The Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyer’s: The East End Done Right

Yesterday we spoke of a summer less ordinary. We talked about the "Hamptonization" of magical Montauk. For me the Hamptons was a land that I would blow by at 3MPH, its traffic snarls confirming my profound distaste for the place … at least during season. I designed Dune out there at one time for Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss, and Matt Shendall yet I never attended it while it was open. Montauk seemed different. It was a town too far for the napkin tossing Electronic Music or Mash-Up heads that squished together in make believe clubs. In the off season I’d walk the lonely beaches near a friend’s home in Amagansett with my dogs and my gal or grab a bite in Sag Harbor with townies but I’d more than likely go the extra miles to Montauk. Surf Lodge (pictured) changed the game. It brought a chic style that was an acceptable alternative to the quaint fixings of the last town on the strip.

 
Last season The Surf Lodge racked up 680 violations, mostly for the same 3 things but all stemmed from patrons and sound disturbing the peace… disrupting the dreams of others. The property was being managed by King & Grove hotels, a new startup by Ben Pundole, Rob McKinley, and Ed Scheetz. Former honchos, the visionary Jamie Mulholland and the sleek operating machine Jayma Cardoza took a back seat to the operatons, but remained owners. This year, Jayma brought in investor Michael Walrath, an internet tycoon who sold an online ad company to Yahoo! for 850 mil in 2007. Mr Walrath purchased the property and kept her on as managing partner. He settled the violations with the town for 100K while vowing to "work with the community". Jamie and Rob sold their shares. 
 
I visited The Surf Lodge and was awestruck. It was calm and delightful. Jayma was surprised to see me as if a striped bass had walked out of the water and was walking across her lobby chomping on a cigar. But there I was and instantly wanting to come back. Fifteen minutes in the place and I felt the city being washed from me. I caught up with Jayma after and got this:
 
"Hi Steve, In regards to changes at The Surf Lodge.  I think the biggest changes we’ve made with The Surf Lodge would be: We put a priority on the town of Montauk and how we best serve the community.  We want to accommodate everyone, but now we’re very mindful of how many people are on property and we don’t exceed it. In actuality, I’ve always known it would be better for business, when things are too crowded it makes it more challenging to enjoy the hotel, which ultimately means less business. We’re closing earlier, last call is now 1:45.  We don’t want to be known as a late night spot, I want guests to enjoy Montauk, the beaches and beauty it holds.  It’s been good for business as well, people stop by the hotel earlier now, and enjoy the sunset more so than stars.  I think sunset is truly magic at The Surf Lodge, so we like having guest in early.
 
We’ve taken initiatives to be more green; we used driftwood to build most of our daybeds when we re-designed our beach section. Most of our hotel and restaurant collateral is printed on post-consumer recycled content paper. We don’t use Hotel key cards  (plastic) and just have codes for guests to enter the room. We have signage encouraging guests to "save the planet one towel at a time"  educating them of the benefits if they utilize them more than once, We train our staff on green initiatives. We use only organic and eco friendly cleaning products. We installed water efficient shower heads in rooms, planted a lot of new bushes and trees on the property, and updated most of our lighting to LED and Halogen. All of our bathroom products for guests are from environmental friendly companies like Healthier focus etc. We partnered with SLT for Saturday and Sunday exercise classes and NAM juice for those seeking healthier lifestyle ,  They are amazing.  We are also partnering with retreat partners, which you’ll see more of in the fall that are mind, health and wellbeing oriented.
 
In regards to Montauk.  I think everyone has discovered why it’s so magical.  It’s a beach town.  I know all the other hamlets are near the beach, but Montauk really is a beach town first and foremost.  The town itself is right next to the ocean, the people that are here really enjoy the lifestyle and come here to interact with the ocean, beach, nature.  There has been a wave of new hospitality venues this year and for me it remains to be seen what it means for Montauk, but I think the places that are true to the nature  and the experience people want when they come out here can and will add to the overall lifestyle and experience.  The other thing I’ve noticed is Montauk is getting younger and older.  I’ve been coming to Montauk ever since I moved to the USA from Brazil.  It was my beach town and it always felt like home for me.  I’ve seen the same people coming to Montauk over my tenure and for many of them are entering the next stage in life and are now have children and families.  It’s great to see so many of their kids on the beach.  I love Montauk, it really is a magical place and the good thing is it really resonates with the people who live here year round and those lucky enough to visit… this is what will always keep Montauk special."
 
