The efforts of the owner and management team at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett to create a safe venue for local musicians to entertain and get paid for their artistry during the COVID-19 pandemic has been put on hold by the New York State Liquor Authority. In recent days, the SLA has put in place a series of guidelines that specifically prohibit establishments from hiring musicians for anything other than incidental background music.
“We had to cancel all the shows yesterday,” Peter Honerkamp, the owner, said by phone Thursday. The SLA action seemingly came out of the blue, he said. He and his team had transformed the iconic Talkhouse to conform with the reality of living through a pandemic, while still providing entertainment.