Tag Archive | "Bay Burger"

The Oyster Club Comes to Sag Harbor

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When summer wanes and the winter chill sets in, Bay Burger proprietor Joe Tremblay always finds he has more time on his hands. Instead of spending these months unwinding, though, Tremblay can be found researching eco-friendly septic tanks, participating in 725 GREEN meetings or visiting up-island waste management sites.
Now, with help from the Cornell Cooperative’s Southold Project on Aquaculture Training (SPAT), Tremblay is starting an Oyster Club for waterfront property owners on Sag Harbor Cove in the hopes of helping them farm their own oysters. The club isn’t solely focused on the culinary aspect of raising and feasting upon this shellfish delicacy. Tremblay hopes the group will change residents’ attitudes toward the Peconic Estuary.
“I think this is a great way to engage waterfront property owners in the water that they live on,” opined Tremblay. “The water is degraded because everyone is polluting it just a little bit, so we can only fix the problem by having everyone work on it.”
“If I can get the majority of waterfront homeowners ‘tending a garden’ in the cove or eating seafood from the cove, then it’s in their own personal best interest to care about how they and their neighbors might negatively impact the cove,” added Tremblay.
East End waters are subject to a host of environmental problems, said Tremblay, including the recent brown tides. Everything from lawn pesticides to storm water runoff can harm the delicate ecosystem of the cove. Tremblay says these problems may be to blame for the water’s murky quality in the summer and a substantial loss of eelgrass, which shellfish like scallops depend on for their survival.
Will Kirchoff, who attended the club’s introductory meeting at Bay Burger on Sunday, May 3, noted that water quality has drastically declined since his youth.
“I remember as a kid coming out here and the water was crystal clear. You could see eight feet down, even in the summer,” Kirchoff remembers. “We need to try and bring the harbor back … a lot of people are taking this beauty for granted but we can’t just take, take, take.”
Revitalizing the oyster population is one piece, albeit an important one, in the puzzle of clarifying the cove’s waters. Because oysters are filter feeders, they often digest pollutants and thus help purify the water. Kim Tetrault, who runs the Southold Cooperative, told Tremblay that all the water in the Chesapeake Bay was filtered through the guts of oysters at least once a day when the estuary was at its peak, but it now takes almost 135 days for the water to be fully filtered. The depopulation of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, as well as in Sag Harbor Cove, can be attributed in part to over harvesting. Tremblay said sightings of wild oysters in the cove today is a rarity akin to spotting a whale from the beach.
With the support of the Oyster Club’s 22 members, Tremblay hopes to reverse this trend. Each member will receive 1,000 seed oysters. The gear, mainly consisting of a cage to house the oysters, the necessary training and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permits are all included in the annual dues: $250 for the first year and $150 each additional year.
These oyster-growing accoutrements are all provided by SPAT, though Tremblay has offered to make a run up to Southold and pick up gear and oyster seeds for everyone involved. For now, the DEC is issuing permits only to waterfront property owners. Members without access to the water can harvest their oysters at the Southold station. A few cove property owners have stepped forward and will allow members to attach oyster cages to their docks. Tremblay said members should expect to yield between 75 to 80 percent of their total seed, which translates into a sizable number of oysters.
Tremblay maintains, however, that most members aren’t joining for the pleasure of noshing on the fruits of their labor. He referenced a survey conducted by SPAT which noted, on average, that eating oysters was only the eighth most popular reason to join the cooperative.
“I actually don’t eat oysters,” said Kirchoff at the meeting on Sunday. “I wanted to help the local environment.”
Southampton Town also jumped on this initiative and will allow 40 town residents to place oyster cages off a dock in Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays.
Tremblay’s club will host monthly educational lectures, including “Water Quality, Brown Tides and Harmful Algae” in July and “Configuring and Maintaining Oyster Gardens” in June. On Sunday, members asked questions on how to open oysters. Tremblay said a cooking class could be scheduled down the line and hosted at his restaurant.
In the upcoming summer months, as the club learns to deep fry these shellfish treats or winterize their oyster garden, Tremblay hopes the group will have a positive impact on the local environment.
“This kind of environmentalism speaks to me,” he said. “You can see results in my lifetime. If we can act locally and improve water quality in Sag Harbor Cove, then maybe other sub-estuaries will see us as a model.”

