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Oct 27, 2010 12:36 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Kara's In Westhampton Beach To Close

Oct 27, 2010 12:36 PM

Kara’s Sports Pub, an 18-year-old staple in Westhampton Beach, will close its doors at the end of October, owner Brian McCreedy announced recently.

Mr. McCreedy said he would not be renewing his lease for the Mill Road bar due to a rent hike. Sunday, October 31—the day his current five-year lease expires—will be his last day of business, he said. He declined to say by how much his rent would have increased.

“Nothing we can do,” said Mr. McCreedy, who owns the bar with his wife, Jeanette. “Some customers are very upset.”

Landlord Susan Von Freddi of Village Real Estate of the Hamptons also declined to divulge rent numbers.

“He’s had a very, very, very low rent for a very, very, very long time, and my taxes went up, so things happen,” she said. Later, Ms. Von Freddi added, “Brian and his wife have been wonderful tenants, I appreciate all that they’ve done over the years that they’ve been there.”

Ms. Von Freddi, who also owns the neighboring storefront inhabited by Bun & Burger restaurant, said the rent increase was not dramatic, and speculated that the dwindling economy was at the heart of the closure.

“They let me know last July that they were not going to renew their lease,” she said of the McCreedys. “The economy has really hurt a lot of the local Westhampton Beach businesses.”

Bun & Burger will not be closing, she added.

One evening last week, the bar was packed with longtime patrons who came to say their good-byes. They remembered it as a place that opened early—often as early as 10 a.m.—and where locals could come and have a drink to unwind after a long workday, and maybe play a game of shuffleboard.

“I would say [Westhampton Beach] is going to be losing a place for locals to be able to come to and relax,” said Polly Butler of Westhampton Beach, who worked at Kara’s briefly as a bartender when it first opened and has been a regular ever since.

“They just ran a good place and it’s just a shame that it’s happening,” said Billy Thorne of Westhampton Beach, who said he has been a patron for 18 years.

Ms. Von Freddi said she does not yet have a new tenant to replace Kara’s, but said a restaurant or bakery would be a good fit at the location.

“I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do,” she said. “I’m going to clean it up. It needs a little sprucing up, and then hopefully I’ll find a new tenant with a new business that hopefully the economy hasn’t hurt.”

Kara’s is the latest in a wave of local businesses closing in recent weeks. Saks Fifth Avenue in Southampton and Citarella in Water Mill both closed this month, and Johnny Chih’s Restaurant in Westhampton Beach shut its doors last month.

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Susan Von Freddi, Billy Thorne & Polly Butler ...now that's a who's who demographic cross-section of the area!

RIP Kara's, you guys will be missed! Lots of memories inside the bar and out in the parking lot ;-)
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Oct 27, 10 6:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
Judging by what the meat market next door charges for its' meat I'm sure there will be a hefty rent increase to any new tenant.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Nov 1, 10 6:51 PM
Good luck to Brian & jeanette. About time you two retired. It's been a hoot....Thanks for the memories...
By unclemilt (57), southampton on Nov 4, 10 12:03 AM
wow, what a bummer. I've been going there for decades. My son and daughter both worked at Bun & Burger while in high school, so I had plenty excuse to grab a beer at Kara's. An old-fashioned jukebox (no internet) and a shuffleboard were my kind of ambiance. A shot of Jack, please.
By loading... (601), quiogue on Nov 6, 10 8:53 PM
ok, ok.... so it's been 1.8 decades
my bad
By loading... (601), quiogue on Nov 7, 10 9:31 AM