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Beach Dispatch: Nobu Should Buy Pacific East

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Pacific East, Kalina

For more than a year, the owners of Pacific East, Michael Castino and Aram Sabet, have been in a battle over ownership of the Amagansett Asian restaurant and club, fueling rumors of the club's demise. They're back in court next week, so now seems as good a time as any to drop a recap on what's happening. At one time Castino, who seems to be the owner of the two who is actually operating the club these days, vehemently denied the place was closing, and he did keep the limping club opened this past season, but now we're going to call it with a high degree of certainty: Pacific East is done. The club is for sale, by none other than Steve Kamali, for $6.5 mil, which includes the land the club is on and and a bit on top of that associated with the value of the Pacific East business. The distinction between the land and the club is important here, because, while Sabet owns the land, both owners are claiming they're entitled to the portion of the sale that accounts for the land. What is to happen from here is that the club will sell—if anyone can move the property it's the Kamali—and the money will go into escrow, while the cage match continues. How this effects you is that if they can get a deal done soon, there will be a new venue for your sampling by Summer 2008.

So, the point of all this is as follows. First, the aforementioned near-fact that Pacific East is done. It should not, and will not, reopen. We visited several times in-season and it was consistently a ghost town. Second, our suggestion is that Richie Notar and his band of Nobu operators come to their senses and buy this property. Specs: 2 acres, 332 feet of Montauk highway frontage, walking distance to the Jitney, total capacity of almost 500—and they're already a sushi bar. This venue was made for a Nobu. Amagansett has become a bit too far east for Hamptons clubs these days, but for the Mats(uhisa), the people will come. Plus, our summer base of operations is in Amagansett, and who doesn't love being walking distance to some rock shrimp?

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