05/09/14 9:00am
05/09/2014 9:00 AM
Maximus Health & Fitness is expected to open within the next couple of weeks in the former Woolworth building on East Main Street. Pictured is the 25,000-square-foot main exercise room. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Maximus Health & Fitness is expected to open within the next couple of weeks in the former Woolworth building on East Main Street. Pictured is the 25,000-square-foot main exercise room. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

On Monday afternoon, Phil Durinick, co-owner of Maximus Health & Fitness on East Main Street, chatted amiably with a woman standing near the gym’s rear entrance as she marveled at the space inside.

She had been walking downtown when she noticed the construction taking place there and wanted to stop in to check it out, she said. In response, Mr. Durinick pointed to the nearby counter where Long Island’s first oxygen bar will soon serve flavored oxygen to the fitness center’s customers.  (more…)

05/06/14 6:00am
05/06/2014 6:00 AM

Looking for work? Check out the Times/Review classified section.

Looking for work? Or looking for employees? Look no further.

Riverhead Chamber of Commerce and the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency are hosting its annual East End Employment Expo next Tuesday in downtown Riverhead, bringing together those looking for employment, and employers searching for qualified help. (more…)

04/22/14 3:46pm
An orange sign on the locked door of Blue Agave Mexican Grill announcing that the restaurant was seized Tuesday afternoon. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

An orange sign on the locked door of Blue Agave Mexican Grill announcing that the restaurant was seized Tuesday afternoon. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

State tax officials shut down an East Main Street burrito joint Tuesday afternoon for failing to pay thousands of dollars in state sales taxes — but the restaurant’s owner told the News-Review he’s going to pay back the state Department of Taxation and Finance and that the eatery won’t be closed for long.

“I’m working with them now, and it’s going to be reopened definitely next week,” owner Ken Loo said.

The doors of Blue Agave Mexican Grill, which opened in 2012 and had, of late, only accepted cash payments, were locked Tuesday afternoon. Customers were greeted by multiple bright orange signs informing them that the property had been “seized for nonpayment of taxes and is now in the possession of New York State.”

According to the state tax warrant system, five tax liens have been filed against the restaurant since 2012, four of which are current — totaling $13,804. A New York State Tax Assessment spokesperson said that, in order for the restaurant to reopen, Mr. Loo will need to pay a total of $8,187 for nonpayments from 2013.

Mr. Loo — who also runs the sushi restaurant Haiku out of the same East Main Street building as Blue Agave as well as the Hy Ting Chinese restaurant on West Main Street — said he had to focus his attention on the Birchwood restaurant after his brother James, who owned and operated the Polish Town bar, died suddenly in January.

Mr. Loo said he discovered Birchwood was five weeks behind on payroll.

“I had to pay those guys,” he said. “A lot of things I can live with, like owing the state money. But I can’t owe people that have been working there for 30 years and not give them their paychecks.”

In addition to the money owed from Blue Agave, two liens totaling $13,659 were filed against Hy Ting and one for $14,149 was filed against Haiku, according to state records.

Mr. Loo said he had been in the process of paying for the taxes owed by Hy Ting and Haiku, and had a year to pay off the Blue Agave’s lien, but instead chose to use the money at Birchwood to “keep it afloat.”

When the deadline for Blue Agave’s payments came and went, the state stepped in.

Finding that tax agents had seized the restaurant and changed the locks was no surprise, Mr. Loo said.

“They change the locks and, when you give them the money, they give you the key,” he said.

He told the News-Review he would pay the state taxes in full to reopen the restaurant and was confident that, despite a “brutal” winter, the eatery would survive.

“I don’t want to see that place go,” he said. “It’s going to be open again … All three are still going to be there.”

cmiller@timesreview.com

03/25/14 12:00pm
03/25/2014 12:00 PM
Riverhead Suffolk Theater

The Suffolk Theater on East Main Street. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

An ‘open house’ scheduled downtown for tomorrow night about the use of over $600,000 in grant funding has switched locations, from the space where the farmers market is held at 117 E. Main St. to the Suffolk Theater.  (more…)

03/20/14 8:00am
03/20/2014 8:00 AM

A downtown sidewalk on East Main Street in need of repair. The state Department of Transportation is expected to start repairing and replacing the sidewalks this spring. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Before long, you’ll be able to take a stroll downtown without tripping over uneven sidewalks.

The highly anticipated downtown Riverhead sidewalk repairs will begin this spring and should be completed before the end of the year, according to the state Department of Transportation.  (more…)

03/16/14 11:21am
03/16/2014 11:21 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | East Main Street looking west near the theater.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | East Main Street looking west near the theater.

A week from Wednesday, a community meeting will be held to gain feedback from members of the public as the town puts a state grant to use aiming to revitalize distressed parcels in the downtown Riverhead area.

Riverhead earned about $600,000 in a Brownfield Opportunity Area grant in 2011, which were given to 21 communities statewide in order to “revitalize communities, create jobs, support environmental remediation and expand the tax base in distressed neighborhoods that have been adversely affected by multiple brownfield sites.” (more…)

03/09/14 7:00am
03/09/2014 7:00 AM
Cindy Clifford (from left), Diane Tucci, Debbie Slevin and Megan Heckman sharing a piece of apple crumble pie at the Riverhead Diner and Grill before ordering their breakfast Monday morning. (Barbaraellen Koch Photo)

Cindy Clifford (from left) and Diane Tucci of Riverhead, Debbie Slevin of Hampton Bays and Megan Heckman of Eastport came up with the idea for the Apron Strings Project while having breakfast one morning in Riverhead. (Barbaraellen Koch Photo)

The team of East End women behind the very unique Apron Strings Project will host auditions for the production March 21-22 in Riverhead. (more…)