Town Eyes Purchase of Neptune Beach Club/The Drift

Neptune, the Roman God — not to be confused with Neptune, the beach club.

The Southampton Town Board will vote next month on whether a popular Hamptons beach club in East Quogue should be added to the town’s list of properties targeted for preservation, according to Newsday.

The club, known as Neptune Beach Club by day and The Drift Inn by night, has sometimes drawn the ire of its Dune Road neighbors because of noise, traffic and drug arrests. Residents have called on the town to use the Community Preservation Fund to purchase the land and shut the club down. The CPF is funded by a tax on real estate transactions, and the money may be used to purchase and preserve land of environmental importance.

According to a town board resolution, Neptune Beach Club Inc. has expressed an interest in selling to the town.  The land is in Shinnecock Bay Target Preservation Area, the resolution states, and includes undeveloped marshland. “A land of shimmering waters, expansive salt hay meadows and pristine maritime dunes, the area is of paramount importance to birds, especially wintering waterfowl and migratory raptors, songbirds and shorebirds traveling along the Atlantic Flyway,” the town states.

If the town board does decide to go through with targeting the land for preservation, it could be some time before the purchase goes through, if ever. The building could be torn down to let the nature there flourish, or it could be turned over to a public, community-oriented use, like the Tiana Beach Activity Center next door, which was formerly Summers Beach Club.

Drift Inn wrote on Facebook Wednesday afternoon that, despite rumors, the club will be around in 2014. “There have stories about our demise and our business being done for 19 years,” a status update states. “The town was closing us down, too big of a crowd, lost our lease etc etc. The list has always gone on and on. 9 years ago our business burned down and we continued. We have been providing a great time on Dune Rd since 1995. We will continue next May on Memorial Day weekend without a doubt for our 20th season.”

A public hearing was scheduled for October 8 at town hall.

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