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Eli Zabar Jitneys to Amagansett

But locals don’t want him.


The Amagansett Farmer’s Market didn’t open this summer for the first time in 55 years, but it’s set to be back in business August 1 now that the Peconic Land Trust, which took control of the space, signed up Eli Zabar to run the market. Some locals, however, fear what a fancy Manhattanite will do to the lower-key anti-Citarella of East End food shops. “I take my coffee light and sweet,” says one Amagansett year-rounder. “I don’t need a fancy espresso bar.” And a local contractor worries that “a high-end outlet with New York City prices would alienate the working locals.” Eli’s brothers Saul and Stanley own the family’s Upper West Side emporium; he’s the East Side impresario of upscale Eli’s, eat, and the Vinegar Factory. But he promises the Farmer’s Market won’t go high-end. “It’s not going to be fancy,” he says. “It’s not a Citarella. We don’t need another high-end grocery story here. The look will remain the same. I can’t even change the awning without permission, not that I would anyway.”

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