Rob McKinley and Ben Pundole opened Ruschmeyer’s last year and the property was billed as a "summer camp for adults". It was an overnight success with the fashion/hipster crowd. Rob and Ben have since left King & Grove. Although Ben is no longer involved with Ruschmeyer’s Rob remains an operating partner. Ben has returned to his roots and is back working with Ian Schrager on new properties. Rob McKinley is my favorite Hospitality Designer. His work includes GoldBar and Good Units and tons more. Look him up. He always has me saying to myself "wish I had thought of that" and laughing at the ease he seems to create wonderful. 
 
He toured me along with Steve Kasuba of Velvet Road Group. Steve put the PR into the word prolific. He’s everywhere representing spaces and clients I’m interested in. He even finds time to own the very happening burger joint Banzai Burger on the Napeague Stretch. They were readying for Saturday night and the staff was all smiley and working in that bar/restauraunt frenzy professional style so often missing out east. I mentioned it to Rob and he told me it was indeed hard to get staff off route 27 but that he indeed had a good one. He said he was lucky. He’s always looking lucky. I know better. It takes a ton of work. My ex said I was the heart of the places I ran. Even when sleeping I had to keep on thinking about it, working, keeping that heart beating. Rob is particularly excited about his collaboration with Chris Blackwell on the new "Blackwell Rum Shack" which is new this season. Thursday nights continue to be popular with a high energy Bingo night complete with dance offs and unque prizes for winners. There are movie nights on the lawn and weekends are all about The Electric Eel disco. Rob spins as DJ Tito Cruz on Sat nights. This is all in addition to the bustling restaurant run by the guys who also run Fat Radish in NYC. I asked Rob to tell me all about it:
 
"Montauk is such a special place for many reasons.  For starters the wild coastline and open ocean has always been so important to me and constantly gives me perspective on what life is all about. Also the fact that its 3 hours from the best city in the world makes it my own little paradise. At Ruschmeyer’s this season, I’m most excited about the Blackwell Rum Shack. It’s is a colaboration we did with Chris Blackwell and his Rum.  At the Rum Shack it’s all reggae all the time and even some legendary acts like Sister Nancy, and Jimmy Cliff." 

A Fresh Wind Blows In Montauk

As usual the end of a Friday night had us at the Olympic diner on Essex Street, a stone’s throw from the Williamsburg Bridge – the yellow brick road to my BBurg Oz. It’s a couple eggs over easy amongst a club crowd of workers and late night revelers. No one at Olympic was discussing the Olympics. No one I know is discussing it. It’s all over my Yahoo! as I start to write today, mostly Enquirer-level tales of fat Olympians, or sexy ones, or "hurray for our team!" chatter. I don’t care what Michael Phelps’ mom has to say, although she seems like a nice lady. I’m beat up, burnt out, and shouldn’t even be here (on a couple of levels). I told my editor to expect me only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through Labor Day as I want to get busy with being lazy for a few weeks. Yet here I am. 

The second level of not being here is I passed out behind the wheel of my car on the way home from Montauk Saturday night. Didn’t crash, but had a moment. I found a quaint little rest stop in the middle of nowhere on the LIE and used the fancy recliner feature and reclined for an hour. I woke completely refreshed and made it back to un-civilization. 
 
I should have stayed. Chiropractor to the in-crowd Lila Jean Wolf offered me a place to stay at her digs in Montauk. We had spent the hours before my DJ gig at the Montauk Beach House walking the shore and taking dips in the brine when we heated up. I didn’t understand much of what she was saying to her myriad of surfer friends. It was not only a language barrier but everyone was being so friendly and wonderful. It was like the hippie shit I remember from the Haight in the early ‘70s. Lila divides her time between her practice in NYC and out there and I tell you it’s not too far-fetched for her or even a landlubber like myself to consider spending a lot of time there. In a former lifetime me and mine would scamper out to Hither House, a homey hotel near the dunes of Montauk on winter Sundays and Mondays. We’d beachcomb with adventurous puppies and enjoy the food at local mainstays and the company of townies. 
 
