Murf's in Sag Harbor Hits the Market

Jay Hamel, who has owned Murf's Backstreet Tavern since 2007, has put the Division Street bar on the market after some serious problems with the New York State Liquor Authority. Jamie Bufalino

Murf's Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor is on the market for $3.5 million, according to Lee Minetree, a broker at Saunders and Associates. Jay Hamel's decision to sell comes during a summer in which the bar has incurred a series of civil penalties from the New York State Liquor Authority, including the most recent charge of being a "disorderly premise."

Earlier this summer, Mr. Hamel pleaded "no contest" to charges from the liquor authority, which cited the bar as a source of noise and nuisance, a focal point for police attention, and a disorderly premise at which the owner and manager are not supervising the crowd or how much the bartender is serving, said Jade Kraft, an information specialist for the agency. Mr. Hamel, who has owned Murf's since 2007 and is the licensee, was required to pay $10,000 in fines and had restrictions placed on his liquor license. As a result, the bar was forced to close at 2 a.m., two hours earlier than usual.

On July 31, Murf's gained police attention once again, following a report that a patron had been punched in the face while on the bar's back patio. The police were unable to locate the perpetrator, but while investigating the assault, they found two men wrestling on the sidewalk. One was a bartender, and the other was an intoxicated customer, who had been asked to leave for stealing other people's drinks. Although no charges were filed, the police notified the liquor authority of the incidents.

Based on those police reports, the agency issued another disorderly premise charge. On Aug. 2, the liquor authority sent a "notice of pleading" to Mr. Hamel, which required him to respond either "not guilty" or "no contest" to the charge by Aug. 15. The letter states that the maximum penalty for a no contest plea may include a civil penalty and the revocation of the liquor license for up to two years.

Mr. Hamel did not respond to requests for comment, but Robert Deery, a bartender, said on Thursday that he expected business at Murf's to continue as usual.