Day of Reckoning

Another month, another delay for the Surf Lodge. The Montauk nightspot, filled in season by crowds of revelers drawn east by its hipper-than-thou allure, is supposed to answer in East Hampton Town Justice Court to some 640 citations of code violations dating from the summer. But its day of reckoning has been put off until the end of January, and probably beyond that, if the trend continues.
    In some ways, the Surf Lodge seems a victim of its own success. No one, probably not even its owner, Jayma Cardoso, could have anticipated just how popular it would become. It is worth noting that the nightclub Ms. Cardoso took over is on a residentially zoned parcel where such businesses are no longer allowed unless they predate zoning, which hers does.
    We have heard from several Montauk residents who are worried that the ongoing delay will benefit the Surf Lodge in the form of reduced fines or stalling until a deal can be struck allowing certain variances from the code, perhaps retroactively. A back-room arrangement is not outside the realm of possibility considering that the town board at one point was ready to give the bar and restaurant the use of nearby, town-owned land for parking and that some town officials have inexplicably seemed sympathetic to a place many view as troublesome. Any further holdup is unacceptable.