Restaurant Forges Identity With Music

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For drummer Claes Brondal, it has been a difficult time to meet and play with other musicians. There are few opportunities, he said recently, to sit in and play, especially at a professional level.

For restaurant owner John Landes, there was a challenge to make his Bay Burger on the Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton Turnpike a nexus for the various groups that make up the local community.

Together, after meeting through a mutual friend over Thanksgiving dinner, they decided that the casual restaurant would make a perfect venue to bring musicians together, as well as those that appreciate an evening of freewheeling and frequently unexpected music.

“I had been looking a long time for a venue for a jam session when I met John,” said Mr. Brondal in an interview this week. “We started talking about a Hamptons jazz festival and said we should start small.”

That’s when the idea of doing weekly Thursday night jams at Bay Burger got started.

“We just thought we’d take the temperature of the community,” said Brondal.

Going into the fourth week of the session tonight, Thursday, it appears that the temperature is pretty hot — or cool, as the case may be.

Each week has seen some growth in the audience, and each week sees new performers showing up to play, said Mr. Landes.

 “It’s attracting the musicians, and that’s what we wanted to do,” he said, adding the evenings’ music ranges widely, from jazz to folk to funk and Latin.

“Right now it’s pretty much free form,” he said. “The music works very well in the room, as it’s not necessarily rock.”

The restaurateur, whose daughter and son-in-law Joe and Liza Tremblay, really run the place, said they had been experimenting with music since last year, and regularly featured local bands and performers, such as Jim Turner and Leroy Klavis.

“We’re outside the village and trying to find ways of putting Bay Burger on the map,” said Mr. Landes. “We’re trying to establish an identity for Bay Burger, and music is one of the ways to do that.”

“I’ve always been a music nut,” said Mr. Landes, who remembers visiting a number of local sites for live music, including Stephen Talkhouse and even the concerts at Long Beach during the summer.

He went around searching for local bands, and said that while the restaurant featured music on a regular basis last year, they “wanted a more consistent house band.”

Mr. Landes gives most of the credit to Mr. Brondal who, he said, set it all up.

“He was the one who reached out to the musicians,” said Mr. Landes.

In February, Mr. Brondal sent out an excited email to friends and musicians telling them about the new venue and soliciting ideas. It would be, he promised, not an open mike night, but a “good ol’ jam session where musicians can practice their craft, try new compositions, new ideas, free style rap over the Sidewinder beat, take a leap of faith, solo over odd chord changes and signatures.”

His solicitation was successful, and now he says each night features about 10 or 15 musicians anxious to sit in and experiment.

“It’s all inclusive,” he said, “but you have to be able to play and interact with other people.”

“Right from the get go we had a full house,” he said, and now we’re getting musicians from as far away as Sayville.” The nearest place with anything like what is going on at Bay Burger is in Levittown, said Mr. Brondal.

For his part, he credits the Bay Burger owner with making the scene happen.

“John Landes believed in the combination of burgers and jazz,” said Mr. Brondal. “He’s creating a cradle of arts, music and poetry.”

Indeed, even Mr. Landes’ own staff gets in the act. Willie Jenkins, a line cook will often come from behind the counter and put in his own, original freestyle rap with the musicians.

“So it’s also a marriage of music and spoken word,” said Mr. Landes.

Noting his location on the turnpike, Mr. Landes said, “We’re at the crossroads, trying to bring two communities together. We’re trying to establish our identity and see where it goes.”

The Thursday night jam sessions at Bay Burger begin approximately at 7 p.m.

 

Restaurant Forges Identity With Music

Tags: , , ,


For drummer Claes Brondal, it has been a difficult time to meet and play with other musicians. There are few opportunities, he said recently, to sit in and play, especially at a professional level.

For restaurant owner John Landes, there was a challenge to make his Bay Burger on the Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton Turnpike a nexus for the various groups that make up the local community.

Together, after meeting through a mutual friend over Thanksgiving dinner, they decided that the casual restaurant would make a perfect venue to bring musicians together, as well as those that appreciate an evening of freewheeling and frequently unexpected music.

“I had been looking a long time for a venue for a jam session when I met John,” said Mr. Brondal in an interview this week. “We started talking about a Hamptons jazz festival and said we should start small.”

