Town Board moves to close Farm Country Kitchen

06/15/2011 10:55 AM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTOS | The entrance to Farm Country Kitchen in Riverhead.

Farm Country Kitchen eatery on West Main Street has become a popular restaurant because of its food and riverfront location, but town officials said it is operating without necessary permits, and the Town Board on Tuesday voted to authorize legal action in state Supreme Court against the business.

“He cannot do what he’s doing there,” Mr. Walter said Tuesday. “He cannot have a full-fledged restaurant, no parking, no traffic control, no handicapped access, and basically no permits.” He said the town has issued fines in town Justice Court over the past year. He said the site only has approval for take-out catering, not a restaurant.

The restaurant, which is housed in an old farmhouse, sells paninis, salads, sandwiches and wraps for both lunch and dinner. Parking has been a problem at the popular lunch spot with many patrons forced to leave their cars along West Main Street from

The porch overlooking the Peconic River at Farm House Country Kitchen restaurant.

the restaurant to Art Sites gallery. The eatery is open seven days a week and has been serving dinner since 2010.

It is described as a unique, rustic eatery nestled on the banks of the Peconic River in Riverhead, according to its website.

“He’s got good food from what people tell me, but you can’t ask the restaurants on Main Street to do all the things we tell them to do to comply with the code and this guy just comes in and decides he’s going to open a restaurant in a house,” Mr. Walter said.

Farm Country Kitchen owner Tom Carson declined to comment on the record on the allegations.

His Riverhead-based attorney, Peter Danowski, said Mr. Carson is “a victim of his own success.”

“It’s become an extremely popular spot to grab a sandwich and it’s the kind of thing that downtown Riverhead would love to see,” he said. Mr. Carson is currently looking to acquire additional land for parking, he said.  “We share the town’s concern about parking, but a restaurant is a permitted use in that area, and we’d like to think the town would applaud his success.”

He said other businesses in that area also park along the street.

Mr. Walter said the town’s main concern is public safety. He said he recently saw a car backing out of the restaurant’s driveway into oncoming traffic on West Main Street.

tgannon@timesreview.com

403 Comment

  • IF YOU WATCH AND SEE WHO THE PATRONS ARE DURING LUNCH MR.WALTER YOU WILL SEE OUR TOWN EMPLOYEES INCLUDING DEPT HEADS..SHHH SOME DEAL WITH PERMITS.SUFFOLKS SHERIFFS ENJOY A GOOD SANDWICH ONCE IN A WHILE..OH YEA SHOULD I ALSO SAY OUR VERY OWN MEN IN BLUE DESERVE GOOD EATS ALSO…AGAIN CLOSING SOMETHING THATS GOOD…
    NEVER WAS THERE A ACCIDENT THERE..HOWEVER THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS AT THE LIGHT OF PULASKI AND 58…

  • Shows how much Sean is interested in the town’s business, since he is the only one who knows nothing about it. Oh wait, he’s only interested in those restaurants owned by friends. Any excuse or spin to legitimize his agenda.

  • I agree,What about The Riverhead Project Sean, No site plan,no water fees,lack of off street parking etc.Permit in two weeks,Wink,Wink.

  • Great food! Would hate to see it shut down. Parking is an issue but I hope a solution can be found.

  • The town is trying to make them conform which is what they are supposed to do. If they don’t have the proper permits then something should be done they don’t deserve a free ride. I have personally witnessed on several occasions cars trying to back out of there stopping oncoming traffic which is going to cause an accident eventually. Once they acquire the proper permits they will be left alone.

