Behind the Rails – Unsung Heroes and Heroines


Who Ordered the Pink Squirrel?

Who Ordered the Pink Squirrel?

With all the hoopla over The Hampton’s Film Festival and the thousands of “Press People” swarming over a slate of great films and filmmakers, there are an oft neglected group of folks that go under represented; The stalwart local Bar and Restaurant staff .

These are the guys and gals that make these sometimes hyper stressed events all worthwhile.  Herein lies a tribute to those brave and sometimes brazen troops that fearlessly defend our right to binge in a column that we here at like to call… Behind the Rails!

Starving Indie Filmmaker

Starving Indie Filmmaker

You’ve spent months or maybe even years, writing your doc or screenplay.   You’ve spent many more months or years raising dough to get your film made. Now it’s done and against all odds you’ve managed to get your life’s work accepted to The Hampton’s Film Festival. 

The many years of stress and sacrifice may all just come to fruition IF a distributor will pick it up. Where do you go to wash away the stress that builds between the first screening and that hopeful “first call”?  Why the local Pub or Bar!

And there if you’ve picked the right place, and the right staff, you’ll hopefully find a moment to forget about the competition and have a few laughs and a few drinks with someone who at least pretends to give shit!

Below is tribute to those strange ducks and bird-tails that I like to call… Behind the Rails.

Bobby Van’s

Scott Willson - Behind the Rails at Bobby Van's

Scott Wilson - Behind the Rails at Bobby Van's

First up is a place that we all know and a major watering hole (or tourist trap)  along the Route 27-A (Main Street)  in Bridgehampton NY.  The famous Bobby Van’s Steak and Seafood restaurant. Van’s is found at the west end of Main Street in Bridgehampton just after you pass the sprawling TJ Max shopping complex yet before you reach Ocean’s on the east side.

Bobby Van’s is known for their beef but you’ll never get one from this guy who manages to serve up a smile and a rum punch for any and all weary travelers who are lucky enough to drop in. Say “hello” to Scott Wilson.

Scott is a great bartender I ran into on the way out to the Hampton’s Film Fest this year. With traffic backed up at “the light” in Bridgehampton, I decided to stop in for a bite and a pint. To my great fortune I happened to arrive at the lull between lunch and dinner so I managed to actually get a spot at the bar.. right at the end, by the door, in case the bill was bigger than my expense account. 

Crab Salad & Bacon

Crab Salad & Bacon

To my surprise, the Crab Salad & Bacon, on fresh grilled French Baguette was well within my reach… and Delicious! The frothy pint of Ale on the side made a great side dish / dessert.  In addition to tending bar Scott’s dulcet tones can be heard on local WEHM Radio at 92.9 / 96.9 FM.

Scott tried to explain why WEHM has two channels but after the crab and pint(s) I was so fried I couldn’t understand a damn thing and besides…. I had to get back on the road!

Tune in to Scott at WEHM 92.9/96.9 where he spins the latest and the greatest rock from 2 pm – 6 pm Saturday and 12 pm – 6 pm on Sunday. Any other day stop in to see Scott and ask for his signature, not to be missed, Rum Punch!  Email Scott at and tell him sent you!

Citta Nouva

JJ, David and guests at Citta Nuova

JJ, David and guests at Citta Nouva

Rolling into the hot Citta Nouva restaurant and night spot last night around 12 midnight, I ran into one of East Hampton’s most visible fixtures, JJ the Bartender and his Behind-the-Rails partner Dave, who were speed mixing about a thousand drinks to satisfy the thirst of dozens of late night party goers. Behind me in the front window seats, I witnessed plate after plate of mouth-watering Nuevo Italian dishes being scoffed up by a full complement of the Hamptons International Film Festival’s PIB’s (People In Black). The conversation was lively, the customers were placated and the drinks were flowing. ‘s roving reporter asked the age old question: “How do you make it look so easy?” JJ, never at a loss for words, expertly flipped back his shock of silver hair and replied,” Easy? You should see this place after closing!”.  JJ was referring to the pleasantly invisible, behind-the-scenes kitchen and wait staff who work tirelessly to make the whole experience smooth and enjoyable for Citta Nouva’s steady stream of well heeled clients.

Try this reporter’s late night muchie favorite – Personal Pizza Margherita made with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh local basil and home made mozzarella and don’t forget to tell them sent you! Mangia!

Next Up… Turtle Crossing, 221 Pantigo Road (Rt 27), East Hampton.

















































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