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Beloved East Hampton pub keeps its black paint job after battle with review board

Rowdy Hall is back in black.

The beloved East Hampton pub fought the city’s architectural review board for months over the color of its facade at its new digs on Main Street in Amagansett.

Rowdy, who previously resided in East Hampton Village for 26 years, wanted black to stay on brand.


“It wasn’t like we wanted to do fuchsia and orange, something totally incongruous,”
Mark Smith, owner of Rowdy Hall, told the Post. Instagram @rowdyhallamg

Amagansett argued that it did not “harmonize” with the colors of the historic district.

“It wasn’t like we wanted to do fuchsia and orange, something totally incongruous,” Mark Smith, owner of Rowdy Hall, told the Post.

Rowdy Hall first submitted its request for a black facade in late summer.

After being refused, Rowdy lived up to his name and painted it black without permission.

The city penalized the company for violations on the grounds that it did not have a building permit and issued a stop-work order.

Smith told the Post that the black was just a primer, but that the city did not purchase it.

In October, the review board rejected the bistro’s request to paint it black.

A month later, Smith, who is part of the Honest Man restaurant group that owns Rowdy Hall, filed a Section 78 motion to overturn the decision.


The city's review board had already rejected Rowdy Hall's request to paint it black.
The city’s review board had already rejected Rowdy Hall’s request to paint it black. Instagram @rowdyhallamg

On March 22, East Hampton Town Attorney Robert Connelly settled with the pub. Rowdy Hall can paint it black, but any additional changes to the facade must get city approval.

“The code is a bit vague. These are just guidelines…not hard and fast rules,” Connelly told the East Hampton Star, which first reported the story.

Smith learned you can fight City Hall.

“From my point of view, we won,” the bistro owner said, adding: “When you feel like you did the right thing and ticked all the right boxes, and you have a conviction about it… you fight for that.”

Connelly did not return messages.

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