Hula Hut Jumps Through Hoops

    An application for the Hula Hut, a new bar on the horizon at the Montauk Marine Basin on West Lake Drive, was set in motion at the East Hampton Town Planning Board meeting on June 15.
    Proposed by Linda Calvo, the Hula Hut is to be in a 224-square-foot converted office trailer. It would have eight or nine bar stools, a railing where people could set their drinks, benches, and three picnic tables.
    The Marine Basin’s owners will need two special permits — one to have a tavern or bar at the marina and another for a multiple-business complex, because they are proposing a third use on the property. They also need a natural resources permit because the proposed bar is within 150 feet of Lake Montauk.
    In a previous application, the planning board recommended that Ms. Calvo move the trailer and a proposed deck closer to the existing bathrooms and farther away from the lake to avoid needing a variance. For this revision, Ms. Calvo complied with the planning board’s request and chose to eliminate the deck. “We needed a handicap ramp. No deck, no ramp. Therefore, I can save myself considerable money,” said Ms. Calvo.
    The planning board is waiting on a modified site plan without the deck. This one will also detail the area where people will stand at the bar, parking, and lighting.
 “At this point, the applicant is handling the wrap-up elements,” said Eric Schantz, a town planner.
    The fact that there are 208 parking spaces at the marina helped to appease the planning board’s concerns that this bar, if it were to become popular, would not have enough parking to accommodate its patrons.
    Planning board members worried that the Hula Hut could become the next Cyril’s, a popular bar on the Napeague stretch where legions of bargoers spill out into the parking area on busy summer afternoons.
    The board was also concerned about noise.
    Ms. Calvo assured the planning board that she did not want to be at the bar all hours of the night, “I plan to close at 9 during the week, 10 or 11 on weekends,” she said.
    However, once a permit is issued, as Eileen Roaman Catalano, a board member pointed out, owners tend to do whatever they want. “It is not what you tell us, it is whatever could happen,” she said.
    Ms. Calvo said that many marina users have kept their boats at the Montauk Marine Basin for 30 years. “It is a totally different entity than the Surf Lodge. The owners of the marina do not want there to be something like that,” she said.
    Initially, Ms. Calvo plans to serve pre-made sandwiches, and eventually, she would like to have steamed fish and vegetables on the menu, but to do that, she would first need approval from the Suffolk County Health Department.
    The East Hampton Town Architecural Review Board will review the Hula Hut application tonight at 7 p.m. Ms. Calvo will also need approval from the town’s zoning board of appeals. A public hearing on her planning board application will be scheduled in the next few weeks.