Follow us

Springs Time to Shine

The historic hamlet is seeing a boom in popularity with rising property values and new restaurants on the scene.

There’s nothing like a couple of buzzy new restaurants to shine a spotlight on an area. That and attractive real estate prices.

 Located in the town of East Hampton, Springs is a small 9.2 square mile hamlet jutting out into Gardiner’s Bay. It’s accessed by Springs Fireplace Road and Three Mile Harbor/Hog Creek Road.

It started heating up last season with the opening of Rita Cantina and  300-seat SiSi Mediterranean Bistro in the relaunched EHP Resort & Marina (formerly known as East Hampton Point). The boutique property offers four suites, 13 one- and two-bedroom cottages, tennis court, pool and a full-service marina which accommodates boats from 25 to 120 feet across 58 slips. Dedicated slips provide “accessibility for those traveling to the resort by yacht,” notes the press release. Harbor Bistro was also purchased by the new EHP owner Heath Freeman and relaunched as Sunset Bistro in June. Stalwart Bostwick’s on the Harbor offers spectacular sunsets along with the cocktails and cuisine by Dane Sayles, formerly chef/owner of the old Harbor Bistro.

El TurcoMezze Selection

On July 4th weekend, a sibling of Miami’s Michelin Bib Gourmand awarded El Turco added some culinary fireworks to the dining landscape with its authentic regional Turkish cuisine prepared by chef Yilmaz G., an alum of the Mandarin Oriental in Bodrum, Turkey. It replaced the former nightlife venue on Three Mile Harbor Road.

EHP Resort & Marina

“Everything else got overpriced a long time ago.  Springs was only the place you could get anything for under $1 million,” says Rita Cantina chef/owner Eric Miller. “Springs is heating up now and houses are selling way higher than before.”  Values have risen about 15 percent  over the last couple years, but there’s still more bang for your buck. I’ve seen this uptick in sale prices on my own street plus a  house twice the size and over twice the price built on a lot that was vacant forever.

“Rising property values coupled by a lack of inventory and increasing demand have created a new opportunity in the area for higher end development,” says realtor James Payton of the Corcoran Group. “My clients, developers Al and Mary Gianquinto of Plum Builders always seem to be at the forefront of these re-transitioning areas and their properties play out to be solid investments over time. And great news! Their first Modern Barn © comes to Springs.” The price tag $3,495.000.

It’s not like Springs was unknown before but fashions change from year to year. It was the abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollack, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, who first put the area on the map  starting in the 1940s. The art scene suffered a fatal blow when an over-served Pollack crashed his car into a tree on Springs Fireplace Road in 1956. Today the Pollack-Krasner House and Study Center is a small museum.

The next wave of attention came from celebrity chef  “The 60-Minute Gourmet” Pierre Franey  ( and New York Times journalist Craig Claiborne who cooked up a storm at their homes in Springs putting their imprimatur on a number of visiting up and coming chefs, welcoming celebrity chefs, and producing influential columns and cookbooks. They collaborated on the “grandest picnic of all time” on Gardiner’s Island in 1965 and took part in a gastronomic extravaganza with some of the most famous chefs of the time celebrating the artists of Springs at Ashawagh Hall in 1970.

Now a younger fashion crowd is often filling many of the restaurant seats although Miller is adamant that there is room for everyone. “We have a bilingual staff, and everyone feels welcome from the landscapers to the richest of the rich. Late nights we have a big influx of the Latin community. My mom taught me to be egalitarian,” he says.

SiSi has a more upscale vibe with higher menu prices and a docking ability that allows  customers to “arrive by yacht.”

SiSi Mediterranean Bistro

The area is flanked on either side by a number of bay beaches with gentle waves particularly suitable for younger children. Hopefully kayaks will still be for rent when a higher end outfit replaces the Springs General Store now ending its final season. There are nature preserves and hiking trails. Ocean beaches are about five miles away.

It’s also only five miles or so away from the village of East Hampton with its movie theater, art galleries, shopping, and a number of quality restaurants such as Nick & Toni’s, East Hampton Grill, Rowdy Hall and more.  What’s not to like?

Beverly Stephen is a freelance travel, food, and lifestyle writer and co-owner of the culinary travel company Flavor Forays.