Summer in the Hamptons is going to be hot, hot, hot

Every year at this time, big money flows from New York City to the Hamptons. Wall Streeters trade in their bespoke suits for Orlebar Brown swim shorts and linen shirts and head to the land of high hedges, exclusive clubs, VIP parties and good, old-fashioned barbecues. It's the summer sprint that starts at Memorial Day weekend and runs all the way to the finish line of Labor Day.

And this year got off to a blazing fast start.

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The social circuit was as prospering as ever over Memorial Day weekend. There were plenty of new restaurants and clubs, crashing waves, art auctions and new fashion and beauty shops all over the East End.

I checked in with Wall Street professionals, Hampton business owners and local residents to get the highlights and lowlights. It was a perfect opening weekend: The weather was sunny and business was sizzling.

We'll take the chopper

Helicopter operator Blade said weekend flights to Quogue, Southampton, East Hampton and Montauk were sold out.

Blade helicopter
Source: Blade

"It was great," said Brad, a 20-year trading veteran. "It's an Uber-like helicopter app. They have a new terminal on Wall Street. It's perfect. And it was catered by Dean and DeLuca."

The short flight from the city to the Hamptons is only about 35 minutes. Seats start at $495 one-way per person to the Hamptons. The Italian-made Agusta is the fastest helicopter to the Hamptons and seats are $1,250 one-way.

Doug, a hedge-fund trader, said he drove his own car out to the Hamptons but then used the Driver on Tap app to have someone drive him home from the bars.

"They dispatch a designated driver to get us back home in our own vehicle," Doug said. "It's the best $50 I've ever spent."

Make mine a cucumber gimlet

The party scene was hopping over the weekend. Lines were out the doors and establishments were as crowded as ever. Many believed it was bigger and better than last year.

"We were up 30 percent year over year. We sold more lobster bakes than ever before." -Neil Hanrahan, owner of Sherin's Seafood Market, about business on Memorial Day weekend

LDV Hospitality kicked off their second year running the restaurant and nightlife scene at Gurney's Resort and Seawater Spa in Montauk over Memorial Day weekend with a summer kick-off bash co-hosted by Esquire. Guests enjoyed libations and bites from the Regent Cocktail Club and Firepit (we heard that Rosé was the unsurprising drink of choice this weekend, and cucumber gimlets were flying out the door) as well as a soundtrack by DJ Nicole Leone and a surprise set by Stretch Armstrong. Spotted were NBA star (and former Mr. Kim Kardashian) Kris Humphries, along with a few Victoria's Secret models, EJ Johnson from "Rich Kids of Beverly Hills" (NBA star Magic Johnson's son) and Ryan Serhant from "Million-Dollar Listing."

"The Sloppy Tuna was charging $40 just to get in," said Steve, an equity-sales trader. "But once we got inside it was as good as ever."

And, to many a brah's disappointment, Cyril's Fish House on Napeague wasn't open.

"It was a sad day," Teddy a research analyst said. "We have been going there for years. I can't believe it's closed. It's a cruel world we live in."

Considered to be one of the South Fork's most famous bars, it was packed for 34 years. But apparently, they lost a battle with the town over numerous building code violations.

Jue Lan Club opened to rave reviews from Wall Streeters this weekend. The clubby Chinese restaurant opened a 6,000-square-foot evening spot in Southampton.

"The DJ was great and the kitchen stayed open until closing," said Nick, an equity-sales trader. "We stayed there until 4 a.m."

A huge sigh of relief was given to the Westhampton crowd as Best Market, the only real grocery store in town opened just in time for the big weekend.

Sherin's Seafood Market had another fantastic opening. It's a family-owned seafood restaurant and market, serving fresh fish, lobsters, and shellfish.

"We were up 30 percent year over year," said owner Neil Hanrahan, a former Westhampton police officer. "We sold more lobster bakes than ever before."

Arguably the best ice cream in the Hamptons is Joe & Liza's. And they were scooping all weekend long.

"We had a fantastic weekend," Liza said. "And we have a new concession at the Amagansett Farmer's Market. "We were jamming all three days."


If you head out to the Hamptons, it's OK to party — just keep it down. The town of Montauk enforced existing noise codes over the weekend.

"We got like three noise complaints," said Nancy, a hedge-fund analyst who stayed in Montauk. "It totally sucked."

Town officials are trying to tone down some of the boisterousness that has taken over the once-sleepy fishing village. By midday Sunday, there were over 300 calls to East Hampton police, with a third of those coming from Montauk, according to Police Chief Michael Sarlo.

Hipsta Hamptons

If you thought all the hipsters were in Brooklyn, think again. They were also spotted in the Hamptons over the holiday weekend.

A gang of eight were in Sag Harbor discussing and debating for fifteen minutes which type of eggs they should buy.

One of my Wall Street moles was able to capture the rare and elusive sandal and sock combo in the Hamptons.

Hipster chic spotted in the Hamptons
Source: David Seinger
Hipster chic spotted in the Hamptons

Wall Streeters, who are no strangers to thousand-dollar shoes, may not have been impressed with such a display, but that won't stop them from hitting the Hamptons hard this summer.

"Now we have our blueprint for the weekend," Brad said. "So now is the time to perfect it. Are you going to be out there at all this summer? If so give me a call. We'll do it up nice."

Sure thing, Brad. Are you booking the chopper or am I?

Commentary by Turney Duff, a former trader at the hedge fund Galleon Group. Duff chronicled the spectacular rise and fall of his career on Wall Street in the book, "The Buy Side." Catch him on CNBC's "Filthy Rich Guide." He's also a consultant on the Showtime show, "Billions," starring Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti. Follow him on Twitter @turneyduff.

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