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The Surf Lodge in Montauk agrees to limits on music, crowds

The East Hampton Town Board approved a settlement

The East Hampton Town Board approved a settlement on concert hours, crowds and town code with The Surf Lodge in Montauk on June 28, 2016. The nightclub's exterior on May 24, 2015. Photo Credit: / Rob Rich

The owners of The Surf Lodge restaurant and nightclub in Montauk have agreed to cut their occupancy limits and end all live concerts by 8 p.m. as part of a settlement with East Hampton Town stemming from code violations that included excessive noise and overcrowding.

Also required in the settlement, filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Riverhead, is that owners submit a new site plan for the property that shows any improvements made since 2008 and that they upgrade the septic and fire sprinkler systems to meet town codes.

East Hampton Town Board members on Tuesday night authorized Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski to enter the settlement agreement.

A representative for The Surf Lodge could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The establishment, which local officials have said is one of the most troublesome nightspots in Montauk, and which they point to as an example of establishments that attract a young, disruptive summertime crowd, has been cited for numerous violations over the years.

Although the 13 noise violations The Surf Lodge was accused of last summer have been dismissed — seven of them on Monday in East Hampton Town Justice Court when a judge determined the paperwork was filled out improperly — East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said in a telephone interview Wednesday that “there are still pending site plan issues at the property.”

Cantwell said the settlement was drawn up when noise violations were also still pending resolution, so representatives from the town and The Surf Lodge had been in talks for weeks on those issues, and in addition were having discussions regarding a state review of the business’ liquor license.

The supervisor said that since last year when a crackdown began on excessive partying by young summer visitors to the hamlet, violations at establishments such as noise and overcrowding are reported by town officials to the State Liquor Authority.

At a hearing last month, liquor authority officials noted The Surf Lodge license did not indicate that the business featured live music, so no live music has been allowed there since, pending an amendment of the license.

“The settlement is a result of the SLA hearings and violations served on The Surf Lodge,” Cantwell said, adding that the agreement “goes a long way toward resolving issues at that location.”

Other stipulations in the settlement:

  • The existing music permit for The Surf Lodge will be replaced with a modified, conditional music permit instead of an automatic renewal
  • No outdoor music is permitted after 8 p.m. (that time is 9 p.m. for other establishments)
  • Total occupancy is limited to 395 people, a reduction from the current limit of 450
  • Live music may be played only five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, between May 15 and Sept. 15, and for not more than two hours a day

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