One weekend last summer, Jack Brinkley Cook had made plans to meet a friend in Montauk, N.Y., to go surfing, but the summer afternoon New York City traffic had other ideas. Trying to get from his West Village apartment to the Midtown Jitney stop, Brinkley Cook got stuck in so much traffic that he missed multiple buses heading out east and ended up with not much of a surfing day. He did walk away with a business idea. Introducing Rove, the ride service that hopes to change the way New Yorkers (chiefly those who live downtown or in Williamsburg — i.e., the young and the cool) get to their Hamptons getaways.
Brinkley Cook knows the commute well. The 23-year-old son of Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook grew up out east and spent many a weekend braving the Jitney, train, car and other modes of transportation into Manhattan and back.
“Ninety percent of my friends live below 14th Street — yet we all commute to [Midtown] then get to the commute,” Brinkley Cook says. In that spirit, Rove has partnered with the Sixty SoHo hotel on Thompson Street and the William Vale in Williamsburg, where passengers can hang — and hopefully patronize the hotels’ bars and restaurants — before hopping on one of Rove’s Mercedes sprinter vans for a much more private, comfier drive to Long Island.
Once onboard, passengers are met with custom Cynthia Rowley totes filled with Just Water (the water brand backed by Jaden and Will Smith), Rx health bars, CBD gummies and more. Drop-off locations are Tutto Il Giorno in Southampton, Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, Blue & Cream in East Hampton and the Montauk Beach House in Montauk; on Sundays, direct Roves will depart from the Surf Lodge following their summer concert series.
Booking options range from booking a seat on a scheduled ride, which are set for non-peak hours to avoid traffic, to requesting a specific time and paying for the entire 12-seater. Manhattan/Brooklyn to the Hamptons rides are $65, with Montauk costing $75.
“In my opinion, it’s transportation between the Hamptons and New York that needed some sort of change. I’ve probably literally taken all forms and all roads that lead to the Hamptons,” Brinkley Cook says. “One of the main things that we wanted to focus on was the convenience. That, and just creating an upgraded experience.”
Your move, Blade.