With Memorial Day weekend just about to begin, virtually every bar, club and lounge around the Island is expecting to do some extra business. However, for the East End, the holiday weekend marks the annual return of the upscale nightspots that only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Almost all are either extensions of Manhattan nightclubs or run by Manhattan-based operators, and with them arrive hundreds and hundreds of urbanites, globe-trotters, jet-setters and other people whose lives are tied into the city. Of course, the Hamptons are also famous for the many celebrities who make the scene, and between the famous faces and the city's well-to-do residents, it just so happens that some of the hottest parties on Earth will be going down within the boundaries of the 631 area code. Prices at these places are usually geared toward those travelers who will be taking in these bashes, so just assume that to join the festivities money cannot be an object. So if you can spare a weekend where tables cost thousands and champagne can cost tens of thousands, consider these season-opening soiree spots (where table service is a must, unless otherwise noted):
Returning for a second season, this sibling club to SL of Manhattan in the club-stacked MPD (Meat Packing District) had a busy rookie summer in 2011, and 2012 looks to be possibly bigger as the smaller venue space that also shares this address – formerly host to Philippe Chow – will now serve as the East Hampton location of Beaumarchais (212-675-2400, BeaumarchaisEastHampton.com). Just as with SL, the original Beaumarchais is also in the MPD, with only a block separating the two. What to expect from 'Beau? Aside from its dinner menu (the restaurant serves French cuisine), Friday and Saturday nights will hold dance parties, while Saturday and Sunday afternoons are to feature “Beau Brunch” events that start with eats and move into DJ-powered bashes (Jacques Dumas on Saturday, May 26, and Mitch LJ for Sunday, May 27). Meanwhile, SL will be a Saturday night happening (but add Sundays on big holiday weekends) -- with DJ Dalton set for May 26 and Jesse Marco to spin for May 27.
Now two years running, Georgica has become known as a celebrity-spotters paradise, as actors, athletes and musicians are often found here on weekends all season, dancing and hanging at the bar. Last year, the Brandsway Creative group took this restaurant/ lounge’s reins, and will do so again this year. Need proof that entertainment stars will be present for the Memorial Day weekend? Model/ actress Jessica White will be here for sure, holding her third annual “Angel Wings” dinner and charity fundraiser on Sunday, May 27, (at 8 p.m.), which is always a draw for her famous friends and will feature a live performance from musician Jared Evan. Tickets are $90 in advance for White’s 3-course dinner event (email AngelWings@BrandswayCreative.com for reservations). As for Friday and Saturday, entrance will be...well, a lot more than $90 — but watching the notable guests who regularly walk in from behind the velvet rope is an experience in itself.
Last year was a rebirth of sorts for this venue that changed from local pub in 2010 to a sleek eatery that has drawn celebrities ranging from reality stars to serious statesmen (as in Vice President Joe Biden, who chose to dine at here last summer while on the East End). Unlike other hangs, however, 75 Main is open all year, and has been known to occasionally deviate from the expected mega-expensive admission policy found elsewhere. During Memorial Day weekend last year, people were witnessed getting in for $50 at the door – and by Hamptons standards, that is a downright bargain. Watch for DJ Kazzanova on Friday, May 25, DJ Oscar L on Saturday and celebrity selector Lee Kalt on Sunday.
Breaking the trend of new clubs taking over this space every year, (such as RdV East, Stereo By The Sea, LaPlaya and Tavern), the Pointe is back for a second year and starting the season with a bang by putting DJs Claudius Raphael on Friday, May 25, and Alesso on Sunday – bookending a Saturday session with superstar DJ Chris Lake. Ever since his 2006 hit song “Changes,” Lake has remained a major star on the dance scene, so watch for a potentially monstrous crowd to arrive on Saturday, May 26.
Day & Night at Gurney’s Inn: 290 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk, 212-201-1222, dayandnighthamptons.com
Back in Montauk for another heavily-touted party, the Koch brothers (Derek and Daniel) – better known for their tremendous daytime gatherings held in Manhattan, St. Tropez and other fabulous locations – will once again invite their lengthy list of hip clientele to Gurney’s for fun in the sun on Saturday, May 26, starting at 2 p.m. Claudius Raphael will be here as well, sharing the bill with electro DJ team The Chainsmokers and Manhattan mixer dBerrie (aka David Berrie), who is known to draw celebrities to all his events. Doors open at 2 p.m. and reservations are a must; tickets for the sundeck section are $200, the main tent $300. Expect some very financially-gifted guests, with levels of personal success enough to garner the Kochs flying those particular people out to the Montauk site by helicopter.