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Aug 15, 2017 2:53 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Owner's Plan For Old Hampton Bays Diner Property Remains A Mystery

The Hampton Bays Diner.  DANA SHAW
Aug 16, 2017 10:46 AM

While those behind the limited liability company that recently purchased both the old Hampton Bays Diner building and the 1.7 acres on which the vacant structure stands remain a mystery as of this week, one thing is certain: the next tenant will not be a CVS Pharmacy, as had been widely rumored for months.

That is because the property at 157 West Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays, which sits at the southern terminus of Flanders Road, is zoned “highway business,” and such a designation does not permit pharmacies—not even with a special exemption, according to Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

He added that pharmacies are permitted only within the town’s shopping center zones, a point that was underscored by Clare Vail, a town planner.

“It’s a prohibited use,” Ms. Vail said, referring to the proposed siting of a pharmacy within the town’s highway business zone.

The current zoning, they added, permits only specific types of commercial businesses, such as restaurants, banks and retail shops. While highly unlikely, the property also could accommodate a church, library or another type of state-recognized nonprofit.

Mr. Schneiderman added that he does not know anything about Montauk 24 LLC, which recently acquired the old diner property for $3.2 million, according to deed transfer records, or the limited liability corporation’s future plans for the site. State laws allow an LLC to keep its principals’ names from the public.

The corporation purchased the building first, which had been listed separately since the diner’s closing two summers ago, and had an asking price of $1.2 million.

It is unclear if the $3.2 million sale price was only for the land or also included the former diner building.

Thomas Charos, the prior owner of the land, when reached this week would confirm only that the same people that purchased the building also purchased the land from him. He also said he does not know what the new owners intend to do with the building.

Before the land and building were sold, Mr. Charos, of Charos Properties Ltd. in Riverhead, had told The Press that CVS Pharmacy officials had inquired about possibly buying the building. CVS Pharmacy representatives did not return multiple calls this week.

Town Councilman Stan Glinka, who lives in Hampton Bays, also said he doesn’t know who the new owners are, but he said he remains optimistic that they will work with the town when deciding what kind of business eventually opens at the location, which many consider a Hamptons landmark.

Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad, who also lives in the hamlet, said this week that she doesn’t know the identities of the new owners but hopes that a new family-style restaurant, or possibly another diner, eventually opens at the location.

The Hampton Bays Diner abruptly closed its doors for good in the summer of 2015, when the longtime owners, Frank and Maria Vlahadamis of Hampton Bays, were ordered by a bankruptcy judge to sell their building. The Vlahadamises owned the building but not the land that it stood on. As a result, they paid $10,000 a month in rent to Mr. Charos and, as part of an unusual agreement, also paid the property taxes on the land.

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This information must be wrong because the following clairvoyants said

I have heard that here will be a Walgreens going onto the spot which is a shame.By PRUDENTIAL1 (2), HAMPTON BAYS on Aug 11, 17 11:07 AM

If the town gives a special exemption permit for something like a CVS , they should be ashamed. That spot is THE GATEWAY to HB. A diner was ideal and we should fight hard to get a good diner there again. When people from HB drive all the way to Moriches (and lots do) because ...more
By Ditch Bum (929), Water Mill on Aug 15, 17 7:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Everybody says they loved the diner but when was the last time you honestly ate there? Once, twice? Apparently not enough..
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Aug 16, 17 4:07 AM
Thank you - the "everybody" nonsense is my pet peeve.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Aug 16, 17 10:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
You are right. It should read everyone loved the well-run, decent food Diner of the past.

I've been there in recent years, but it was rare because the food was iffy, the service just as iffy and the cleanliness probably even iffier.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Aug 18, 17 1:19 PM
Shouldn't the taxpayers know what is intended to be built and have public hearings in town hall? Why the big secret?
By Resident tax (186), Hampton bays ny on Aug 15, 17 10:20 PM
Why should the taxpayers know? This is not a publicly owned building. It is a private investor who will be paying his own taxes...and lots of them. There will only be public hearings if the owners are presenting site plans that require public hearings. It would be nice, but it is not required.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Aug 15, 17 10:32 PM
They don't get that concept HB
By joe hampton (3461), The Hamptons on Aug 16, 17 2:58 PM
It was previously a pharmacy when the previous owners turned it into a Latino night club each night
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Aug 16, 17 5:23 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Aug 16, 17 5:23 AM
What's so bad about a CVS? The hamlet should be thankful they would be willing to invest and create jobs in the area. The old mentality of "no big chains" doesn't work. That is why Hampton Bays looks the way it does. How many CVS's do you see going out of business? There is no "charm" in Hampton Bays. I remember people screaming about Panera. Then I would see them eating there once it opened. Not a lot of businesses can afford the extortionist process of Southampton Town Planning and pay the ...more
By The Real World (368), southampton on Aug 16, 17 7:45 AM
2 members liked this comment
Not a lot of businesses can afford the extortionist process of Southampton Town Planning ... You got that right
By joe hampton (3461), The Hamptons on Aug 16, 17 3:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
We already have two drug stores and the Stop & Shop has a druggist. Not sure why we'd need another one.

