MONTAUK: Beach House, Bagels, and Biondos’ Lumber

New businesses in Montauk
Jason and Lauren Biondo are the faces of the new Antique Lumber Company on Montauk Highway.

    Another crop of new businesses has opened in Montauk.
    Last Thursday, amid much fanfare, the Montauk Beach House, formerly known as the Ronjo, opened with a cocktail party around the expansive pool area. Local residents, shop owners, and the East Hampton Town supervisor and police chief were among the guests and were treated to champagne and other libations.
    Frances Ecker, Chief Eddie Ecker Jr.’s mother, and Emily Cullen, two longtime Montauk residents, were invited to stay overnight in the recently renovated rooms. Suzee Foster, who handles the public relations for the Beach House, said the two women were chosen because of their “deep knowledge of local history. They have experienced the property in its original heyday,” and last week, they were invited to experience the dawning of its new “heyday for the iconic location representing the best of classic and modern Montauk.”
    When the ribbon cutting started, Supervisor Bill Wilkinson spoke. Mr. Wilkinson had been in hot water with local Democrats who accused him of working to move the project forward regardless of town code. The new owners of the hotel, Chris Jones and Larry Siedlick, bought a portion of a public alley that runs through the hotel property from the town, and the sale became controversial in part because Mr. Wilkinson said he had pulled the price for the alley out of thin air, a comment he later said was a joke. Last Thursday, he said he had no regrets about how he handled the matter. “I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said, adding, “Well, I probably wouldn’t have said [I pulled the price] out of the air.” The crowd laughed.
    When women give birth, the supervisor said, people say they soon forget the pain. “This baby has been delivered today,” he said, pointing out that the Beach House will attract customers who will spend money in the hamlet’s gas stations, delis, local bars, shops, and restaurants.
    Mr. Jones also owns another Montauk boutique hotel, Solé East. The creative director for his new venture with Mr. Siedlick is Walt Linveld, who collaborated on the design and decor with Mr. Jones. The two owners spoke at the opening event, with Mr. Jones thanking staff who helped move the project forward.
    The boutique motel has 33 rooms decorated in soft colors to reflect the sea. Pale cream-colored curtains wave in the breeze on the decks. There are couches and chaises longues around the pool and on the upper decks. Near the pool is a kidney-shape Jacuzzi. Minnie Rose, a shop in the pool area, sells women’s clothing and jewelry. Rooms run from $329 to $645 a night. A club membership, which allows use of the pool and other amenities, costs $1,100 for the season.

Antique Lumber
    Also new in Montauk is the Antique Lumber Company, on Montauk Highway near the I.G.A., owned by Jason Biondo of Hammerhead Construction and Don Disbrow, who owned the Antique Lumber Company in Water Mill, which he has since closed.
    The two men joined forces after working on several jobs together. Mr. Disbrow had moved south to Georgia to open a business there, but when he realized business on the South Fork was booming, he said to Mr. Biondo, “ ‘I have an idea, why don’t we work together?’ ” Mr. Biondo said.
    The antique wood is sourced from areas from Maine to Georgia, Mr. Biondo said this week, sitting in the shop, whose floors and walls are covered in various varieties of wood. The patchwork floor includes squares of hemlock, poplar, maple, oak, Brazilian cherry, and more. The company works with the Mennonite community that collects wood from old barns across the country. “What we don’t have in stock, we can get,” Mr. Biondo said.
    “We wanted people to know we don’t just do floors. We do cabinetry, custom-built furniture, walls, mantels, and cupboards,” said Mr. Biondo. The shop will be open year round, and his wife, Lauren Biondo, will oversee day-to-day operations. “I expect we’ll be even busier after Labor Day,” he said.

Yoga on South Etna
    On South Etna Avenue, a new yoga studio has moved into the spot once occupied by Sangha Yoga. Lila Yoga, owned by Dominique Garstin, has taken over the double space and painted it in cheery colors of turquoise and white, with Buddhas painted on the studio walls. In the shop there is clothing and jewelry. A schedule of classes and times is available at
    And finally for bagel lovers Goldberg’s Bagels opened its doors on Tuesday, also on South Etna Avenue. Paul Wayne, who with his cousin Mark Goldberg owns the business, said that the Montauk location will offer everything that the East Hampton store sells, including egg sandwiches, a full line of deli products, nova salmon, lox, and whitefish spreads, and bakery treats. The shop will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.


$600.00 plus - and the new place is not even on the beach!!!
Does anyone else think it's odd that the police chief's mother gets comped?
No. She is one of Montauk's smartest, nicest and most delightful citizens. Who the hell are you? ben luck