Is the Hamptons Party Moving to Springs?


Rita Cantina, a festive Mexican restaurant in the Hamptons, has been getting a lot of attention since opening this summer.

On a recent Wednesday night Hannah Bronfman and Brendan Fallis were seated in one corner, enjoying items like margaritas and littleneck clams. At the bar, spirited diners in fedoras and crop tops slammed back tequila and danced to Bad Bunny.

Adam Miller, 32, one of the owners, ran around taking drink orders. “If people are there, we will stay open all night,” he said.

The scene may feel familiar in other parts of the Hamptons, but it’s foreign to Springs, a quiet bay-front hamlet just north of East Hampton Village with modest, single-family homes and dense forests. There is no major highway, just windy two-lane roads. The Financial Times once called it “the Hamptons without socialites and celebrities.”

Since buying there, they have been joined by a dozen other friends. “Most weekends we never leave the neighborhood,” Mr. Mastubara said. “We host cocktail parties one weekend, and the next weekend someone else hosts. We all just skip around.”

During the Fourth of July weekend, the couple hosted a party for a hundred people that included marketing executives for Chanel and Alexander McQueen, interior designers, photographers and artists. Despite the rain, guests showed up in floral shirts and spent the day sipping champagne and frolicking in the pool. “Two years ago, not as many would have come because we live in Springs,” Mr. Mastubara said.

The rental market is heating up, too. Lia Bartha, 37, a fitness entrepreneur, and her husband, Justin Bartha, 43, an actor who starred in “The Hangover,” rented a two-story house on Kings Point Road this summer. “It was a smaller, cozy house, but it had a beautiful outdoor space with this pool that had a vintage, ’70s feel,” Ms. Bartha said. “There was no foot traffic or cars going by. The only noise I heard were birds chirping.”

“We love how it has an upstate feel with nature and peace and quiet, so it feels like an actual vacation,” Ms. Bartha added. “It’s also far enough from the Hamptons scene so we can go in and out of it if we want to.”

The influx of New Yorkers, especially those who moved here full-time during the pandemic, has also added to the stresses. “Usually you have downtime in the winter to prep and reboot and get ready for the upcoming season, but this year there was no break,” Ms. Hood said. “Other business owners are saying the same thing.”

Eric Miller, the chef and co-owner of Rita Cantina, expressed a similar sentiment. “We are a 65-seat restaurant, and we have 185 reservations on a Wednesday night,” he said. “It’s like that every day. I’m a little shocked. We have to figure out how to keep up.”



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