Denny’s eyes Riverhead Town for new restaurant

06/24/2011 9:20 AM |

The Denny’s restaurant chain, known for its 24/7 service and “Grand Slam Breakfast,” has been searching for a site in Riverhead Town, according to a source who requested anonymity.

Denny’s has more than 1,600 locations in the United States and other countries, but only two on Long Island, Selden and Levittown.

The company has not made any formal applications to the town, however, and town planning director Rick Hanley said he has not heard anything about Denny’s coming to Riverhead, and he has not received an application.

Local realtor and restaurant owner Ed Tuccio said publicly this week on WRIV radio — and later to the News-Review — he had heard Denny’s was looking at a site either in downtown or on Route 58, and was seeking Industrial Development Agency tax benefits from the town, something he opposes.

“You have to fight like hell to get your assessment reduced in this town and here you have a nationwide chain like Denny’s looking to come into Riverhead and you give them all the advantages we don’t have?,” he said.

Mr. Tuccio said IDA benefits, such as tax exemptions, are intended to attract business to the town that will create jobs, not to attract fast food chains.

“How many Denny’s are there in the United States?” he said. “That’s like saying McDonald’s needs IDA benefits.”

Tracy Stark-James, the executive director of the Riverhead IDA, said there is no application from Denny’s for IDA benefits.

A spokesperson for Denny’s did not return a call from the the News-Review seeking comment.

tgannon@timesreview.com

10 Comment

  • Sorry people but if Denny’s comes to the downtown area as much as I hate to say it they are entitled to the same tax benefits as any other business. The new Hotel is also a major chain and they have received a 10 year tax abatement. You can not discriminate on a case by case basis. If you do you are asking for a lawsuit. I say let them buy a vacant store downtown and either demo it or refurbish it and build new. Isn’t the priority hear having downtown Riverhead become a tourist attraction? Denny’s is very good and serves all meals. I welcome Denny’s with open arms as should the town.

  • As Much as I like Dennys ..I would rather drive up west if I really wanted Dennys..
    They will take a lot away from our Main St restaurants….and what about our diner?We want business but enough with the food stuff …They have enough competition…

  • Hyatt is managing the hotel; Hyatt doesn’t own it. The management is subject to change when the contract expires. It’s not as clear cut a comparison.

  • Hyatt does not own the hotel. It manages the hotel.

  • Just because Denny’s is not exactly fine dining does not make it fast food. And what about Denny’s makes Mr. Tuccio think that it does not qualify as a business that creates jobs?

  • If you like Denny’s enough to drive a half hour away and back why would you not want them near you? I admit there is nothing quite like a Grand Slam Breakfast at 3:00 am!

  • BECAUSE I’M FROM UP ISLAND AND IF IT TAKES YOU OUT OF RIVERHEAD EVEN FOR A FEW HOURS WHY NOT?I GO UP FOR WHITE CASTLE BUT I WOULDN’T WANT ONE HERE….
    I GUESS IT’S THE SAME AS SOMEONE GOING TO SOUTHAMPTON OR GREENPORT FOR DINNER.

  • Not Dennys-unless we also get a Whole Foods.

  • Hyatt is the name on the hotel and is a world wide chain any way you look at it.It doesn’t matter who owns or manages it. According to the Supervisor they will bend over backwards to accommodate any business downtown. If I open a business downtown and am not afforded a 10 year tax abatement like several other businesses I would file a lawsuit in a heartbeat.If you give it to one you can’t discriminate against others by not giving it to them. As far as taking business away from existing restaurants they have been doing just fine for many, many years already and if they have customers that are loyal they will keep on returning. If Riverhead ever does accomplish its goal of becoming a world wide tourist attraction we will need every option possible to accommodate the people. I would like to see a Red Lobster come to town along with Denny’s. I have eaten breakfast at the same “Mom and Pop” shops in town for 35-40 years and will continue to do so. I’m sure I could squeeze in Denny’s here and there without putting these other establishments out of business. If Ms. Downs is well enough off to travel up west with the current price of gasoline to visit some of her favorite spots well I say more power to you!

  • A Whole Foods would be wonderful! I wonder if Tracey Stark-James has made any effort to reach out to them and bring them downtown, or for that matter anyone in Town Hall.