The Surf Lodge, Montauk’s hot summer spot, will be mellowing down a bit this summer with a new ownership group, Montauk Properties L.L.C., it was announced today. The new team will still feature Jayma Cardoso as its day-to-day manager and its public face, but Rob McKinley, Jamie Mulholland, and Steve Kamali, other former owners, are out of the picture, according to Montauk Properties.
Ms. Cardoso sees this as a chance to reassess and reinvigorate Surf Lodge, focusing more on the hotel and dining experience, as opposed to simply being a nighttime destination.
“For me, it’s my baby, I helped build it,” Ms. Cardoso said. “I love Montauk. It is a special place.” It is Ms. Cardoso’s goal to establish strong lines of communication with the community, a vision shared by Michael Walrath, a digital advertising innovator, and the head of Montauk Properties. Mr. Walrath was the founder and C.E.O. of Right Media, before its purchase by Yahoo in 2007.
“I think the original vision [for the Surf Lodge] was to have it be a more mellow place than it became,” Mr. Walrath said Monday. “Our vision is going back to the a much simpler plan.
About the current litigious relationship with East Hampton Town, it is Mr. Walrath’s goal to bridge the gap between the sides. The Surf Lodge is due back in court on May 14 in front of Justice Catherine A. Cahill, who is currently entertaining a motion by the restaurant’s attorney, Thomas Horn, to dismiss many of the town’s nearly 700 zoning citations against it as duplicative and repetitive.
Mr. Walrath said about the litigation, “I think when reasonable people sit down, this is not going too be that hard a problem to solve.”