Montauk is located at the easternmost tip of Long Island’s South Fork. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the south and Block Island Sound on the north, Montauk is a mecca for surfers, fishermen, tourists, and locals alike. Popularly called “The End,” Montauk is an ever-changing landscape and seascape of stunning cliffs, pounding waves, and brilliant skies, forming a scenic portrait of endless splendor. It is also a town in flux as each year new folks influence the “vibe” of the many shops, restaurants, and special events going on in this legendary place. Here are some interesting spots to check out next time you’re in “The End.”
The Montauk Salt Cave located at 552 West Lake Drive, owned by Shannon Coppola, opened in August 2015. Created with her husband Peter, they were inspired by their young son Oliver’s respiratory condition. Salt therapy is a natural way of healing many different ailments, including asthma and COPD. Known as Speleo Therapy, salt gets absorbed through the skin and nasal passages into the body. The “cave,” is made of 8 tons of salt containing 84 trace minerals plus magnesium from Himalayan pink salt boulders imported from Pakistan. The antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial salt is pumped into the climate-controlled “cave” where you sit covered under a blanket in one of ten zero gravity chairs for 45 minutes, meditating to music featuring the sound of crashing waves, barefoot on the salt-laden floor while focusing on your breathing. Yoga classes, Sound Therapy and Sound Baths are also offered. Shannon says, “We love helping people day in and day out. Aside from being a mother it is super rewarding to help the community.” She opened a second Salt Cave in Huntington last year and is currently building a third one in New York City. Open year-round.
NIBI-MTK located at 21 Oceanview Terrace at The Atlantic Terrace opened in the spring of 2015 by owner and fashion designer Kristin Sheeler. Her passion to empower women is found in her one-of-a-kind aesthetically and comfortably designed women’s clothing. In a style called “boho-chic,” she is a trendsetter, staying ahead of the curve in her cool design of unique, women’s summer clothing, such as kimonos, cover-ups, bathing suits, embroidered bags, “tassels,” necklaces, and pompoms featuring the surf culture in Montauk. She supports and carries local brands as well as her own designs. The name NIBI means water in Algonquin, the language of the Native American tribe the Montauketts, who first inhabited Montauk. Kristin says, “Her eclectic boutique is a hidden treasure, worth finding off the beaten path in Montauk.” She just opened a second shop this spring at Sole East at 90 Second House Road in Montauk. Open Seasonally May through October.
Arbor, located at 240 Fort Pond Road, opened in the spring of 2016. Owned by Marc Rowan, billionaire co-founder of Apollo Global Management, whose new hospitality group, Montauk Asset Holdings (MAH) just opened Lulu Kitchen & Bar in Sag Harbor this spring, and Duryea’s Lobster Deck in Montauk in 2014. Arbor features Mediterranean-American cuisine prepared by Executive Chef/General Manager, Pierre Sudre offering delicious seafood, mussels, burgers, and pizzas using locally sourced ingredients. Their ambiance is casual, chic, and elegant. They have a main dining room and an outdoor dining area surrounded by gardens. They also feature a wine cellar display. This summer they will include an outdoor bar in consultation with The Garret Bar in New York City, featuring their signature cocktails. Managing Director, Steven Jauffrineau says, “At Arbor we encourage conviviality. Gather friends and order some of our shared plates such as the crudites board, the cheese and charcuterie board or the croquetas, all are perfect to enjoy over drinks at our new outdoor bar.” Open Seasonally May through September-October.
The Atlantic Terrace Eatery, aka, “A.T.Eatery” located at 21 Oceanview Terrace reopened this May with a whole new concept. It is a beachfront eatery featuring take-out, catering, and family style outside dining. Offering a unique menu of classic dishes with a twist and to the more sophisticated plates using only the freshest local ingredients. The Chef Robert Prado is a sixth generation native of Montauk. His grandfather worked alongside Carl Fisher three generations ago. He grew up surfing the shore break of the Atlantic Terrace. But his true passion was cooking. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, he honed his craft working in fine restaurants across the country. Now back on his home turf, Robert is happy to work where he used to surf and invites everyone to, “Come join us in chic beachside dining.” Open seasonally from May through Mid-October.
The Saltbox Restaurant & Bar owned by Managing Partner Jon Krasner and run by General Manager Wayne Connolly, opened in 2015. Located at 99 Carl Fisher Plaza, the eatery features casual American dining including hamburgers, lobster rolls, fish tacos, and mussels prepared by Chef Nadia Ovalles. All the seafood is local. Serving lunch and dinner weekdays, and brunch and dinner on the weekends. The décor is beachy chic with surfing posters by award-winning illustrator and print artist Alison Seiffer adorning the walls, one of which was the poster for the 16th Annual Rell Sunn Benefit Surf Contest at Ditch Plains in 2014. Live music is played mostly every night, featuring local musicians Paul Gene, JJ Sansavarino, The Sturdy Souls, Little Sister, and many others. Wayne says, “We’re happy that everyone seems pleased with the environment, music, and especially the food. It’s in keeping with the Montauk local vibe.” Open year-round.
The Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation (MPCCF) at 240 Edgemere Street, established in 1999 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will host the 12th Annual Gala for the Playhouse, Celebrating the Art of Surfing on August 5th. The Gala, headlined by Donavon Frankenreiter, will feature a festive cocktail hour, seated dinner, musical performance, and live and silent auctions. The Foundation is honoring local artists and activists who have captured the spirit of the famed surf town through their various works including, Tony Caramanico, legendary local surfer and artist; James Katsipis, renowned surf photographer; Evelyn O’Doherty, community activist and surf instructor; and Peter Spacek, cartoonist, artist, and surfer. A special tribute to beloved journalist, author, and surfer Rusty Drumm will also be held. Susan Henkin, Executive Director of the MPCCF, says, “This year, the Gala will support the fundraising efforts of the MPCCF in its mission to construct a Cultural Arts and Aquatic Center at the Playhouse.”
Montauk, known as one of the top surfing spots on the East Coast is a legendary beach town whose surf and fishing culture is woven into the many shops, restaurants, and events that make up its fabric. From the sounds of the ocean in a “salt cave” to the local seafood on the menu, from surf motifs in stylish clothing to cool surfing posters in local eateries, the iconic surfer lifestyle is ever-present in this laidback dreamy beach town.