I own 2 Hamptons hot spots that have been booked solid for a month. People will do just about anything to snag a table, from flashing cash to pretending they know me.

Provided by Zach Erdem restaurant owner the Hamptons Blu Mar 75 Main
Since reopening in June, restaurant owner Zach Erdem says demand in the Hamptons has skyrocketed.

  • Zach Erdem is the owner of 75 Main and Blu Mar, two hotspot restaurant and bar destinations in Southampton, New York.
  • His restaurants reopened at full capacity on June 1, and have been booked solid ever since.
  • Here’s what it’s like running his restaurants post-pandemic, as told to freelance writer Jenny Powers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Reopening my restaurants felt as if we’d all suddenly been released from a year-long cage, and now everyone is trying to make up for lost time.

The Hamptons are filled with people who aren’t used to hearing ‘no.’ With much fewer restaurants, bars, and clubs than places like Manhattan or Miami, the demand has skyrocketed beyond belief, and people are going to greater lengths to get in and be seen. I’ve never seen anything like it.

On a typical weekend at 75 Main, we serve between 1,200 and 1,400 people a day, and still manage to have a packed bar and a line out the door.

75 Main the Hamptons Zach Erdem crowd
A typical line during the weekend outside of 75 Main.

Reservations are filled weeks in advance for 75 main, and at Blu Mar every weekend all summer is already fully booked. Walk-ins can try their luck and hope for a cancellation – some people wait for over an hour for the chance to score a table.

For the first time ever, I’m telling servers to not even suggest coffee or dessert unless the party specifically requests it. I’ve also instructed servers to drop the check off shortly after the entree comes out on weekends to speed up turnover.

These days everybody claims to know me – women come in and pretend they’re my sister or girlfriend.

Zach Erdem Blu Mar
Erdem says complete strangers claim to know him to try to get into the restaurants.

Strangers come to the door and insist they’ve been coming here forever. Sometimes I’m standing right there, and they don’t even know it’s me because they have no idea what I look like.

I have a code with the staff. If I give them a thumbs up, they can let them in but if I raise two fingers, it’s a no. Let’s just say there’s more raised fingers than thumbs up this season.

One of the more creative ruses to get into Buddha Lounge at Blu Mar happened recently when a guy approached the doorman, showing him a fake text conversation supposedly between me and him along the lines of “Skip the line and tell the doorman I said to let you know in to VIP, no cover charge.”

It worked, but later that night the doorman pointed out my so-called friend and I’d never seen him in my life. I walked up, introduced myself, and said while I was impressed with his resourcefulness and he was free to enjoy his night, he should never come back again.

While making up stories and offering tips to gain entry is nothing new in hospitality, people are taking it to a bold new level this season.

Blu Mar the Hamptons  Zach Erdem
A busy weekend brunch hour at Blu Mar.

People have gone so far as to ask staff for their Venmo handle to send them money, or ask what their favorite store is and then drop off a gift card to curry favor.

I had a gentleman come into 75 Main one weekend and request a table for four for dinner. The dining room was completely packed, so I told him he could wait at the bar for a table to open in an hour or so.

He asked if he bought the most expensive bottle of wine we had, which was $1,500, could I find a way to seat him right away? I wasn’t sure he was serious, but he purchased the wine and no sooner did we uncork the bottle than a table opened up. I cut the line and gave him the table. Everyone was happy.

Flashing cash is just the tip of the iceberg – we have one diner who regularly gives our hostesses vintage jewelry she no longer wears.

Other guests have offered private helicopter rides, jaunts on million-dollar yachts, and even weeklong stays in lavish guest homes.

When it comes to our regulars, I’ll do anything I can to accommodate them. When they get served and I get paid, it’s a win-win. I want to ensure my loyal customers are happy because at the end of the day, we’re planning on sticking around for the long haul.

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A 42-acre estate in the Hamptons is set to sell at a record-breaking price after nearly 4 years on the market

jule pond
The 42-acre Southampton estate has nearly a quarter-mile of private beach.

A 42-acre estate in the Hamptons that was asking $145 million is in contract to sell for a record-breaking price, Jennifer Gould reported for the New York Post.

jule pond
The borders of the property are outlined in white.

Bespoke Real Estate, the brokerage handling the deal, did not disclose a final sale price but said on Facebook that it would be “the highest price achieved for a single property in the Hamptons’ history.”

The identity of the buyer is unknown, but Zach and Cody Vichinsky of Bespoke Real Estate told the Post that the buyer is from an “American real-estate family” that’s not based in New York. The brokerage did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Jule Pond’s current owner is portfolio manager Brenda Earl, who bought the property in 2002.

The Jule Pond estate in Southampton hit the market in August 2017 for $175 million, but after nearly four years and several price chops, it was most recently listed for $145 million.

jule pond estate

The record for the most expensive home sold in the Hamptons is held by hedge-fund billionaire Barry Rosenstein, who bought an East Hampton property for $147 million in 2014. 