Montauk has a certain light, a certain energy. Lila tried to explain it in Haight terms. She spoke of a "vortex” and an "octagon" and things like that that make more sense when catching waves is the only thing that takes you to Nirvana. Whatever the explanation it is magical. I’ve been to the lighthouse at the end of our country over a hundred times. If my own personal vortex or octagon or fate allows, I’ll go hundreds more. The thing about Montauk is it’s kind of far. You have to go way past the Hamptons and then back in time. Until maybe now.
 
Back in 2008 the Surf Lodge opened and too many thought it was a scene too far. But Surf Lodge managed to accomplish what no restaurant, resort, surfing, fishing or solitude could. It linked the scene in the Hamptons to the last town on Route 27. Like those covered wagons that betrayed the Native Americans, it’s never just one, and they just kept coming. My DJ gig at Montauk Beach House showed me a different Montauk than I remember. I got in early and saw the families in a feeding frenzy for pancakes, coffee, bagels and such. It was kids misbehaving badly because their parents were behaving badly, all for hot caffeine and starch. There were more of them than in years past and instead of the friendly "hellos" from the locals it was all seasonal types loud and rude.
 
Lila scooped me up at Whites where I stocked up on things I needed for my unexpected journey to that beach near Ditch Plains. The water was a rush hour subway ride of surfers paddling to not bang into each other positioning themselves for waves that won’t come till the hurricanes. A surfer dude said that Montauk was the 5 story walkup tenement of surfing … until the hurricanes come. People were learning from leather-skinned pros and every so often something bigger gave someone a ride and they talked in terms I didn’t understand. It was not unlike fisherman talking of big ones that got away or that they caught and gave them religion. I wanted to be a surfer dude but realized my age, abilities, and inclinations would be obstacles. I vowed to Netflix Point Break as a compromise. I had to leave go DJ by the pool.
 
Montauk Beach House be’s all it can be. It is comfortable, friendly, clean, and well planned. The DJ booth was professional and well situated. I opened for Andy Rourke (of the Smiths). The pool scene was fabulous. The design and feeling bordered on Miami but without the cheese. The place has only been operating a few weeks, opening with no less than Paul Oakenfold and my pal Kris Graham. Next week they’ve got mega-uber-superstar Mark Ronson. The James Bond of Dj’s. He even has the accent! The week after it’s Paul Sevigny. The bookings go forward to Sept 1 with Jesse Marco and Aaron James, although there is talk of programming as the weather allows.  Terry Casey who, along with Matt Thomas, books this wonderful resort DJ’s each week as well. He has done an amazing job putting this brand on the map. The delightful DJ Bridget Marie was on before me and was slated for a spot later in the day as well. She’s there each week also. She played some cute rock stuff to segue into my rock set. She’s a House Head but mixes it up and about in a refreshing manner.
 
Montauk Beach House is great but it also represents a quantum shift in the thinking of out East. It, like the Surf Lodge before it and Ruschmeyer’s, bring the good, the bad and the beautiful to the quaintness. Bottles can be bought and that in itself changes the game. Someone said "East Hampton has moved further East". There’s no place else to go unless someone gets permission to throw a rave in the Lighthouse parking lot. Montauk will be the last stand. The question is whether this ancient town will stand for it. I was assured that everything is being done to assure peace and quiet and respect for what has always been. The Montauk Beach House lives on the sight of what was a blight, an eyesore, and it brings jobs and cash flow and quality to the town. Yet the blue Bentley parked out front and the fast and furious Ferrari’s and other man mobiles I saw scattered here and there about town spoke of an unfamiliar wind. 
 
We’re not talking money. The money has always called this home or maybe the second home or 10th home. This wind blows conspicuous wealth at you and will manifest itself in a different crowd and a different decorum. I didn’t see anyone throw napkins in the air but it surely will happen.  "Change is Good" said the tourist T-shirt but that’s for panhandlers, not necessarily Montauk old school townies. Saturday there was an easy peace and I heard of no complaints. The bartenders served up delicious cocktails. I did my best and Andy Rourke a little better. The bikinis were filled with wonderment and somewhere to my right and back a little bit Lila Jean and her crew were waiting for the next wave. More on this tomorrow.
 
