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Feb 2, 2018 3:49 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Owners Of Former Hampton Bays Diner Plan To Maintain Building As An Eatery

The Hampton Bays Diner.  PRESS FILE
Feb 5, 2018 10:31 AM

Plans for the former Hampton Bays Diner property continue to advance slowly—but its new owner is committed to providing some form of eatery, according to an attorney representing the new landlord, who remains unidentified.

Joseph Vona, a lawyer representing Montauk 24 Realty LLC, the entity that purchased the diner property for $3.2 million in June, said this week that plans for the 1.7-acre property were put on hold in November when the new owner’s partner died in a boating accident. Mr. Vona declined to identify either partner.

“Our goal is to have some form of eatery there,” he said on Wednesday, noting that there has been a great deal of interest in the property, although he declined to identify any prospective tenants. “From the beginning, we want to put something on the property that is good for the town.”

John Rose, the owner of John David Rose Architect of Southampton, conducted several site analyses of the property in October and confirmed the need for a new entrance to the parking lot. He added that the current entrance, which sits at the intersection of Montauk Highway and Flanders Road, clashes with traffic flow.

“If you’ve spent any time at that light, it can be a congested area, and we don’t want to add to the congestion,” Mr. Rose said on Friday.

Suffolk County Department of Transportation officials plan to perform another site review within the next few weeks to determine how to improve the intersection of Montauk Highway and Flanders Road, according to Southampton Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad.

William Hillman, the chief engineer for the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

In addition to the list of repairs and reconfigurations, Mr. Vona noted that the site has potential to house more than just a local eatery. He explained that the owner may consider putting in additional office space on the property, though he would not provide any details.

Mr. Vona said he plans to meet with town officials and Mr. Rose in the coming weeks to discuss the future of the diner building, which has sat vacant since it abruptly closed in July 2015 after its longtime owners of 32 years, Frank and Maria Vlahadamis of Hampton Bays, were ordered to sell the business as part of a bankruptcy proceeding. The couple filed for bankruptcy after accumulating some $1.3 million in debt, according to court documents.

“We continue to want to move this fast,” Mr. Vona said. “It has to be economically viable. We don’t want to have another restaurant that goes out of business. We want to make sure we do it right and do it right the first time.”

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Great news,An eating place with a diner type menue and diner in the name that’s all I ask.
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Feb 3, 18 12:50 PM
My money's on Applebee's
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Feb 3, 18 1:07 PM
What's wrong with Applebee's
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Feb 3, 18 2:18 PM
Nothing inherently, as far as I know. Why do you ask?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Feb 3, 18 2:24 PM
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Feb 3, 18 2:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
We don't have any good Chinese sit down restaurants. A Chinese Buffet like Global would be great...
By angel11710 (1), east quogue on Feb 3, 18 2:12 PM
Buffets are really unhealthy.
By Resident tax (186), Hampton bays ny on Feb 3, 18 6:11 PM
A lot of suggestions but restaurants are tough and if all the people who comment "It'd be great if we had a ..." actually went out then all these restaurants wouldn't have failed. Just the facts ma'm..
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Feb 3, 18 2:45 PM
Agreed - the owners' representative states clearly "it needs to be economically viable" - let's be realistic and welcome someone who wants to responsibly invest in our community. The commercial tax base will help Hampton Bays and success begets success.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Feb 3, 18 3:00 PM
A Diner would be wonderful!
By Resident tax (186), Hampton bays ny on Feb 3, 18 6:09 PM
I wish Carrabbas would open there...It would do great!
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Feb 3, 18 6:36 PM
Villa Paul serves Italian and is directly across the street. Eat local.
By tenn tom (259), remsenburg on Feb 4, 18 7:45 AM
Shut up!
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Feb 5, 18 7:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
p.s. Where do you do your Christmas shopping at kmart and not the local Boutiques??? hypocrite!...3 pizza parlors in town and maybe I don't like Villa Paul and their prices maybeI like Carrabarras not Applebee's where's your smart mouth reply to that comment???
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Feb 5, 18 7:52 PM
I count at least 5. Scottos, Francescas, John's, Uncle Joes, Villa Paul. If you can't pick between them you're not going to another one. It sounds like the only one not shopping local is you.
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Feb 5, 18 10:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Wrong. Totally different animal then the 5 plus you talk of. I suppose you never deviate from those 5 when craving italian. Such hypocrites all of you. Jump on the person who suggested Applebees at least Carrabbas is QUALITY food like Villa Paul. BTW shut up as well.
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Feb 6, 18 12:34 AM
First, my comment about Applebee's was not a suggestion, it was a wager.

