12/24/13 9:00am
12/24/2013 9:00 AM
Suffolk Theater in Riverhead

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The historic Suffolk Theater in downtown Riverhead.

For the first time since 1987, when it showed “Dirty Dancing,” the Suffolk Theater was open for business.

After years of work and millions of dollars, Bob and Dianne Castaldi hosted its opening party on March 2 to much fanfare.

The history leading up to the re-opening had been well documented. Riverhead Town purchased the theater in 1994, attempted to reopen it on its own and sold it to the Castaldis about a decade later.

Since the theater’s re-emergence, a few more new businesses have opened their doors on Main Street while other projects, such as the Woolworth building renovation, are in the works.

The theater, like a lot of businesses, has faced its fair share of challenges, having gone through a pair of general managers in seven months. But there remains no other venue like it on the North Fork and with 19 apartments moving in next door with the Woolworth project and Summerwind starting to fill up down the street, it looks like there should be even more feet walking into the theater next year.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 news stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.

12/23/13 8:45am
12/23/2013 8:45 AM
PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Emergency crews responded to a fire at Athens Grill on East Main Street.

PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Emergency crews responded to a fire at Athens Grill on East Main Street.

Flames broke out at two different downtown Riverhead restaurants in a span of just a few days in June.

A grease fire caused by an unattended pan of bacon broke out at Cliff’s Rendezvous on June 25, forcing the popular East Main Street restaurant to shut its doors for a little over two months while owner Cliff Saunders repaired minor damage caused by the blaze. The casual bar and eatery reopened Sept. 7.

Just three days after the fire at Cliff’s Rendezvous, another grease fire occurred down the street, at Athens Grill. That blaze caused substantial damage to the building, particularly its roof, and the restaurant is still closed. No one was hurt in either fire.

Athens owner and chef John Mantzopoulos now plans to rebuild and reopen the eatery as Mazi.

“We wanted to put Athens Grill to rest,” Mr. Mantzopoulos said in July at a “Rebuild Athens” fundraiser hosted at The Suffolk Theater to raise money for the eatery’s restoration. A similar fundraiser was held the same month at The Riverhead Project.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 news stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.