Sat – July 14th    Young Empire    Paul Oakenfold    Liquid Todd Kris Graham Owed and Operated    Terry Casey
            
Sat – July 21st     Postelles    Chainsmokers        Terry Casey
                
Sat – July 28th        Cobra Starship        Terry Casey
                
Sat- August 4th    Booga Sugar    Andy Rourke ( from the Smiths)    Steve Lewis (BlackBook Magazine)    Terry Casey
                
Sat- August 11th    Garret Borns (live)    Dj Vikas    Mark Ronson    Terry Casey
                
Sat- August 18     Capital Cities Live    Peter Makebish (bday)    Paul Sevigny    Terry Casey
                
 Sat- August 25  The Knocks     Krystal Klear Wilkies    Terry Casey
                
Sept 1st    Bella  (Ultra records)    Jesse Marco    Aaron James    Terry Casey

Terry Casey: “There Are Big Changes Happening in Montauk”

I don’t do The Hamptons. Although I have great friends that love the prospect of driving hours in a car through the cultural desert of Long Island to hang with people I strive to avoid in Manhattan while eating $50-a-pound potato salad, the idea has never appealed to me. I have done it and done it right, but I do remember spending a year there one night . I did design Dune at one point but never actually graced it with my divine presence. During the winter months, my clan treks out to Montauk to huddle around fireplaces and beachcomb. The water, the light, and the lack of crowds made me a believer years ago. I’ll be there come the cold. Apparently they have built this wondrous place called The Montauk Beach House and I have been told it’s a game-changer. My pal Paul Sevigny DJd there recently. When I was considering a story about Bastille Day and looking through my online emails and evites, I saw a big name pop out at me: Paul Oakenfold, one of the top DJs in the world. He’s doing a gig at The Montauk Beach House this Saturday, July 14th at 3pm. Take a look at the pics – it’s gorgeous. My pal Terry Casey is booking the joint and DJing as well. He called me about playing there come August so I asked him what the heck is going on.

What the heck are you doing out there? Who have you had already and who’s coming up and who’s coming to this place and …tell me all about it!
I GOT ASKED BY EVENT SOCIETY (RENE AND FRANCOIS) TO BOOK AND PRODUCE A MUSIC SERIES AT MONTAUK BEACH HOUSE WITH A GOOD FRIEND: MATT THOMAS. HE’S A BRIT AND WANTS GOOD MUSIC AND IS VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE. OWNER CHRIS JONES ALSO DESIGNED NIKKI BEACH, AND MONTAUK BEACH HOUSE FEELS LIKE A MIAMI HOTEL SO IT’S A NEW CONCEPT IN MONTAUK…RENE MANAGES OPERATIONS AND DOES IT WELL AT MONTAUK BEACH HOUSE; HE’S  THE OWNER OF EVENT SOCIETY. IT EXCITED ME TO DO AS I’VE BEEN GOING OUT TO MONTAUK FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS – I FEEL MORE AT HOME THERE THEN IN THE HAMPTONS. I USED TO DJ IN HAMPTONS CLUBS AND FEEL LIKE I SOLD MY SOUL. I STILL DO A FEW WILD HOUSE PARTIES IN THE HAMPTONS, BUT THAT’S VERY DIFFERENT TO THE CLUBS…THE CLUBS IN THE HAMPTONS ARE NOT MY THING. MONTAUK IS MORE LAID-BACK AND LOT OF SURFER CULTURE …THERE ARE  BIG CHANGES HAPPENING IN MONTAUK; PLACES LIKE SURF LODGE AND RUSCHMEYER’S HAVE SET THE PACE…LOTS OF FRIEND HAVE MOVED TO MONTAUK AS THEY PREFER IT.

