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Mar 23, 2011 11:57 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Fairway Restaurant Poised For Return To Poxabogue

Mar 23, 2011 11:57 AM

After a one-year absence, Dan Murray and the crew of the 
Fairway Restaurant will be firing up the griddles at the Poxabogue Golf Center again this summer.

The Southampton Town Board agreed on Tuesday to award the lease back to the company owned and operated by Mr. Murray, who ran the Fairway Restaurant for nearly 20 years.

“We’re pleased 
to see Danny Murray back there, he was sorely missed by the community,” Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said at a Town Board meeting on Tuesday.

Before the meeting, Councilman Chris Nuzzi said that East Hampton Town, which co-owns the Poxabogue property, had also given its blessing 
to Mr. Murray’s bid for the lease.

Mr. Nuzzi said that details of the new contract with Tee to Green Inc., Mr. Murray’s company, are still to be worked 
out, but that he hoped the longtime tenant would be able to get the restaurant back in 
shape almost immediately so that it could be open before the summer season gets in full swing.

The return of the lease to Mr. Murray concludes a months-long effort to solicit bids to re-open the restaurant.

Mr. Murray closed the Fairway Restaurant almost exactly one year ago when he couldn’t come to an agreement on a new lease with Ed Wankel, owner of Long Island Golf Management, which contracts with the towns to operate the golf center. In the wake of the contentious battle between the two men, the Town Board took back control of the restaurant lease from Mr. 
Wankel and put out a request for bids for running the restaurant.

Mr. Wankel had signed a lease agreement with a new restaurant last spring, but the would-be tenant backed out after extensive mold discovered in the basement and behind some walls of the restaurant building prevented the restaurant from opening by the start of summer. The town also vetoed portions of the proposed lease that would have had the restaurant stay open for dinner and serve alcohol, something never offered at the site previously.

The town spent some $100,000 to replace the leaking roof of the building and eradicate the mold before putting the restaurant lease out for a public bid. The town received no bids on the lease the first two times it was put out to the public. After dropping a $7,500 per month minimum rent requirement in the initial bid request, the town received bids on the lease from two companies 
earlier this year, Mr. Murray’s and a company led by the former operators of Napeague Stretch, a restaurant in Amagansett.

“This has been a lengthy process,” Mr. Nuzzi said Tuesday. “I’m happy to say we got a suitable proposal and I’m looking forward to getting a contract so that individual can make the upgrades to the facilities necessary and get tables in there and get open early on in the season.”

The towns purchased the 38-acre Poxabogue driving range and 9-hole golf course jointly in 2003 for $6 million to 
save it from being razed to make way for residential development.

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Mr. Nuzzi and EH/SH Town Board members, one would hope that you have learned some expensive lessons here!

Greed poisons.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 22, 11 6:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
PS -- You work for us!

It is hereby requested that you post comments justifying why the resolution of this situation took so long.

Thank you.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 22, 11 6:45 PM
It's about time! Welcome back, Fairway!
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Mar 22, 11 7:26 PM
does he have to reimburse the town for the 100plus grand in mold damage under his watch which taxpayers had to pay for?
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Mar 22, 11 7:48 PM
Personally, who cares about the hundred grand? Measly price to pay, saving something as important as our town's character. Or, what little of it is left thanks to the citdiots, and their faux "wealth".

The land was not developed with monuments to excess, and avarice (HALLELUJAH!), AND the lease monies will help recoup what was invested in the building.

Glass is half full over here.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 22, 11 10:45 PM
HOORAY!!!!!!

I'll have the flapjacks!
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 22, 11 10:39 PM
Now, the same situation in the private sector. Mr. Murray would have to go to planning and get approvals for signs and use. Maybe he would be open by August 2012. The government should never have been involved in this. More taxpayer money wasted.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Mar 23, 11 9:07 AM
Now if we can only get the golf course and the driving range open past 4PM during the off season, and 5PM in season!! What a waste of a facility.
By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on Mar 23, 11 9:56 AM
Lets hope for a Labor Day opening
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Mar 23, 11 12:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Amen! Can't wait to enjoy Dan's great food and hospitality, let's support this fantastic local merchant and make sure this crap never happens again.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Mar 25, 11 8:52 AM