Long Island's East End is about to be sworn over to the droves of celebrities, jet-setters and other visitors who descend on the Hamptons from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Here's the lowdown on the new clubs, lounges and other social spots that are about to open -- as well as those that are returning.
For three years, this location was home to Lily Pond, a powerhouse venue that drew guests ready to pay thousands for table service and to mingle with models, DJs and the occasional celebrity. This season, the space has been rechristened as the Eastern outpost of the bustling SL in Manhattan. Expect late-night Saturday parties (with the occasional Sunday affair), hot DJs and a luxe patio space set up with cabanas and daybeds. The menu is still under wraps -- but it's a safe bet the bottle service will be . . . expensive.
The upscale hotel is trumping previous summers with ever-more-lavish offerings. Besides the new Cynthia Rowley boutique and the much-hyped Nobu restaurant, Capri's Bathing Club is a poolside affair that by day will be a quiet place to relax in daybeds amid gardens -- and on some evenings there will be live music and DJs, but the nights of dancing on the tables are surely gone.
The bar of this new American restaurant with a seafood bent features three large-screen TVs that show major sports (a rarity in the sports bar-deprived Hamptons). Outside, there's a lovely patio with plush seating that's perched under a branch-thatched awning. The potential here runs from a casual spot for drinks to a well-to-do evening out.
256 Elm St., Southampton, 631-287-1400, southamptonsocialclub.com
After dark, this restaurant will morph into a nightspot. Beginning this weekend, DJs will spin Fridays and Saturdays (plus the occasional Sunday) with live bands expected by mid-June for weeknight entertainment. No word on table service yet -- but this is the Hamptons.
125 Tuckahoe Rd., Southampton, 917-574-4112
The old RdV East/Tavern is now home to South Pointe, with a cabana-powered deck outside and a classic, Old World-feel interior space. Don't be fooled -- Saturdays here (11 p.m.-4 a.m.) will be all about dancing. Each party will feature major-venue DJs playing electro house, hip-hop and indie rock -- and chances are there will be the usual throngs of well-dressed people ready to shake it on top of any surface that will hold them. Expect to splurge handsomely for table service — and dress to the nines to eek past the doorman.
AXE Lounge (1181 North Sea Rd., Southampton) returns this summer, minus last year's "at Dune" addendum. The incredibly packed space will charge a $20-$30 cover on Fridays and Saturdays; those angling to get in on very busy evenings should expect to pay dearly for bottle service.
Georgica, the East Hampton restaurant and nightclub that proved to be a major celebrity draw, is back, promising a list of globally sought-after DJs to entertain during the summer (108 Wainscott Stone Rd., 631-537-6255, georgicarestaurant .com).
In Hampton Bays, Beach Bar also returns (58 Foster Ave., 631-723-3100, beachbar.net) as does the generation-spanning Boardy Barn (270 W. Montauk Hwy., 631-728-9733, boardybarn.com), which already has kicked off season 41 (seriously).
In Montauk, Sole East Resort will draw a casual crowd to its Backyard Bar & Grill -- its "Sunsets" series will feature acoustic acts starting in July, comedy nights and classic film screenings on Sunday evenings (90 Second House Rd., 631-668-2105, soleeast.com).
The trendy Surf Lodge already has fired up its outdoor fire pit -- expect live music, guest DJs and lots and lots of people, but admission is as easy as just showing up (183 Edgemere St., 631-238-5216, thesurflodge.com).