WE DID A SOFT OPENING WITH PAUL SEVIGNY LAST WEEK AND HE PLAYED A LOT OF GOOD ROCK, SOUL, FUNK ..HE ROCKED THE PLACE….A GREAT DJ AND REAL RECORD COLLECTOR PLAYS VINYL AND LOTS OF IT. IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET HIM OFF THE DECKS. I GAVE UP AT 4AM, HAHA. I PLAY ROCK AND ELECTRONIC SO IT’S NOT ALL ONE STYLE …AND THE MUSIC SERIES WILL MIX UP BANDS AND DJS…ALL SUMMER…

FOR THE DAYTIME BY THE POOLS, WE HAVE DJS LIKE BRIDGET MARIE AND SARAH RUA. THEY PLAY MORE HOUSE, AFROBEAT, SOULFUL VIBES.I’ve rarely enjoyed the music out east during the summer.. you told me Montauk is different… tell me why that is.
MONTAUK IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE YOU FEEL AWAY FROM NYC. THE HAMPTONS FEELS LIKE AN EXTENSION OF PEOPLE’S BAD BEHAVIOUR IN NYC…PEOPLE ARE STILL RUSHING AROUND…YOUR SUPPOSED TO BE CHILLING OUT…ON VACATION.

I GO TO PLACES LIKE BANZAI BURGER AND FEEL LIKE I’M AT THE BEACH OR IN THE CARRIBEAN.  BANZAI IS ALEX DUFFY AND STEVE KASUBA’S NEW PLACE OUT EAST. THE FOOD THERE ROCKS…I GOTO SURF LODGE AND RUSCHMEYER’S. THEY’RE ALL GREAT PLACES AND ALL VERY DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER.

Are the townies coming or is it a hipper visitor, vacationer, weekender?
ALEX DUFFY LIVES IN MIAMI AND THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE FROM MIAMI, NEW YORK, AND OUTSIDE THE US COMING IN. AND, OF COURSE, THERE ARE LOCALS.  ON WEEKENDS A LOT OF THE PEOPLE THAT ARE SICK OF THE EVENTS IN THE HAMPTONS ARE COMING TO MONTAUK FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT…IT’S THE SAME REASON PEOPLE IN MANHATTAN GO TO WBURG …THEY’RE OVER MANHATTAN AND ARE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING LESS CHEESEY.

At the end of the summer, will you try to continue this series in a NY venue? How would you describe the state of NYC clubland?
I’VE BEEN APPROACHED TO DO MORE EVENTS IN NYC AND MIAMI AND I HAVE PROJECTS IN MUSIC IN THE WORKS. I LIKE THAT THERE’S MORE CLUBS BOOKING MUSIC ACTS AND LESS MODEL PROMOTERS …BUT NYC NEEDS MORE BALANCED MUSIC AND SOCIAL CLUBS. I WISH THE FESTIVALS WOULD BOOK MORE LOCAL DJS…WE ARE BOOKING TALENTED LOCALS LIKE JESSE MARCO ,CHAINSMOKERS, DJ VIKAS, JULIO SANTO DOMINGO, KRIS GRAHAM, LIQUID TODD, SHORTY, AND MANY MORE..THESE GUYS ARE LOCALS AND TRAVEL THE WORLD.

Paul Oakenfold. Like …how do you swing a name like that?
PAUL OAKENFOLD AND YOUNG EMPIRES (LIVE) …YES, ME AND MATT HAVE CALLED A LOT OF FRIENDS TO GET PEOPLE TO PLAY ALL SUMMER FOR SMALL FEES IN A 200-400 PEOPLE VENUE BY THE POOL….WE HAVE A LOT OF ACTS COMING LIVE AND DJING….I DONT WANNA SAY WHO, AS EVENTS ARE INVITE- ONLY..  BUT EXPECT MORE HUGE ACTS. 

Party for a Good Cause With Mike D and Stretch Armstrong at Ruschmeyer’s This Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is just days away. Do you have plans yet? You could do the typically debauched thing, eating, drinking, dancing, and carousing, all for your own pleasure. But if you head out to Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk, you could do all of those same things, but for a good cause. Two good causes, actually. On Sunday, May 26, the grown-up summer camp-themed resort is hosting an event called the Rockaway Plate Lunch Truck Yard Party, and it kicks off Ruschmeyer’s summer-long series of Reggae Sundays parties. A percentage of the proceeds will go to support two charities, the Rockaway Plate Lunch Truck, which works to "fill plates and build spirits" with a food truck staffed by top New York restaurants, and Waves for Water, which provides clean water for those without access to it. They’re both noble causes, and it won’t hurt a bit to support them, as this party’s hosted by Mike D (of the legendary Beastie Boys) and designer Robert McKinley, while the tunes will be provided by DJ’s Mike D, Stretch Armstrong, and Tito Cruz. You like reggae? Good, because you’ll get your fill with a irie set by the Easy Skanking Band. And you thought skanking was hard. 

