Southampton restaurateurs pay the price after Chainsmokers concert

It’s been two weeks since a botched charity concert with The Chainsmokers drew the wrath of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and troubled Southampton restaurants say they’re still paying the price.

Eatery owners in the posse beach town say they have had fourth visits since July 27 from a variety of state and local officials since July 2, when Cuomo tracked down the wealthy Hamptonites who fell between $ 1,250 and $ 25,000 to watching the concert of their cars only to form a mosh pit – and then posting the proof on social media.

And while restaurateurs insist they understand the control and even support it, they also worry that it will make the already challenging job of running a business during COVID-19 even harder.

“The Chainsmokers concert was a black sign against the Hamptons. Responsible restaurant owners are really pissed off, “said restaurant consultant Don Evans, who says local officials signed the plug for a permit for another drive-in event shortly after the Chainsmokers concert earlier this month.

For Evans, it has meant scaling up – once again – at its annual Southampton food festival, Dan’s Taste of Summer. The event, which normally draws thousands of people over multiple days, had already been extended to just 500 tickets to five different events.

But with the Chainsmokers scandal still fluttering through the air, Evans has decided to reduce the number of cards per event to just 50 out of an abundance of caution, he told Side Dish. “We are still working on the new details, which will be announced shortly,” he said.

Zach Erdem of 75 Main, also in Southampton, says he was forced to reduce his open footprint from about 50 tables to 12 thanks to a blowback over the concert organized by luxury services provider In The Know Experiences and production company Invisible Noise.

Although Erdem’s celebrity hotspot only had room for about 12 tables from a social distance outside, he had placed extra tables outside his neighbors’ stores with their permission since dining outside was OK, he said. Inspectors have now rejected it.

Erdem also pulled the plug on belly dancers and DJs he had hired to make Southampton’s Main Street in “Mykonos in the Hamptons” for fear that too many people who were not even customers could get too close to each other to to view the performances.

“F – k the chain makers. They ruined it for everyone, ”said Erdem. ‘I went from 50 tables to 12. They kill us. The concert was such a stupid idea. You can not make people drink and then expect them not to be together. People went crazy. They devastated the whole city. Now state inspectors are here every day, even twice a day, all because of The Chainsmokers. ”

Ian Duke, who co-owns Union Steak & Sushi with Union Burger Bar and the Southampton Social Club, says he has experienced regular visits from health inspectors, state liquor officials, state troops and local police. Sometimes they come in separately and sometimes together. The inspections can take from a few minutes to half an hour.

“I think I’ve been visited by inspectors more than anyone else, and we go through with flying colors every time. I think we’ll really get it, ‘said Duke. ‘Ultimately, New York is the safest state in the country and that’s why. The security steps give us a chance to be here next year. We are satisfied because it will make us all live longer. It would be great if everyone followed the rules and we get rid of this thing, but that is obviously not the case. “