The Mainstay, aptly-named as it is the longest running bed and breakfast in Southampton Village, has changed hands.
After nearly 28 years at the helm, Elizabeth Main decided to sell the 4,400-square-foot, rambling house at 579 Hill Street. It sold and closed for a not-yet-disclosed price on October 5, though online records show it sold for $1.85 million. Situated on a corner lot just shy of an acre, the property was last listed at $2.1 million.
The purchaser is a limited liability company, 579 Hill Street LLC, based in Melville, N.Y., which formed in July, according to online records. Although it is not yet clear who the buyers are, a hospitality and rental company was said to be involved in the purchase.
Gail Toma, a real estate agent with The Corcoran Group, said she does not know the buyer’s exact plans.
The 200-year-old property had been on the market for three years, and there was a buzz of activity with seven offers to purchase, until the right buyer came along. “This was far from your average real estate sale,” she said. “A great deal of time was spent not only on creative marketing, innovative advertising, but on assisting prospects with lodgings analysis, business, strategic planning and design consultation.”
The house’s roots can be traced to Southampton’s first General Store and Post Office, which opened in what is now the Mainstay’s kitchen. Later, it was expanded into a single family home with a small real estate office just off the original kitchen. The shingle-style, two story house soon was used as a bed and breakfast, grandfathered as a legally-permitted use, making it a rare investment opportunity.
A favorite for visitors because of its shabby cheek charm, the nine-bedroom, seven-bath home features three wood burning fireplaces and an original butler’s pantry. Each of the bedrooms, most with antique iron beds and private baths with claw foot tubs, pay homage to the village, named after its most famous streets, like Gin Lane, Meadow Lane, Bishop Lane and Hill Street.
Located on the corner of Bishop Lane and historic Hill Street, it is minutes to Coopers Beach, often celebrated as the world’s most beautiful beach, and walking distance to the village.
The property also has a half-acre of perennial gardens, which provide multiple outdoor dining areas for guests, and a 20-by-40-foot salt water pool, surrounded by many hydrangeas and a pergola built with trees cut down from the garden to hold up the wisteria.
Whether the new owners plan to keep it a B&B or to use it just as a single family home, there is potential to expand and even come with floor plans already drafted.