George Watson

Meet The Locals by Jamie Bufalino - some of the original characters who make Montauk unique...

George Watson

George Watson

 If you’re looking for someone to throw a hissy-fit over the ongoing hipster-ification of Montauk, George Watson isn’t that guy. “To be perfectly honest with you, I find the people a lot better now,”  says the former New York City cop of the changing face (complete with excessive facial hair and the occasional piercing) of the summer crowd. “They come in, put their money on the bar, keep their mouths shut, they’re fine. As far as I’m concerned, the hipsters are way better than the shark fishermen. The shark people are macho a—holes who are always trying to prove something.” 

For the man who first opened The Dock in the dead of winter –“I used to sleep on the bench over there and all of a sudden hear the door open and I’d have to get up and go to work,” he recalls–the popularity and coolness factor of Montauk has certainly changed, but Watson isn’t exactly nostalgic for the quainter, less appletini-ish times. “The crowd was a lot rougher back then,” he says of the early days. “I used to get into fistfights with a lot of people. You couldn’t just say, ‘That’s it you’re cut off,”–you’d have to wait for something to happen and something always did.” Watson still gets into verbal skirmishes with misbehaving customers. And last summer, the infamous “list” posted on The Dock’s window–‘No Yapping Mutts, No Irish Drunks, No Screaming Kids, No Cell Phones, No Strollers, No Public Restrooms”–caused an uproar when a board member of the Irish Arts Center publicly objected to the seeming denigration of her countrymen (the sign has since been changed to read “sensitive drunks,” with the word sensitive written in leprechaun-green-colored lettering.) But mostly Watson is just looking to run a nice, local eatery without any drama. “I just don’t like arrogant people or rude people,” he says. “Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ that’s all I ask and then I’ll stand on my head for you.”