05/30/13 6:00am
05/30/2013 6:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Suffolk Theater hosted an invitation-only event to thank the people who helped out with the renovation.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Suffolk Theater’s marquee.

To the editor:

If the new LED sign on the Suffolk Theater downtown isn’t enough to distract your strolling or driving, get ready for another on Route 25 at the new All Star bowling alley. Apparently the owners have applied for a variance to get an electronic sign installed in front by the road.

LEDs are great things in the context of Times Square or Shanghai, but Riverhead businesses have done just fine without them for 250 years. Of course, good taste in sign design has never been a hallmark of Riverhead, so why the fuss, you might ask? Signage on route 58 has contributed greatly to that “up west” feel that our supervisor is striving for as a model. It seems Riverhead doesn’t have enough of its own character or that American sense of place. Some feel America requires a Home Depot, Starbucks and CVS on every corner of every town. Riverhead is unique and we need to celebrate that. When I look at old photographs of downtown, I see the Riverhead Bank, Griffing’s Hardware, Star Confectionery and Tyte & Luce Repair Shop. All are businesses that make this place what it is.

The bowling alley is a new addition and a remarkable place in that it entertains and is a gathering point for both local families and visitors. The owners should be commended for creating something that uses salvaged materials, bowling and new video technologies together to make a place that reflects both our rural sensibility and our passion for media consumption (hard to avoid in the age of YouTube). I think it’s carried it off pretty well. The staff is welcoming and friendly. Kudos to them. I know it’s not everyone’s favorite (for instance, my 14-year-old says the music is way too loud) but that’s OK.

It succeeds more than most without being a Chuck-E-Cheese-type eyesore. So don’t blow it All-Star. Keep up the good mojo, and do the right thing: Put a little more money into your identity and give us a sign out front that makes us feel good about Riverhead, not something that makes us run the other way. It could even be something small — your building is massive and that kind of contrast can gain attention.

Remember, the sign in front of the Modern Snack Bar is an officially sanctioned town landmark.

The Suffolk Theater’s sign could have been too, but they mucked that up digitally.

Cliff Baldwin, Aquebogue

To read more letters to the editor, pick up a copy of this week’s Riverhead News Review or click on the E-Paper.

08/28/12 1:00pm
08/28/2012 1:00 PM

The much-anticipated All Star Bowling Alley saw some competitive bowling action Monday night for the first time, with the staffers inviting family and friends to roll while a digital Mick Jagger watched over them above the pins.

“We’re extremely ecstatic to be opening and to be part of the Eastern Long Island community,” general manager Peter Sgroi said.

The Riverhead bowling alley on Route 25 will have a soft opening to the public Thursday between 6 p.m. and midnight, but that could extend from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., depending upon business.

“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback,” Mr. Sgroi said. “We had a booth at the Polish Town fair and I think people don’t realize it’s a different ownership because a lot of people were saying, ‘Finally! You’re finally opening!”

Mr. Sgroi, who is a partner in the business, along with Jeffrey Rimland and designer Christopher Smith, said opening the business has been a swift process for them; construction started in April.

The restaurant portion of the bowling alley should “hopefully” be open by the soft opening, advised the full menu would not be initially available, Mr. Sgroi said.

“Where we’re going to start is definitely not where we’re going to take it,” Mr. Sgroi said. “We’re going to be working to make sure we’re selling the best product possible.”

With 30,000 square feet, there’s plenty of space for folks to move around.

One unique feature of the bowling alley is the rows of large screens that run above the pins. Monday night, the alley management had Mick Jagger and other performers on loop. There are also several screens around the open-air circle bar and Mr. Smith said the dining area will also feature a wall of screens that could either display several different images or one large image.

There’s also an arcade in addition to the lanes and mini golf on the property could be in store for the future.

gvolpe@timesreview.com

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | All Star Bowling Alley opened its doors for the first time Monday night. A soft opening for the public will be Thursday.