It's been a while since we checked in with Curbed Hamptons commenter punching bag and Southfork Kitchen owner, Bruce Buschel. What's he been up to since our last meeting?
For starters, the harsh reality of running a year-round business in the Hamptons has started to sink in. Mr. Buschel hasn't lost his optimism, but he is being forced to "consider the possibility that [his] restaurant is a part-time enterprise, a six-month affair." He was hoping to keep the restaurant open through New Years, but business is such that he might need to close earlier than that.
Secondly?we're hope you're not drinking or chewing anything?he's considering opening a second location. We'll let him do the talking:
"Sure, on the face of it, it sounds illogical, maybe even hysterical. But in for a penny, in for a pound. (Or perhaps a pounding.) A second restaurant? Look at it this way. At least half the year in Bridgehampton will always be swimming upstream. No matter what we do, the population shrinks and money will be hard-earned if earned at all. When traffic is down, tips are down, and spirits surely follow. We will probably lose some important staffers from an excellent team, and that would be a pity."He figures opening a Brooklyn-based eatery in the vein of Southfork Kitchen's commitment to locally sourced ingredients will cost about $250K. So far, he's been pledged about half that from "friends and friends of friends, from relatives, from industry people and guests." Who knows? Maybe his new audience will be a little more welcoming than what he's encountered on the East End.