What we need is a reasonable, well run food establishment. That is why people are against CVS...how many drug stores does one hamlet require?

As to Panara, I don't recall the outrage you mention. I for one, thought it was a good chain and would fill a niche. Which it seems to have.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Aug 18, 17 1:24 PM
Who are you to say how many...Let the market dictate how many are needed. Maybe CVS can do it better than the ones you mention. They would not make the investment unless they thought that they could. Who knows, maybe the people will get better service and better prices. I seem to have taken a college course in that once. You know, capitalism, free market, competition. Interesting concepts. We should get back to it sometime instead of having others try to say what is needed. Just a thought.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Aug 18, 17 3:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
Touchy Touchy! You asked what's so bad and that seems to be the consensus.

Yes I know all about capitalism, free market, competition etc. I also know about the right to voice your opinion...for whatever it is worth. If residents want to say they don't want a CVS, that's their prerogative. Nothing to get your panties in a bunch over.

As far as the market dictating, "the market dictated" that HB would be a good place for a Friendly's. It also 'dictated" that we needed a Citibank, ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Aug 18, 17 7:24 PM
And to the Southampton Press...stop saying a commercial tenant paying the property taxes is an "unusual agreement". Get out of Mayberry, it is not. A triple net lease is common in ground leases. Take a course.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Aug 16, 17 7:48 AM
The fact that the buyer is so closed lipped on intentions should be sounding alarms. My bet is something unusual and not necessarily desired on the way.
By joeg (31), Hampton Bays on Aug 16, 17 1:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Oh relax,

A Hooters to loosen up those stiff shirts would do alot of you some good !
By Ditch Bum (929), Water Mill on Aug 16, 17 3:05 PM
Yea...The closest Hooter is 40 miles away... In Connecticut.

I was thinking more along the lines of an adult entertainment emporium. Times Square like circa 1970's. Retro like.

By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Aug 17, 17 10:31 PM
2 members liked this comment
In your dreams!
By greeneyedlady (55), East Quogue on Aug 16, 17 5:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hope its a strip club!
By LovinLife (61), East Quogue on Aug 16, 17 8:32 PM
How many jobs would a CVS bring? Their pharmacy departments are understaffed and the self checkouts have replaced cashiers.

The CVS pharmacy in Southampton is so understaffed they put the wrong pills in my medication bottle. I had a 90 day supply. The pills looked like my usual pills -- same size, same color and shape and had a "V" on them like my usual medication. Since I've been taking the medication for years, I took it as usual. I was vomiting for 3 months, never suspecting it was ...more
By btdt (449), water mill on Aug 16, 17 10:28 PM
And the price of tea in China is.....
Your dissatisfaction over an employees mistake is understandable. Nothing to do with the fact that Hampton Bays is a hamlet in disarray with governmental officials unwilling to solve the issues and foster smart growth. For the most part, only large chains can afford the process of going through commercial planning. So, this is what you get, vacant buildings and no where to go. Be careful of what you wish for...it is here.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Aug 17, 17 3:21 PM
3 members liked this comment
Two possibilities nobody's considering: 1) Richie Bivona, a shady character who has been living rent free in George Guldi's Watermill property at 2027 Deerfield Rd, has stated to several people that he bought the property. 2) George Guldi sold Davis Properties in Vermont and it's parent company, 261 W 22nd St Sponsor Corp to these 3 equally shady folks: DANIEL WELDEN President 1649 MILLSTONE RD., SAG HARBOR, NY, 11963, LORI MAHER Secretary 27 SYCAMORE ST., PATCHOGUE, NY, 11772, CARL WELDEN Director 1 ...more
By oneseriousSicilian (63), medford on Aug 18, 17 8:37 AM
Walt Disney should have had your imagination!!
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Aug 21, 17 2:24 PM
Latino night club-restaurant?
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Aug 23, 17 6:05 PM