  • SORRY LAURIE YOU ARE WRONG,THERE HAS BEEN MORE THAN ONE ACCIDENT AT THAT LOCATION,HOW ABOUT THE BUSINESS ACROSS THE STREET FROM HIM WHO GETS HIS DRIVEWAYS BLOCKED??WHY CAN’T HE APPLY FOR ALL HIS PERMITS AND DO IT LEGALLY LIKE THE REST OF THE BUSINESSES.DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT IT COST TO OPEN A LEGITAMATE RESTAURANT TODAY?? I AM PRETTY SURE HE DOES NOT HAVE SEWERS AND A GREASE TRAP SO WHERE IS THAT GOING ?? MAYBE IN THE RIVER.THERE ARE STORES ON MAIN STREET THAT HE COULD MOVE INTO THAT WOULD BE LEGAL,THAT IS HIS CHOICE.HE HAS BUILT A FOLLOWING NOW HE NEEDS TO RELOCATE TO SOMEPLACE LEGAL.CARDINALE KNEW HE WAS ILLEGAL AND SAID ON WRIV ONE DAY HE COULD NOT SHUT HIM DOWN BECAUSE ALL HIS TOWN EMPLOYEES WENT THERE.DO YOU REALIZE IF A FIRE WAS IN THAT BUILDING THE TOWN WOULD BE PART OF THE LAWSUIT BECAUSE HE IS OPERATING WITHOUT THE PROPER PERMITS

  • Sure Ray, Rome burns while Sean fiddles with a restaraunt. He should be worrying about how everything else in the town is screwed up thanks to him. If Cardinale knew it was illegal, which is apparently how you knew it was illegal, then why didn’t Sean know it was illegal all this time??? Where has he been the last year and a half?? Oh that’s right, focusing his energy on his buddies downtown. You sound just like Sean……. it was Phil’s fault!!

  • Tom, do yourself a favor and get out of Riverhead!! Riverhead town has done NOTHING for downtown main street since Iwas born in 1975 . They’re probably pissed off you didn’t grease their palm to get your permits so they are gonna stick it to you! It’s ok for an aquarium with inadequate parking and a monstrosity of a hotel to “squeeze” into main street. Finally a place that brings their A game of FANTASTIC cuisine (with a quaint and rustic setting) to main street and they are going to go after the little guy. TYPICAL Riverhead!! They don’t deserve you. Leave the low income, county seat, with the undeveloped main street and come to the south shore. You will clean up!! They will never learn.

  • I’d like to know how much grease a Ham and cheese wrap makes?This must be do as I say not as I do because The Town turned their head when the Riverhead Building Project opened without permits.Did they even get approval from the health Dept before serving?This has nothing to do with anything other than The Farm Country Kitchen does not run in the same circles.Maybe he should move to the “CLEAN CRISPY 58″…..I wonder who wants that property?

  • How typical of Riverhead to shut down one of the only successful businesses that exists in town. This is a GREAT restaurant, by the way, I give it 4 stars.

  • they do more than ham and cheese sandwiches there laurie.the owner was given warnings many times and refused to correct the violations. if he would work with the town and start making some of the improvements i am sure the town would work with him, but he refuses to do that .he is not above the law and nobody wants to see him close,he has had at least 4 years to do the right thing.maybe this will make him do the right thing

  • ARE WE HAVING FUN YET ? RAY THE ARTICLE SAYS THE VIOLATION IS FOR DINING .SO I ASK WHERE DID GREASE TRAPS COME IN?HEALTH DEPT CHECKS GREASE TRAPS HE HAS NO HEALTH VIOLATIONS.ALL I HOPE IS HE COMES BACK FIGHTING…..

  • It is such a great place to dine for lunch. Tom works and oversees everything almost every hour of operation seven days a week. It would be a great loss to everyone who works in Riverhead to close down this special establishment. Shame on the people that even try to. Just present him with the papers needed to continue serving us. Why punish a hard worker? oh, I guess it’s “why not?!”

  • Oh Paula this is Riverhead and I’m sorry to say in Riverhead they don’t work with the Businesses like in Mattituck.Here there is only a few that can get anything they want..if your not in the circle they will find a way to get to you.

  • Wow, honestly I’ve never stopped there. The traffic bothers me. Thats just me. This is quite a sore topic it seems. It’s really sad Riverhead has such problems working with its own. Yet I drive down Main Street now and the whole street is in shadow due to that monstrosity of a hotel. I’m sure the rooms facing the river get beautiful sun. We have to all try to band together to keep this a nice quaint town that people want to visit. Not some commercial playground for citidiots to visit. If this Country Kitchen has a problem with codes and such, someone that loves to eat there should go in and explain what needs to be done with the owner. A discussion. Tell him what papers he needs to file, and then it’s in his hands. Come on people. WE are the Town of Riverhead. We should work this out without any problems.