Vacationers have turned the Hamptons into a year-round home. The business followed.

In the shadow of New York’s oldest lighthouse, summer in the Hamptons and Montauk once meant strawberry ice cream cones from a mom-and-pop store, and Necco chips and Pop Rocks from a candy store known for its fudge. For the locals, The influx of new faces will wane at the beginning of fall.

By winter, the business districts sat full of darkened storefronts as vacationers retreated to New York City neighborhoods and beyond. Snow will cover a tranquil landscape at the eastern end, containing its year-round residents for a season of their own.

“This split in life is kind of gone,” said Jason Biondo, 47, a lifelong Montauk resident and local builder who retrofitted the lighthouse keeper building several years ago.

In the face of the pandemic, many of the summer crowds escaping from Manhattan to the Hamptons have remained, and residential property swells have brought about a change of business. From healthcare to dining, new businesses are emerging in the Hamptons. While more healthcare facilities are welcome, there are mixed feelings about some of the new restaurants.

“I can probably count on one hand, places between East Hampton, Amagansett, Montauk and Springs, it’s a really affordable place to take all your kids for dinner where you don’t spend $300,” said Mr Biondo. “I am not complaining, because I also reap the benefits as a construction worker, am I? So I will not bite the hand that feeds me; but it is impossible to ignore the elephant in the room.”

From April 2010 to April 2021, the population of the town of East Hampton, which includes the village of Montauk, increased from 21,457 to 28,385, an increase of 32 percent, according to U.S. Census data. In Southampton, the population rose by about 22 per cent, from 56,790 to 69,036, in the same time frame.

The New York Times spoke to major hospitals and small business owners about their decision to follow people to the summer resort area.

NYU Langone Health has a Westhampton facility under construction, after opening a 3,500-foot mobile care facility in Bridgehampton in May 2021.

“We really saw the opportunity before the pandemic, and we thought there was a real need for quality healthcare on the eastern end of Long Island,” said Vicki Much Suna, executive vice president and vice dean for real estate development. and facilities at NYU Langone Health.

The lease for Bridgehampton Hospital, in a prominent corner along the Bridgehampton portion of Montauk Highway, began in June 2019.

“Most of what was available were small swathes of retail space, which didn’t really work for us nor our use; Availability was limited and it took some time for us to locate a location that we thought could meet our needs,” Ms Sona said.

At the Bridgehampton facility, NYU Langone Health has attempted to incorporate the region’s culture: interior walls are adorned with art made by local artists. Distinctive pieces made from driftwood, sea glass, and other local materials indigenous to the beach community.

Tiffany LaBanca-Madarasz saw a “For Lease” sign on a Montauk storefront that for decades included the toy store, “A Little Bit of Everything,” and seized the opportunity to open her own business in July 2021. Poppy Heart is a department store, café, gallery, and art studio – one-stop shop Creativity, Community, and Hub for Ms. LaBanca-Madarasz, who served as Head of Personnel Communications and involved with PayPal for two years after 25 years in the communications industry.

Although she raised her two children in Manhattan, Ms. Labanca Madarasz said her family rents a house every summer in Montauk.

“I rented when my kids were growing up, every summer, so it was always in the back of our mind, like, ‘This is our happy place, this is where we’ll finally get to full time,'” Ms. Labanca Madaras said. , we thought, ‘Let’s speed up this plan and see if we can actually buy a house.’

She said turning 50 gave her a new perspective. “I was really ready for something bigger, more interesting and entrepreneurial, and Bobby Hart was born.”

Poppy Heart provides consistency in an area accustomed to the seasonal rhythm. “There’s not much to do in Montauk, especially in the off-season, and on rainy days, so I built it for Montauk,” she said. “You can paint pottery, you can paint canvases, you can play with clay, you can make jewelry.”

One section of the store is called “a little bit of everything” and sells nostalgic toys to honor its predecessor.

As a restaurant owner, Donna Lenard has resisted bringing Il Buco al Mare to the Hamptons for years. However, the right opportunity presented itself when the epidemic occurred.

“It certainly wasn’t in the works before then,” Ms Lenard said of the pandemic, insisting she still didn’t want to run a restaurant in the same place she had a country house. “It’s been feet in the mud, the intractable Donna, no way, how am I going to get a restaurant where I go to relax.”

Ms Lenard dipped her toes at first, with a pop-up for Summer 2020 at the Maram Hotel in Montauk. She describes it as “almost like a small kiosk with 80 outdoor seats on a large balcony overlooking the ocean.”

With the summer winding down, the members of the Il Buco team told her they were happy to be out in the East. And an acquaintance of hers had more than once offered Mrs. Lenard to show a space in Amagansite, but she refused.

“We had about a dozen people working in Montauk, and they said, ‘Let’s just go see the space in Amagansett,'” she said. So I was like, bro! “

Come January, Mrs. Lenard had the same acquaintances as hers for drinks by the fire. I asked who had taken the place and found out that the deal had failed. By Memorial Day 2021, Il Buco al Mare was open for business in Amagansett.

Mrs. Lenard has certainly prepared for the new location. “From kicking and screaming, I really embraced it.”

“It’s a natural progression, I think, that in the last couple of years a lot of medical buildings have come up,” said Aaron Courty, a broker Douglas Elleman who rented space to Weill Cornell Medicine to open the clinic last summer.

Mr. Courtey, who has lived in the East End year-round for 25 years, said that with the Hamptons moving into a full-time community for many of its residents, there was an urgent need for full-service medical facilities.

He added that during the pandemic, Weill Cornell has learned that a lot of doctors and staff also have homes in the area.

Emile Marton, the organization’s director of design, said the clinic, which fills 4,000 square feet at the highly visible corner of Montauk Highway and Flying Point Highway, was designed to promote the health of patients and staff while honoring the site’s natural elements. And construction in capital planning.

The new practice specializes in primary care – inpatient care and family medicine – and reproductive medicine. Weill Cornell Medicine plans to offer additional specialties as needed, including dermatology and cardiology, according to a foundation representative.

At Kisaki, a Manhattan restaurant that opened at the Watermill location in June 2020, trying an omakase counter can cost about $100 per person or more. But prices vary based on location.

“I’m sure not everyone who lives in Southampton is interested in paying $200 a person to dine out,” said Justin Marques, the restaurant’s director of operations. “Maybe there’s a bit of a push and pull with the locals about what’s reasonable to eat every day.”

The need to adapt is familiar to Team Kisaki. Mr. Marques said the first location in Kisaki, in Manhattan, opened in January 2020 and closed in March — “along with the rest of the city.” Owner and partner chef pivoted, building a successful business. They decided to open a branch of Kisaki in the Hamptons for a number of reasons, including lower rents in the area.

“By June of 2020, there were a lot of homeowners in the Hamptons who were willing to be more flexible about price,” he said.

Kisaki, which also opened “O by Kisaki” in East Hampton in August 2021, is working on its resilience, too.

“In order to be good partners in the local community, we are aggressively reassessing our pricing structure to ensure that we are not only there for the high season and the benefit of the tourists, but are there as a good partner who delivers a quality product all year round,” said Mr. Marques.

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