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Restaurateurs, Realtors and Retailers Report Increased Summer Sales

Business owners say sales are up about 20 percent this summer.

Restaurateurs, Realtors and Retailers Report Increased Summer Sales

Although there are no hard statistics yet, Erin Finley, owner of on Main Street in Westhampton Beach and head of the said she is hearing that most merchants are seeing more foot traffic and sales this year.

"Business is fabulous this summer, up 20 to 30 percent over last year," she said adding, "Right now, on a Wednesday in the middle of the week, my cafe is full. People are waiting on line and it's been this way all summer."

"Everybody is pretty happy," concurred Joyce Gilbert, administrator at the . "Hotels and motels are booked every weekend and the rainy weather at the end of July really helped retailers and restaurants."

Although she didn't have any exact numbers, she said that a 20 percent increase in local business sounded about right.

, the new eatery that has replaced Indian Cove Restaurant in Hampton Bays, is thriving as well as , its sister bistro down the road, Gilbert added. Other local restaurants including, , and are also very busy, she said.

At of Westhampton, business is up 15-20 percent, according to Gus Karayianakis, one of the new owners who took over the delicatessen last summer. Bagels are our best-selling item followed by all the specialty fish items including lox and whitefish salad.

The real estate market has definitely improved as well although the numbers vary from one realtor to the next.

"Sales have been spectacular," says Ann Marie Pallister, a managing broker at where there has been 166 percent jump at her Hampton Bays office and a 128 percent increase out in Montauk.

"People realize the bottom has passed and that prices are creeping up," she said. "They want to jump in while prices are still low."

Julie Crowley, associate broker with in Westhampton and Southampton says that her business has also increased, about 20 percent over last summer.

Right now, Crowley said she has properties in contract selling from $500,000 to over $4 million spread from Remsenburg to Montauk with another deal on the North Fork.

"And there are more buyers I'm working with that are interested in purchasing in the next 30 days," she said.

Retailers are also reporting healthy increases in sales.

At , a women's boutique in Hampton Bays, good weather and moderately priced merchandise have contributed to an estimated 20 percent jump.

"Nothing is over $100 except my evening gowns," said owner Cindy Berding.

At , a new boutique/gift store in East Quogue, sales have also improved; up 15 percent since last summer when Charlene Maloney opened on Montauk Highway.

Do you think the economy is turning around? Post a comment below.

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