After a decade of wrangling between the Town of East Hampton and the Surf Lodge in Montauk, the popular nightspot is welcoming the general public back now that it has received its certificate of occupancy from the town, and, more importantly to its customers, its music permit and liquor license. Let the good vibes flow, is likely the sentiment of Jayma Cardoso, the impresario who runs the establishment.
A new, state-of-the-art septic system has been buried under the gravel in the front parking and entrance area. That gravel area now has a new traffic pattern laid out, after Surf Lodge obtained a permit from Suffolk County to open a curb cut onto Edgemere Street. No longer will revelers have to climb in and out of taxis and share rides on the street. Now, vehicles will enter the property from the north, moving in a circular pattern, toward a new exit to the south.
The last barrier to officially opening to the public was resolved Friday, May 31, when the building department determined that the large beach beds on the sandy area on the north of the property were small enough that they are not considered structures. They will have to be brought in every night, Anne Glennon, the town’s head building inspector, explained.
The State Liquor Authority had threatened to pull Surf Lodge’s license if it did not comply with a state court settlement between the town and the owners, Michael Walrath and Cardoso, both of whom signed off on the original agreement in 2017, as well as a modified agreement in 2018.
Cardoso assured the SLA earlier this year that, going forward, there would be a new reservations policy in place to prevent crowds from spilling out onto the busy roadway at night.
At one point, the Surf Lodge payed the town a fine of $100,000, from multiple zoning violations, an amount that is believed to be an East Hampton Town Justice Court record. In coming to the settlement, Surf Lodge agreed to pay an additional $15,000 fee to the town.
But, that is all in the past. Now, the Surf Lodge will operate under the terms of the court stipulation. Live music is allowed five days a week, but is limited to two hours a day, and must end by 8 PM. The total capacity of the establishment has been capped at 395.