Montauk Mainstay

Shagwong Tavern

Who: Jimmy Hewitt from 1969-2015; now, new keepers of the flame
What: Wood-­paneled tavern/time capsule
Where: 774 Montauk Highway
Why: A true Montauk institution, simple as that
Insider tip: It’s worth taking a minute or 10 to check out the photos that line the walls

Let’s start with that neon. Like a vertical beacon from another era, it stays lit through all four seasons, an especially good thing in the desolate (though gorgeous) winter months. And the Shagwong itself felt like it was from another time, its (kinda dusty) walls covered in photos that gave a pretty good run of the history of Montauk and the people who’ve called it home over many decades. A framed handwritten sign sat in the window for years, hinting at the priorities of the place you were about to enter: Piano player wanted. Must have knowledge of opening clams. It changed hands recently and while the kitchen and bathrooms have been spiffed up, it still has the same tavern vibe.

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