codes and rules," he said. "We anticipate after today's court hearing we'll be able to amicably resolve these issues with the town."

Montauk's recent influx of partyers has caused an uptick of complaints by residents who say the revelry has turned the hamlet into a party destination with outlandish drunken behavior. Cantwell said there's a mix of businesses that "clearly are cooperating" with their permits and town and state laws, while others "are continuing to receive violations for overcrowding, noise violations" and other nuisances.

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