Montauk hotspot quietly for sale after losing liquor license

Ruschmeyer’s restaurant and hotel, which drew big crowds, sold for $11M last year

Ruschmeyer’s Hotel (Facebook, Getty)
Ruschmeyer’s Hotel (Facebook, Getty)

Ruschmeyer’s, a Montauk restaurant and hotel known for attracting influencers, partygoers and scrutiny from local officials, could soon have a new owner for the second time in a little over a year.

East End restaurateur Jeremy Morton, who bought the landmark hotspot for $11.1 million last year, is quietly shopping the business after it lost its liquor license in June, people with knowledge of the situation told The Real Deal.

Ruschmeyer’s temporary permit to serve alcohol was revoked after an East Hampton police officer reportedly spotted customers dancing, a violation of the strict rules laid out for the establishment by the State Liquor Authority.

Restaurants are a notoriously low-margin business, and without liquor sales, it’s even harder to make them profitable. An application for a permanent on-premises liquor permit, filed in April, is still pending, public records show.

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“We’ve had some unsolicited offers, but the current management put a significant amount of renovation into the site this year,” said Compass’ Hal Zwick, who, along with his partner, Jeff Sztorc, represented Morton when he bought Ruschmeyer’s in April of last year. “The hotel is open, and the restaurant will be open again soon.”

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Hal Zwick (Compass)

Hal Zwick (Compass)

Zwick clarified that the property is not “officially on the market.” But with demand for East End attractions as hot as ever, and strict zoning rules that severely limit new hotel projects, off-market deals aren’t unusual.

Morgan bought Ruschmeyer’s at a steep discount to the $35 million its previous owners reportedly sought when they put it up for sale in 2020.

Morgan now owns a portfolio of Hamptons venues, including Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Cafe — another Montauk staple he acquired last spring — as well as Morty’s Oyster Stand in Amagansett and Provisions Natural Foods Market & Cafe in Water Mill.

Liquor licenses are granted to owners and venues, so the new owners would have to apply from scratch, according to a spokesman for the liquor authority. Businesses can usually secure a temporary license in 30 days, with the full licensing process running 22 to 26 weeks.