That’s when the idea of doing weekly Thursday night jams at Bay Burger got started.

“We just thought we’d take the temperature of the community,” said Brondal.

Going into the fourth week of the session tonight, Thursday, it appears that the temperature is pretty hot — or cool, as the case may be.

Each week has seen some growth in the audience, and each week sees new performers showing up to play, said Mr. Landes.

 “It’s attracting the musicians, and that’s what we wanted to do,” he said, adding the evenings’ music ranges widely, from jazz to folk to funk and Latin.

“Right now it’s pretty much free form,” he said. “The music works very well in the room, as it’s not necessarily rock.”

The restaurateur, whose daughter and son-in-law Joe and Liza Tremblay, really run the place, said they had been experimenting with music since last year, and regularly featured local bands and performers, such as Jim Turner and Leroy Klavis.

“We’re outside the village and trying to find ways of putting Bay Burger on the map,” said Mr. Landes. “We’re trying to establish an identity for Bay Burger, and music is one of the ways to do that.”

“I’ve always been a music nut,” said Mr. Landes, who remembers visiting a number of local sites for live music, including Stephen Talkhouse and even the concerts at Long Beach during the summer.

He went around searching for local bands, and said that while the restaurant featured music on a regular basis last year, they “wanted a more consistent house band.”

Mr. Landes gives most of the credit to Mr. Brondal who, he said, set it all up.

“He was the one who reached out to the musicians,” said Mr. Landes.

In February, Mr. Brondal sent out an excited email to friends and musicians telling them about the new venue and soliciting ideas. It would be, he promised, not an open mike night, but a “good ol’ jam session where musicians can practice their craft, try new compositions, new ideas, free style rap over the Sidewinder beat, take a leap of faith, solo over odd chord changes and signatures.”

His solicitation was successful, and now he says each night features about 10 or 15 musicians anxious to sit in and experiment.

“It’s all inclusive,” he said, “but you have to be able to play and interact with other people.”

“Right from the get go we had a full house,” he said, and now we’re getting musicians from as far away as Sayville.” The nearest place with anything like what is going on at Bay Burger is in Levittown, said Mr. Brondal.

For his part, he credits the Bay Burger owner with making the scene happen.

“John Landes believed in the combination of burgers and jazz,” said Mr. Brondal. “He’s creating a cradle of arts, music and poetry.”

Indeed, even Mr. Landes’ own staff gets in the act. Willie Jenkins, a line cook will often come from behind the counter and put in his own, original freestyle rap with the musicians.

“So it’s also a marriage of music and spoken word,” said Mr. Landes.

Noting his location on the turnpike, Mr. Landes said, “We’re at the crossroads, trying to bring two communities together. We’re trying to establish our identity and see where it goes.”

The Thursday night jam sessions at Bay Burger begin approximately at 7 p.m.

 

 

Sag Harbor Votes For Change In Historic National Election

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While Bay Street Theatre may not have been able to boast the crowds that packed Chicago’s Grant Park, on Tuesday night there was a palpable sense of excitement in Sag Harbor as village residents gathered at the theatre, The American Hotel and Bay Burger to bear witness to the historic Presidential election of Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

Obama, the Democratic candidate, was not just successful in the Electoral College, where he bested Republican Arizona Senator John McCain 349 to 163, with 26 electoral votes out of North Carolina and Missouri still hanging in the balance as of Wednesday, but took states like Indiana and Virginia – states that had not voted for a Democratic president in decades. He was also able to easily take the popular vote collecting roughly 63 million votes to McCain’s 56 million.

Nationally, an estimated 64 percent of the electorate turned out on Tuesday to cast their ballots for president – a record turnout. However, residents of Suffolk County appear to take their voting seriously year in and year out, with an estimated 70 percent of registered voters pulling the lever for a presidential candidate this election cycle. In 2004, about 72 percent of the electorate stepped out to vote in the presidential contest between Democrat John Kerry and President George W. Bush.

As was the case in 2004, a majority of Suffolk County and East End residents voted for the Democratic candidate this year, with Obama taking approximately 52 percent of the votes cast to McCain’s 47 percent. On the East End, and in particularly Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton, Noyac, North Haven and Sagaponack Obama won by far greater margins.