The event is open to the public and there’s no admission fee, so you can just roll on by any time from 6-9pm and get your groove on. And if all that dancing makes you a bit peckish, there’ll be food from the Smile team. Eat, drink, and be charitable. 

[Related: BlackBook Hamptons Guide; Listing for Ruschmeyer’s; BlackBook 2013 Hamptons Pre-Preview; The Hottest Hamptons Hotels for Summer 2013; More by Victor Ozols; Follow me on Twitter]

Pack a Precious Picnic for the 2012 Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

If you’re without plans for the 2nd of June, and you dig posh picnics and polo ponies, we highly suggest the fifth-annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic held at Liberty State Park, less than thirty minutes from BlackBook’s humble offices. Gentlemen dress thee dapper. Ladies, avoid stilettos, as the field may be loamy (May we suggest these.). Go forth and lighten your rigid summer schedule with some quality time with NYC’s most regal citizens. Naturally, you’ll need some snacks while you’re watching the action, but this is no backyard barbecue. That’s where luxury goodie purveyors Silkstone come in.  

Pre-order your custom ambrosial picnic pannier ($130) fashioned by Silkstone and NYC’s endemic duo Ben Towill and Phil Winser, of The Fat Radish and Ruschmeyer’s. In it you’ll find a bodacious banquet to buddy up with your bubbly. Packed with artisanal meats and cheeses, a summer bean salad, and a sandwich sampler which will include thick cut hickory-smoked ham, gruyere, caramelized onions and cornichon butter (this ain’t no PB&J party). Nosh on some strawberries and North Fork potato chips between matches while you clink your flutes and chat upon blonde blankets under canary canopies. 
 
It’s the perfect wedding of effervescent sips, alfresco dining, and stud-ly steeds. In fact, with such an elegant marriage, perhaps Will and Kate will make an appearance. Ok, now we’re starting rumors.
 

Ben Pundole on S’Mores, Tepees, & the Secret to Ruschmeyer’s Success

It’s another sizzling summer in that opulent New York playground known as the Hamptons, and a new crop of exclusive spots has opened to cater to the sybaritic whims of its visitors. Chief among them is Ruschmeyer’s, a stylish hotel, restaurant, and club complex in Montauk that’s already drawing the luminaries of Manhattan society. We caught up with Ben Pundole, who, along with partner Rob McKinley, opened Ruschmeyer’s on May 30, and got the scoop on the hottest summer camp this side of Lake Minnewaska.

BB: Where did the idea of opening Ruschmeyer’s come from? Ben Pundole: It was a reincarnation of the original Ruschmeyer’s, which was built in 1952. We wanted to create a modern day, nautical, summer camp getaway with great food and a great bar.

What kind of atmosphere do you hope to create for your guests? We want to create a place where you can relax, eat and drink well, laze in a hammock and read a book, or take advantage of the many activities we offer, from cycling and horseback riding to paddle boarding, kite surfing, and yoga. We also have a wellness center offering massages, facials, and body wraps. What is your role in Ruschmeyer’s? What’s an average day like for you? There is no such thing as an average day. Both Rob and I do everything and anything it takes to make it the place we want it to be. We have a strong focus on real hospitality, so whether it’s design, music, service, food, or cocktails, we do whatever we can to ensure the guest has the best stay possible.

What do you enjoy the most about your job? I love creating an immersive experience for the guest, from the s’mores kits and canteens in the mini bars to the yoga and tepee on the lawn to the fantastic breakfast we serve daily in the Nook.

What do you have planned for Ruschmeyer’s this season? We have some really exciting programs planned this summer, including an artist-in-residence program and an outdoor theater production.

