Haute Secrets: Auto Mogul Talks Hamptons Driving, Dining and Beaches

RE gary in car
Gary Flom, president of BNF
GARy and wife
Flom in Southampton

Gary Flom certainly knows luxury cars. The President and CEO of BNF Automotive Group (BNF), one of Manhattan’s largest luxury automotive retailers, will likely sell more than half a billion dollars of premium marques this year. Flom operates BNF from his 265,000 square foot flagship located at 787 Eleventh Avenue, an outpost soon to be revampled by starchitect Rafael Vinoly, who designed the glittering centa-millionaire haven, 432 Park Avenue. BNF’s portfolio of luxury automotive dealerships includes Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) Manhattan, the number one Jaguar Land Rover dealership in the U.S, as well as Maserati and Infiniti. Flom is a former financial analyst for Gulf and Western and a decorated U.S. Marine

How long have you been going to the Hamptons? Since 2008 when my wife and I started dating.

Why did you choose Southampton? We love the village, its ambiance, restaurants, cool shops, the people who live there and the fact that it is closer to the city than other Hamptons.

What’s your secret for beating the traffic?  This one is tough. My wife and daughter stay in the Hamptons full time. I usually try to  come out on Thursdays for the weekend. I typically leave early Monday morning.Traffic is not too bad and usually I make it in 2 hours.

What type car do you drive in the Hamptons? A Range Rover Autobiography LWB. It’s spacious and easily accommodates my daughter’s car seat, all our beach gear and guests that we have almost every weekend.

Best time of day in the Hamptons: Mornings before 11 a.m. on the beach or after 5 p.m. when the sun is setting. It’s just so gorgeous. When looking at the fields in Bridgehampton on the way to Sag Harbor the special light is breathtaking. We love it and can never get enough.

Favorite restaurants for lunch: For an Italian restaurant, Sant Ambroeus in Southampton. For French it’s Pierre’s in Bridgehampton. Both of them have been there for years and Pierre’s is open year round. They are superb with excellent personal service, a sophisticated ambience and outstanding food. They also have outside seating, which we love.

The Floms frequently entertain at home.
The Floms frequently entertain at home.

Favorite restaurants for dinner: The best restaurant is at home. My wife is a food blogger, and cooks really well. We love entertaining friends and family in our casa. That’s really what people in the Hamptons do–go to each other’s homes and have dinner parties, sophisticated BBQs and even wine tastings. On those evenings when we don’t entertain or visit friends and don’t want to go to our usual favorites, we try a pop-up, a new restaurant that opens just for the season. This year we tried Jue Lan. The place was quite good with the right vibe; we enjoyed our visit.

Best Sunday brunch: Definitely at home. My wife make phenomenal duck and rabbit terrines, omelets and various poached egg dishes. Sometimes we even have blinis with caviar, a favorite Russian brunch item.

Best dessert in the Hamptons: Sant Ambroeus has the best Italian sorbets and gelatos. My favorite combination is chocolate and pistachio.

Favorite places for a drink: We are wine people and love going to the local wineries such as Channing Daughters and Wollfer Estates. Wolffer even has jazz on certain evenings and it’s awesome to be on a beautiful field under a deep blue sky enjoying the wine, that famous Hampton light and listening to excellent jazz. 

For out-of-town guests, which hotels would you recommend? The Maidstone in East Hampton, Gurney’s in Montauk, Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor and our casa in Southhampton.

Favorite shops for summer clothes: Tenet in Southampton has the best selection of Italian, French, American, and now Colombian designers with a great selection of my wife’s favorite Maison Michel hats, casual t-shirts, flats and boat shoes.

Favorite beach: There is a nice private beach just past Cooper’s that’s quiet and never crowded. We love taking our daughter there in the morning so that she can run in the sand and let the ocean touch her feet.

Best gym/workout spot: Core Dynamics in Watermill has modern equipment, great classes, Pilates, a massage therapist, and the best private trainers in the Hamptons.

Favorite galleries or local museums: Todd Merrill Studio in Southampton.

Favorite charity: God’s Love We Deliver.

Secret to success: Customizing the way you serve your local market is imperative. It is important to stay ahead of the competition and explore new ways to attract customers