On the Southampton Town side of Sag Harbor (districts 1 and 21) 741 voters turned out to support Obama, with McCain earning 309 votes. On the East Hampton side of Sag Harbor, 515 residents turned out in support of the Democratic candidate, with 124 voting for McCain. In Northwest Woods, 533 of the electorate pulled the lever for Obama with 232 voting for McCain.

In Noyac (districts 2 and 36), Obama took 725 votes with McCain clocking in with 428. In North Haven-Baypoint, voters handed Obama 432 votes and McCain a solid 368. In Bridgehampton and Sagaponack (districts 3 and 13), Obama snared 830 votes to McCain’s 369.

While there may have been a number of supporters of the Republican candidate on the East End, at Bay Street Theatre and The American Hotel on Tuesday night, prior to the election being called in Obama’s favor, it was as if he had already won the race with many residents offering their enthusiasm and advice for the man who would later that evening become the United State’s first African-American President.

Sag Harbor resident Mia Grosjean said she had little advice for the president-elect, as he already seemed to be moving in the direction she supports – community activism.

“Encourage young people to remain active, get involved and make a difference,” piped in Helen Samuels of her hopes for Obama.

“Govern with peace and justice,” advised Dennis Carr.

Many also spoke of their desire to see a country united, and their hope the 47-year old senator will be the man to do just that.

“To make people proud to be in this country and to make it something it was when I was a child,” said North Haven resident Richard Demato of his hopes for the Obama regime. “Make it something to be excited about.”

“I want him to bring us together,” said another guest at The American Hotel on Tuesday night. “And never forget he’s the president of the whole country.”

 Congressman Tim Bishop, who handily regained his seat in the United States House of Representatives securing 58 percent of the vote to Republican challenger Lee Zeldin’s 42 percent, had similar thoughts about the future of the federal government and the mandate he says the American people have now handed the Democratic Party, which will have control of the House, the Senate and the Executive branches.

“I think that it gives us great hope for the future,” said Bishop. “I think the other thing is we have to be very careful to not make the same mistakes the Republican Party made when it had a majority, where the national party really allowed itself to be moved to the right. We, as a party, need to resist the temptation to move to the far left. We need to recognize that we need to achieve balance and govern from the middle. That is Obama’s message, and it is an important one.”

Like Obama, Bishop took every election district in Sag Harbor, Noyac, North Haven and Baypoint, in Northwest Woods, Bridgehampton and Sagaponack, often securing more than double the votes Zeldin was able to gather in his inaugural bid for political office.

In a prime example of the continued success of the Democratic Party on Tuesday, Democrat Sally Pope bested incumbent Republican Dan Russo to earn a seat on the Southampton Town Board securing 52 percent of the vote to Russo’s 48 percent by a narrow margin of 741 votes. However, with over 2,000 absentee ballots expected to be counted next Wednesday, Russo has said the race is too close to call.

According to preliminary results out of the Suffolk County Board of Elections, Russo was only able to win two districts in our area – one in Sagaponack-Bridgehampton (district 13) and the other in Noyac (district 36). Pope took the remaining districts in Sag Harbor, one in Noyac, in North Haven and another in Bridgehampton.

Sag Harbor resident and Democratic candidate for Southampton Town Justice Andrea Schiavoni also appears to have been successful in her attempt to oust Republican justice Thomas DeMayo, taking 56.5 percent of the electorate to DeMayo’s 43.5 percent by earning 2,822 more votes than the incumbent. Schiavoni won all districts in Sag Harbor, Noyac, North Haven and Baypoint, Sagaponack, Bridgehampton and in Northwest Woods.

One Republican on the East End who coasted to victory with relative ease was incumbent New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. who won his seat over Democratic challenger W. Michael Pitcher with 63 percent of the vote to Pitcher’s 37 percent. Thiele was victorious by over 12,000 votes.

New York State Senator Ken LaValle, a Republican incumbent who was running unopposed also earned reelection in Tuesday’s race.

But like many Republicans nationwide, Thiele is looking at a Democratic majority, not just in the assembly, but likely in the senate with a Democratic governor in place.

However, Thiele is not worried, noting he was pleased to see 15 percent of voters who turned out to support him did so under party lines that were not Republican, meaning those outside his party supported his bid for reelection.

“My approach has always been to not be overtly partisan,” said Thiele. “I think that is what people are looking for in government.”