Jule Pond would have to sell over its asking price to break that record. But Zach and Cody Vichinsky told the Post that the East Hampton estate was a combination of multiple adjacent properties and that Jule Pond would be the priciest single parcel ever sold.

Either way, Jule Pond would likely be the priciest home ever sold in Southampton. Last year, billionaire Ken Griffin paid $84.4 million for fashion designer Calvin Klein’s modern compound on Southampton’s “Billionaire Lane.”

Jule Pond, which was once part of a larger property called “Fordune,” was originally built for Henry Ford’s grandson.

jule pond

The home was built in 1960, and many of its original architectural details have been maintained.

It boasts a stretch of beach that spans nearly a quarter mile, the largest ocean frontage in the Hamptons, according to the listing.

most expensive home hamptons

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

It also fronts several ponds, including its namesake Jule Pond.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

A stately driveway lined with manicured hedges leads to the main house.

jule pond estate

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

Inside, you’ll see ornate chandeliers and Italian marble fireplaces.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

The main home has 20,000 square feet of living space with 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

Large windows show off panoramic views of the grounds.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

A massive kitchen leaves plenty of space for cooking and entertaining.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

There’s also a library that opens onto a koi pond with a waterfall.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

Hedges surround the 20-foot pool …

jule pond estate

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

… and a path leads down to the beach.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

To the northeast, the property borders a swath of reserved land, which adds another quarter mile of unobstructed views.

jule pond estate

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

In addition to the main house, the estate includes a garage that can hold at least six cars, a greenhouse, a tennis court, a basketball court, and a three-bedroom carriage house.

jule pond estate

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

The pending Jule Pond sale comes as the Hamptons real-estate market has exploded during the pandemic.

jule pond

While the Hamptons have long been home to coveted property, demand has surged over the past year as affluent New Yorkers have left the city for the seaside villages in New York’s Long Island.

As Juliana Kaplan reported for Insider, buyers have been snapping up luxury homes left and right, leading to bidding wars and the median sales price soaring to $8.8 million in the third quarter of 2020.

According to the Real Deal, at least 11 Hamptons homes sold for more than $30 million last year.

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Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle just sold their Hamptons house for $8 million – nearly double what they paid for it in 2019. Look inside the 7-bedroom home.

donald trump jr hamptons house
The Bridgehampton home sits on 3.9 acres in a gated community.

Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, just sold their house in the Hamptons for $8.14 million, a source close to Guilfoyle confirmed to Insider.

donald trump jr hamptons house
Trump and Guilfoyle’s bought the Bridgehampton home almost two years ago.

The couple nearly doubled the return on their investment in the Bridgehampton home, which they purchased for $4.4 million in the summer of 2019.

The home was not publicly listed, according to Page Six, who first reported the deal. James Giugliano and Shawn Egan of Nestseekers brokered the deal, per the Page Six report. The agents didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle, who have been together since at least June 2018, are now looking for a home in Florida as the rest of the Trump family relocates to the Sunshine State, the source close to Guilfoyle said.

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr.
Guilfoyle and Trump Jr. at a Ted Cruz Rally in Texas in October 2018.

In January, virtually the entire Trump family made moves to Florida.

Former president Donald Trump and Melania Trump left Washington, DC hours before Biden’s inauguration and took up residence in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. 

The day before, The Wall Street Journal reported that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner signed a lease for a “large, unfurnished unit” in a Miami Beach condominium building for at least a year. This move came after the couple bought a $32 million lot in December on a high-security private island in Miami that’s known as the “Billionaire Bunker.” 

Page Six reported at the time that Tiffany Trump was also looking for property in Miami. 

Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle’s sale of their Bridgehampton pad comes as the Hamptons real-estate market has boomed during the pandemic.

donald trump jr hamptons house

The exclusive strip of villages on New York’s Long Island has seen bidding wars and homes flying off the market at record prices, Insider’s Juliana Kaplan recently reported.

The 9,200-square-foot Bridgehampton home sits on nearly four acres in a private gated community, according to a former listing.

donald trump jr hamptons house

The living room features a fireplace and high ceilings.

A formal dining room seats at least eight people.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

Another dining area is just off the kitchen.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

The spacious, farmhouse-style kitchen is divided by a large island.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

The kitchen leads out to a screened patio overlooking the pool.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

The home’s master suite has its own sitting area and private deck.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

There are six other bedrooms in addition to the master suite.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

And they each come with an en-suite bathroom.

donald trump jr hamptons house

In total, the home has 10.5 full bathrooms and one half-bathroom.

The listing photos show multiple sitting areas throughout the house.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

A game room with a billiards table opens up to one of the decks.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

The house is minutes from the beach and includes large mahogany and stone patios, a heated pool and spa with a waterfall, and waterfront access to a 25-acre pond.

donald trump jr hamptons house
The Bridgehampton home sits on 3.9 acres in a gated community.

Source: Corcoran

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