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Hamptons restaurant reservation seekers say they’re dropping big bucks for a table

Boiling point! Desperate Hamptons diners are paying restaurant workers huge bribes, offering yacht rides and even NASCAR tickets in a bid to get tables at billionaires’ playground’s oversubscribed eating spots

  • Diners in the Hamptons are dropping more than just big bucks for a table at their favorite restaurants this summer
  • Reservations for many Hamptons restaurants are fully packed for the month of June, with the summer expected to remain just as busy 
  • Staffers admit to offers of NASCAR tickets, private yacht and helicopter rides and more just for a table at a packed restaurant
  • ‘After giving out a couple hundred dollars I still couldn’t get in… my son said, ‘Dad, you are killing me. You have to go somewhere else,’’ one diner said
  • Hamptonians appear to be making restaurant reservations en masse ever since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted to cure cabin fever from this year’s lockdown 

Restaurant seekers say they are dropping more than just big bucks to get a table at some of the Hamptons most exclusive food spots, with staffers and managers fielding offers for everything from private yacht and helicopter rides to NASCAR tickets, according to the New York Post

The news outlet reports Mitch Modell, who owns a house in Bridgehampton, attempted to get a table at 75 Main in nearby Southampton earlier this month, knowing full well that the restaurant was booked solid through the end of June.

But even the former CEO of Modell’s Sporting Goods couldn’t get seated, despite having his son work at the restaurant and tipping the staff handsomely. 

‘After giving out a couple hundred dollars I still couldn’t get in, and my son said, ‘Dad, you are killing me. You have to go somewhere else or eat at home,’’ the 66-year-old told the Post. 

Pictured: Mitch Modell says ‘after giving out a couple hundred dollars I still couldn’t get in’ at 75 Main in nearby Southampton earlier this month

Pictured: Martin Martinov, Maitre d' of Le Bilboquet in Sag Harbor, where one staffer accepted boat ride on a customer¿s yacht and a day at the man¿s private golf club

Pictured: Martin Martinov, Maitre d’ of Le Bilboquet in Sag Harbor, where one staffer accepted boat ride on a customer’s yacht and a day at the man’s private golf club

A woman sits in a restaurant on Main Street in Southampton, where staffers and managers say they have been offered everything from NASCAR tickets to private yacht and helicopter rides

A woman sits in a restaurant on Main Street in Southampton, where staffers and managers say they have been offered everything from NASCAR tickets to private yacht and helicopter rides

Modell told the newspaper that he finally was able to get a table for him and five friends after offering to pay the tab for two female patrons who were just about finished with their meal.

‘We all crowded in to their little table and one guy [who was waiting] started flipping out, yelling that it was supposed to be his,’ Modell said of the eventful outing. ‘It was a little cramped and the tables around us were staring, but you have to do what you have to do and we were hungry.’

Hamptonians appear to be making restaurant reservations en masse ever since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, with many suffering the effects of cabin fever from this past year’s lockdown that forced them to eat in their luxurious homes. 

‘People are champing at the bit to get out and celebrate. They are incredibly motivated and spending like never before,’ said Andrew Tobin, the general manager of Tutto Il Giorno in Southampton. 

Tutto il Giorno in Southampton. 'People are champing at the bit to get out and celebrate. They are incredibly motivated and spending like never before,' the restaurant's manager said

Tutto il Giorno in Southampton. ‘People are champing at the bit to get out and celebrate. They are incredibly motivated and spending like never before,’ the restaurant’s manager said

Reservations for many Hamptons restaurants are fully packed for the month of June, with the summer expected to remain just as busy

Reservations for many Hamptons restaurants are fully packed for the month of June, with the summer expected to remain just as busy

‘The calls usually start with, ‘We’d like to invite you to something’ — and then it’s, ‘Oh, by the way, can we get a table?’ he told the Post. ‘The [diners’] assistants who call have become very aggressive.’

Tobin revealed he and his staff have been offered NASCAR tickets to helicopter rides and nearly everything in between.

Another diner said she was at Le Bilboquet in Sag Harbor last weekend, where a manager could be overheard talking to fellow staffers about how he had readily accepted an offer for a boat ride on a customer’s yacht, before spending the rest of the day at the man’s private golf club, according to the Post. 

‘Suddenly the $100 tip we gave him didn’t seem very impressive,’ the regular told the news outlet.

Le Bilboquet’s director of operations Dobi Trendafilova admits she has also been flooded with bribes and various other high-life offers. 

‘They offer to fly us on private planes, take us on boat trips or give us concert tickets,’ Trendafilova told The Post. 

‘They ask the host, ‘What is your Venmo?’ We don’t have a regular phone line, only a private one. One lady stops by with an envelope full of money every time she comes in, because she is so grateful for getting the VIP number.’

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