What, in your view, is the secret to a successful Hamptons venue? I think the key to success is based on the people you work with, from Ben Towill and Phil Winser from The Fat Radish, who have created a fantastic food and beverage program with us, to the servers, bartenders, hotel staff and groundsmen. It should be as enjoyable a place to work as it is for the guests to visit.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working? Honestly, I have so much fun at Ruschmeyer’s. It’s everything I really ever wanted to do. Rob surfs, I’m a terrible surfer but have just started training for the New York Marathon.

Beach Blast: The Hamptons Flip Out This Memorial Day Weekend

After a few sleepy summers, shit is once again getting real in the Hamptons. What’s that mean? It means throw some wedges and a DSO-worthy outfit in the Birkin bag you’ve been using for the gym, because you are not going to have time to work out with all the new openings out east, though you’ll definitely have an opportunity to work it.

Under the best of circumstances, Hamptons properties see more flips than the schedule board at Penn Station, but this season has been off the charts. To wit:

Out: Madam Tong’s/ Madam Tong’s Redux In: Southampton Social Club Ian Duke (of NYC’s Prohibition) and David Hilty took over Jen Luc’s ill-fated Madam Tong’s last year, but not in time to change the concept (they just amended “Redux” to the offensive name), but this year they’ve taken the place speakeasy chic.

Out: Jean Luc East/Prime 103 In: The Beachhouse Micheael Gluckman, proprietor of the Boathouse, has added one of the marquee spaces to his “house” line. The huge space, with indoor and outdoor seating, has not had a restaurant worthy of it in quite some time. Will this one be different? Signs point to yes.

Out: Bamboo In: Shiki Gluckman unloaded his sushi place in East Hampton, perhaps to concentrate on Beachouse. There’s another sushi place there now. Raw fish and cold sake will set you right.

Out: Le Maison In: The Pomme Café The last vestiges of Jean Luc were exorcised from the Hamptons when the Trata guys took on JLX to make a go at their own French Bistro. It didn’t last. This season the folks behind The Pomme, a successful bistro in Astoria, toss their chapeaus in the ring.

Out: Almond In: Agave Almond vacated the building it’s been in for years for greener pastures. A yet-to-open restaurant called Agave will take its place. Do you really need to be told that it will serve Mexican food and tequila?

Out: Ocean Grill In: Almond Almond’s new digs are right on Main St. in Bridgehampton, and its loyal following is sure to follow to the larger space (with the added benefit of sidewalk cafe tables).

Out: Capri In: Capri Languishing after its Pink Elephant heyday, the Capri Hotel’s new owners (Steven Kamali of the Surf Lodge among them) have classed up the joint with a Nobu, a Cynthia Rowley boutique and a daytime/nighttime hang space called The Bathing Club.

Out: RdV In: South Pointe One of the largest dance halls in the Hamptons goes through yet another change of hands, and this time it gets spruced up with tiki bars and “extravagant” crystal chandeliers. Why is there an “e” on the end? Probably so they don’t get sued by the Vegas club “South Point.” You see, it’s totally different.

Out: Polish people In: The Elm OK, that’s not entirely true. Long ago the space now occupied by a veritable superteam of veteran club promoters was once a Polish social hall, but in recent years has been an event space for hire. It’s another cavernous Southampton space, and this summer is sure to be an nightlife epicenter, with high-profile acts and the Koch brothers “Day and Night” champagne brunch for daytime revelers.

Out: Lily Pond In: SL East Michael Satsky reportedly had liquor sponsors in place and had even put up a billboard on Hudson St. in NYC inviting people out to Lily Pond for summer 2011. Then his landlord turned around and gave the venue over EMM Group’s Eugene Remm, Mark Birnbaum and Michael Hirtenstein, who will bring their SL concept to the perennial club spot on the outskirts of East Hampton.

Out: Second House Tavern In: Ruschmeyer’s Another one one bites the dust in Montauk. By which we mean, another flea-ridden family motel (OK, some might say “old-guard piece of nostalgia”) bites the dust, as part of the team from Surf Lodge takes over another hotel/restaurant and makes it over in their own hipster-beachbum-no fleas image. Expect local cops to get writer’s cramp ticketing lines of cars on both sides of Fort Pond.

Check out the Hamptons Listings on the BlackBook Guides – and download the iPhone app – for the latest and greatest hangs, and don’t forget the sunscreen.