Second, Carrabba's quality is pedestrian at best, basically re-heated Olive Garden.

Third, telling people to shut up generally has the opposite effect.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Feb 6, 18 7:46 AM
2 members liked this comment
Shut up haha with with your false perception. Carrabba's is all freshly made food and its hardly pedestrian as a diner would be. Its way better than OLIVE Garden and way better than than all of the pizza places in hampton bays and just as good as food as Edgewater and villa paul way better vegetable sides than villa thats for sure. They all have their charms!I love Carrabbas's and I can see the forest on the roof from 27 now but don't worry they're not coming but if they did they would do well ...more
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Feb 7, 18 1:37 AM
FYI, Carrabba's is owned by the same parent company as Outback, Bonefish, and Flemming's.

The difference is that the other three restaurants don't have identical menu items at five different places in HB already.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Feb 7, 18 8:49 AM
How old are you? Are you old enough to walk into a restaurant and order a meal by yourself?

I have no problem with a chain store going up - but there is no need for "shut up"
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on Feb 7, 18 1:29 PM
Hi Shut up started when the first person dismissed my Carrabba's suggestion and then told me to "eat local" but didn't say it to the Applebee suggestion from another commentary so that my friend deserves a "shut up and an eye roll." I am fully aware of the back story on Carrabbas. The difference is that all 5 restaurants food taste different and Carrabbas is the best in my opinion thats if I'm allowed to have an opinion without being told to "EAT LOCAL" by people who most likely don't shop local ...more
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Feb 8, 18 6:58 PM
You can read my reply below I replied to your comment in my reply to Polandspring!
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Feb 8, 18 7:00 PM
If geared to year round residents and summer crowd place place will be a gold mine!!
By Rydogg97 (2), Riverhead on Feb 4, 18 5:51 AM
It will be geared to year round residents of Hampton Bays. Baja Fresh.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Feb 4, 18 8:11 AM
Taco Ticos
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Feb 4, 18 8:10 AM
No eatery on the planet can survive a 3.2 million purchase plus the 1.5 million it would cost to build out even the simplest food establishment.
By Summer Resident (251), Southampton Town, NY on Feb 4, 18 2:12 PM
Unless it's one of those money-laundering operations we've come to know and love......
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Feb 4, 18 2:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Oh yeah, Sen in Sag Harbor is doing and over 5.5 MILLION renovation on their building...granted they own it but wow gotta wonder!
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Feb 12, 18 1:07 PM
Bada Bing East
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Feb 5, 18 9:28 AM
The place is cursed. Partner dies in boat accident, fatal car crash there last summer and one of the few murders in Hampton Bats history took place there about 5-6 years ago in the parking lot,victim stabbed nine times in the back. Previous owner couldn't make it work. The heyday of the Hampton Bays summer crowd that would pay big bucks for breakfast after the bars closed is long gone. Support Hampton Bays family owned existing eateries and keep the chain establishments in Shirley/Mastic. NEVER ...more
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Feb 5, 18 1:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
Cursed was my exact thought when I read about the boat accident. Yikes. And horrifically, the murder that happened occurred on the front step. I recall it taking quite some time for the stains to wash out. It was awful. So sad.
By olshi (1), Hampton Bays on Feb 13, 18 5:10 PM
You know what would be great, a diner. No wait a Moe's. Not wait a Friendly's yeah that's it.
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Feb 5, 18 1:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Feb 5, 18 3:35 PM
Would love to see a dinner with dishes featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Really good food from all over the country. I'd prefer something like that instead of a chain
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Feb 5, 18 3:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
All those places do high volume. That does not happen here. Not enough population to support, working people can't afford to eat out, operators have to charge a lot b/c of high rent. Happens in Nassau County, tho'. Folks get off the train and hit the myriad of good, moderately priced restos---any cuisine you want, then home for a relaxing evening.
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Feb 5, 18 7:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
I agree with you June Bug, I believe the reason it happens in Nassau is that people are coming from employment in NYC. It takes a NYC salary to live on LI, but the east end doesn't have the transportation to allow that to happen. The Town wants to move workers east, but they seem to forget that people also need to make their living west. I commuted 2- 3 hours each way to NYC to be able to afford my little piece of paradise. It made for a very long and tiring life.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Feb 6, 18 7:35 AM
Yes, and not just commuters. Lunch time maybe even busier there with major shopping centers---Manhasset, Garden City, Roosevelt Field, Courthouse and all the surrounding law offices, major hospital centers--Manhasset, Mineola We have nothing near any of this to sipportarestaurant luncitime activityt and jradespeoplenaren't rbout to patronize sit-down restos. A local restaurant business I'm familiar with only survived by closing down for the off-season, and supplementing with a aatering ...more
Feb 6, 18 9:55 AM appended by June Bug
Whoa, no I didn't have a liquid breakfast. Gremlins? Bots? Good lord!
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Feb 6, 18 9:55 AM
LOL - love your appended comment...
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Feb 6, 18 10:18 AM
There is more than enough population to support a diner, an Italian restaurant, or better yet something HB doesn't yet have. The reason the diner and Friendly's failed is simple - the food sucked. Look at the places where the food is actually good: Hamptons Farms, Edgewater, Rumba, Centro, One North, even farther west at the Moriches Bay Diner. If the food is good, people will come. And all of those places have a mix of pricey and cheaper options. If it's done correctly, any restaurant can ...more
By eagleeye (82), Sag Harbor on Feb 6, 18 9:13 AM
I do not believe we need Carrabbas, not because of the food or the other Italian restaurants but because we need something that offers more variety. Same thing with a Chinese Buffet. You have to want Chinese or you aren't going there. I believe that is why the word Diner keeps coming up.

