“I’ve seen a lot of places, but this one made me want to settle down,” says J (just ‘J’). He’s means that geographically, that he decided to move to the Hamptons. But also personally, as he married Courtney, a native Hamptonite. And he definitely means it professionally as well. As a longtime hotel veteran, “before coming to East Hampton, I was in hotel operations,” J explains. “Opening hotels, designing security for hotels, federal safety training, you name it. But I kept coming back to the hospitality side; it just feels natural.”
Part of that feeling comes from J’s innate curiosity. “I never met a stranger—or came across a topic—that didn’t interest me,” he says. (One subject that interests him to the point of obsession: coffee. He makes it his business to stay up on the newest, best beans and brewing techniques, and to supply the inn with them—a heroic action that has earned him the superhero title “captain of caffeine.”)
And part of that feeling stems from his need to surprise and delight guests. “For me, hospitality is about anticipation,” he says. “The anticipation of what the guest will experience, what they will need, and how we can raise their expectations for all future hospitality.” That’s not just a lifestyle for J; it’s a philosophy. “I wish we had a school where we could teach the students how to cook, clean, work, be hospitable and create,” he says. “We need to teach people to take care of people. Not many people are raised that way.” Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if they were?
Speaking of wonderful worlds, here are a few of the reasons J fell in love with the Hamptons:
Favorite Activities: Surfing, surf cast fishing, kayaking, mountain biking or paddle boarding. “I love getting rolled by a wave, riding a long wave, parking on the beach, and having a bonfire,” he says.
Favorite Restaurants: Fresno for dessert, Ryder’s for wings and fries, EH Grill for the bar’s grapefruit-vodka “Jenny” drink and 1770 House for dinner.
Favorite Place: The lighthouse at Cedar Point.