Riverhead couple to open NYC-style deli & market

03/11/2011 7:00 AM |

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Tahir Baig and Kaleigh Van Vilet plan to open "Off Main," a New York style deli on Griffing Avenue in Riverhead.

A new deli and market will soon be coming to downtown Riverhead, occupying the Osborn Avenue building that housed the recently closed Peconic Baking Company.

Tahir Baig of Riverhead and his wife, Kaleigh Van Vliet-Baig, plan to open their Off Main eatery, which the couple describes as a New York City-style deli. sometime in May.

Off Main will feature a market and deli, salad bar and bakery and, according to its Facebook page, will carry “a full line of Boar’s Head deli meats, fresh produce, imported cheeses and floral to make your table the best in town.”

Fresh baked bread, muffins and homemade pastrami are just some of the items Mr. Baig said he hopes to offer. They also hope to offer catering and free delivery.

Mr. Baig noted that he is modeling the store after the Citarella gourmet market in East Hampton.

Ms. Van Vliet-Baig, a student at the Suffolk County Community College culinary arts program headquartered in Riverhead and a 2004 Riverhead High School graduate, will oversee the kitchen. Mr. Baig, who has over a decade of grocery store experience, will oversee the deli’s front end.

“We’re putting our skills together,” Ms. Van Vliet-Baig said. “We’ve always wanted to open something we could be proud of.”
Mr. Baig, a Rocky Point native, said he has considered opening a deli for the past decade. When a friend told him the space on Osborn Avenue was available, he jumped at the chance. The couple signed the lease at the end of February.

“I was a clerk at a gas station living somebody else’s dream,” Mr. Baig said. “I wanted to live my own.”

The couple had originally considered opening at the site of the former Katrinka Deli on Main Road in Jamesport, but that deal fell through.

Mr. Baig said the Riverhead location works better for his vision, especially since there are no grocery stores downtown.

Construction has not yet begun on the store’s interior, but Mr. Baig said he envisions a dry goods section near the store’s entrance and a bakery and kitchen toward the back. They still need to secure building permits and Suffolk County Health Department approvals.

Nevertheless, the process of opening up the store doesn’t seem to intimidate the first-time business owners.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “You learn as you go along.”

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Comments

comments

15 Comment

  • Good, there’s nothing to eat in Riverhead, except Spiceys

  • good luck, hope all works out!!!!

  • best of luck. If you offer an immaculate environment, serve an excellent product at a fair price you have a chance at survival. Check out Eriks in Southold. Eriks is a perfect establishment to model your restaurant after. Take a little bit of Eriks, a little bit of love lane cafe and your own ideas you will end up being a success. Wow us in Riverhead. Nobody has in a long time. Just Do it! Remember cleanliness is next to Godliness. You both have the knowledge to succeed. If one thing doesn’t work , something else will. You are young and full of energy. The community is pulling for you. Nothing like a Mom and Pop establishment.

  • It’s going to be great to have a deli where you can also sit and eat near downtown.

  • BOL MAKE SURE UR WHEEL CHAIR ASSABILTY WIDE BOOTH OR LOWER COUNTER

  • Thanks for all the support!! We really appreciate it!!
    -off Main Crew

  • Riverhead sure can use a New York styled deli. And New York rye bread is something you can’t buy in a SuperMarket. Great to hear you are doing this and wish you good luck.

  • All the best!
    This kind of establishment is just what Riverhead needs to attract other business..and it goes without saying, New York City style deli………mmmmmm…..bring on the pastrami on rye……don’t forget the good pickles…

  • All the best!
    This kind of establishment is just what Riverhead needs to attract other business..and it goes without saying, New York City style deli………mmmmmm…..bring on the pastrami on rye……don’t forget the good pickles…

  • The bagel place just down the road from your location is doing well. The students take it over at lunchtime !!! I hope they will come to your place and keep you just as busy !!! Best of luck !

  • Good luck to you.. I used to work in the Polish Deli on Pulaski and I know that there are a lot of opportunities. That would be the perfect spot. I miss it out there and all the customers that I met. Cater to the school workers and be cheerful and nice and believe me you will succeed.. Wish I could have had the money to open up a store out there and that I know is a very excellent spot for it.. Take away that polish deli business!!!!!!! I know it could be done with all the interactions that I had with all the old customers that I came across in all my outings.. god bless to you the neighborhood needs it..

  • Good luck in your new business, saw your sign in the window but I am still having a problem finding you on facebook. Looking forward to shopping with you.

  • Good luck in your new business, saw your sign in the window but I am still having a problem finding you on facebook. Looking forward to shopping with you.

  • Well they with drew the resolution after over a dozen community members voiced their opposition. So much for a “non-event”.

  • I wonder if Greenport would be playing such hardball with Oysterponds if that contract wasn’t unilaterally withdrawn and the idea of sending kids to another district wasn’t perenially cropping up.