I agree that the Diner and Friendly's failed because they did not keep their places up and the quality of the food went down. Once the Diner started dabbling with a 'club' in the back I saw the handwriting ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Feb 10, 18 3:26 PM
I never saw a Five Guys burger joint with an empty parking lot. Inexpensive and quick turnaround, plus the young people like these kinds of places. I wouldn't mind something on this idea, whether it be a chain or independant eatery. There are plenty of sit down restaurants around.
By pigroast (100), East Quogue on Feb 6, 18 1:25 PM
It seems that there are a lot of opinion's here, but IMHO we should rely on the owners who bought this to determine what is "economically feasible". Unless it is some strip club, we probably should be thankful that some one wants to invest millions of dollars in our community and let's hope the Town of "mo" does squash the plans.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Feb 7, 18 9:20 AM
Aspiring exotic artists deserve a place to practice their trade too!
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Feb 7, 18 10:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
LOL - Let's agree to disagree on that one.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Feb 7, 18 9:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
How About BOOM Burger from Westhampton.
By CSC (3), southampton on Feb 13, 18 3:20 PM
Or Shake Shack I have never seen one that is not filled with people.
By CSC (3), southampton on Feb 13, 18 3:25 PM
And few more to think about Budda Berry, Bay Burger and Citarella with some changes for volume.
By CSC (3), southampton on Feb 13, 18 3:30 PM
Denny’s would be great!
By TheresaHunter (4), Southampton, New York on Feb 14, 18 1:16 PM
In addition to what is going in there, it's also important that the building itself be tasteful, not some cheesy chain restaurant façade. After all, it is the first thing one sees when exiting Sunrise Highway. Fortunately, the owners have enough common sense to have a talented architect on the project. That being said, I personally would love to see a breakfast place; all we have for a sit-down, family breakfast is Panera Bread or, in season, Hampton Maid.
By MrsD (53), Hampton Bays on Feb 14, 18 1:46 PM
My first wish is that it be locally owned. If it is part of a chain, only a very small portion of the incoem goes back into the community. For example, supplies bought nationally. Also Accountants, lawyers, all professionals are at a headquarters somewhere and not local.
My second wish is that it be a diner. Please let it be a diner. And a good diner to boot!!! It's unreal that this community does not have a diner or even a large size luncheonette.
At least it won't be a nail place. I'm ...more
By baywoman (165), southampton on Feb 15, 18 2:14 PM