“Everyone needs to work together,” Jonathan Krasner, the managing partner at Hero Beach told The Independent last week. “I believe the planning board members are good people,” he said. Krasner and his partners have been in site-plan review before the board for over two years. The plan they are seeking approval for includes a planned 16-seat restaurant and a bar that the town says has already been installed, and, while it lacks stools, is in use. Krasner denies that a bar has been built without the needed town permits.
However, the restaurant is not what Krasner originally envisioned. He wanted a deli-style grab and go counter for his clientele, he said. However, after he and his partners purchased the property, the East Hampton Town Board changed the zoning code, forcing Krasner to shift his focus to obtain a permit for a small restaurant to serve his customers, Krasner said.
He and his partners want to offer customers a family-oriented establishment, and do not want to become a nighttime hotspot on the Montauk summer scene. Married with three children, Krasner bought a house in Montauk about five years ago, he said.
Though Hero Beach has not obtained the permits from the town needed for the restaurant, it did get a license from the State Liquor Authority, which allows Hero Beach to serve up to 499 customers at a time. Krasner said he needs to be able to do a handful of weddings or so a year. Those events usually come in at 100 to 125 customers onsite, he said. Krasner also said he would be happy to cap the total number that can be served alcohol on site to 200, a 60 percent reduction from what the SLA allows.
The money to be made at Hero Beach, Krasner said, is from the upscale rooms, not the bar scene. “Nobody wants to throw a mega party,” he said. But the additional income from a wedding or a sweet 16 party can be a difference maker for such a resort.
Krasner and his group spent $9.6 million on the property and have put in another $3 million in renovations. Before going further, Krasner said, he needs to be assured that the additional money put into the project will not be good money thrown after bad. As an example, Krasner wants to put in a state-of-the-art septic system. This could cost between $300,000 and $400,000.
Parking has also been a planning board concern. Recently, Krasner’s team pulled down signs that indicated that public spaces on the western side of the property were for private parking only, though three signs were put up that state “Private property, no trespassing.” He’s willing to sacrifice some of the back open area to help satisfy the parking requirements. “We are willing to sit down and come up with a plan that works for the town and works for us,” he said.