10/09/13 8:00am
10/09/2013 8:00 AM
FILE PHOTO | The former Woolworth building on East Main Street is undergoing a renovation.

FILE PHOTO | The former Woolworth building on East Main Street is undergoing a renovation.

Goldberg’s Famous Bagels will be a tenant in the former Woolworth building on East Main Street, which also will house a gym and apartments on the second floor.

The Riverhead Industrial Development Agency, which earlier this year granted tax incentives to property owner Woolworth Revitalization LLC for the overall restoration of the building, also must separately approve each tenant planned for the site.

On Monday, it voted 4-0, with one member absent, to approve Goldberg’s Famous Bagels as a tenant. Woolworth Revitalization LLC, a company headed by Michael Butler of Sag Harbor, purchased the 25,000-square-foot building from Apollo Real Estate Advisors for $2.2 million in February.

The building has been largely unoccupied since Woolworth left in 1997. Mr. Butler is planning to build 19 apartments on the second floor, along with the gym, called Ultimate on Main, on the ground floor and smaller stores fronting Main Street.

Goldberg’s Famous Bagels has 11 stores in New Jersey, as well as one store each in Southampton, East Hampton and Montauk, said Barry Brown, a representative for the applicant, at Monday’s IDA meeting.

The proposed Riverhead store would be in the same location that Bagel Lovers occupied for many years before moving to Osborn Avenue, but would be twice the size. The proposed Goldberg’s will have 16 seats, three employees and be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mr. Brown said. The bagels will be made on site.

“We’d like to be open by January,” he said. “I think it would be an asset for the town to get a good company like Goldberg’s,” said IDA member Lou Kalogeras in casting his vote.

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10/03/13 4:51pm
10/03/2013 4:51 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The scene where four kittens were found mutilated in Riverhead Tuesday.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The scene where four kittens were found mutilated in Riverhead Tuesday.

The Suffolk County SPCA is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever slashed the throats of four kittens and threw them over a fence behind an East Main Street business earlier this week.

According to Chief Roy Gross, the kittens – estimated to be about three weeks old – were found behind Riverhead Brake Service on Tuesday morning when an employee came into work and found them on the ground, at first thinking the small animals were rags behind a truck located on site.

Gross said the kittens – only one of whom was old enough to open its eyes – were put there between 5 p.m., when the business closed the night before, and 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Whoever is responsible faces a felony charge of animal cruelty, which carries up to two years in jail for each animal killed.

Gross called the culprit – or culprits – a “danger to society.”

“This never ends unfortunately,” he said. “Obviously this is very disturbing.”

The chief stressed the importance of spaying and neutering animals, to reduce a stressful domestic animal population.

Any tips given to the Suffolk SPCA will be kept confidential.

10/02/13 8:00am
10/02/2013 8:00 AM
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | The state police barracks in Riverside.

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | The state police barracks in Riverside.

Three people were charged after selling alcohol beverages to an undercover state police agent Monday night, state police said.

And the busts include one man who has had repeated run-ins with state and federal authorities.

Ravinder Parkash

Ravinder Parkash

Clerks Kenneth Powell, 16, of Flanders Deli, and Ingrad Moraga, 28, of Garden Deli, both on Flanders Road; as well as Ravinder Parkash, 60, of Shivani Gulf Gas and Food Mart on East Main Street in Riverhead, were each charged with one count of unlawful dealing with a child and one count of prohibited sale of an alcoholic beverage, according to a report.

Mr. Parkash and his wife were also arrested in June for running an alleged food stamp scheme out of the same East Main Street gas station market he has owned with his wife, according to reports.

He was also arrested in April 2012 for selling alcohol to a minor, police said.

The charges were in connection with an Underage Drinker Enforcement Detail completed in Riverhead and Southampton towns, police said.

06/14/13 9:12am
06/14/2013 9:12 AM

Some of the biggest names in film, music and modeling have been hitting the streets of downtown Riverhead and were spotted elsewhere on the East End this week, according to social media photos and postings.

The diminutve singer-songwriter superstar Lady GaGa posed for at least one photo at Jerry and the Mermaid restaurant on East Main Street Thursday. That shot was posted on Instagram, a photo-sharing social site.

The poster wrote Lady Gaga was at Jerry’s with Sports Illustrated model-turned-actress Kate Upton and actresses Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann.


05/20/13 1:38pm
05/20/2013 1:38 PM
Pickersgill's Robert James salon

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO| Downtown Riverhead looking west from the second floor above Robert James Salon on East Main Street.

I read John Finnegan’s column about his experience trying to site his zip line in downtown Riverhead.

I thought the column was nasty and unnecessary. It reminded me of two truths learned while growing up. One, never be a cry baby. Two, as my father would say, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Mr.Finnegan ran his idea by a group of businesses downtown and the Town Board, the idea seemed to falter as quick as it was proposed.

Let’s deal in a few facts:

Mr. Finnegan has never built or run a zip line.

Mr. Finnegan’s company was just formed, has no funds, has not done a dollar’s worth of business and is trying to raise money online to support his idea.

The zip line as-proposed would run the lenth of the boardwalk downtown and completely compromise the waterfront. It would be a huge, potential liability, costing the town more in increased insurance premiums.

The zip line would strain what is fast becomming a heavily trafficked parking lot, and in return Riverhead would receive — if he is successful —$37,000 a year in total revenue.

This, when according to all the parking studies, each spot is worth $100,000 dollars to downtown businesses. Many downtown visitors and residents have expressed that screaming zip liners overhead is not the experience they are looking for when they stroll the riverfront.

Can you think of any waterfront towns with zip lines running over them?

As businesses downtown, we met with Mr. Finnegan and shared our concerns. We kept an open mind. We tried to be positive and gave him good suggestions on other places for it in the town.

He told us the only place he would consider is downtown. When he saw the Town Board and the businesses had a lot of quetions he could not answer, he decided to make sarcastic comments about our town. He displayed pictures of empty stores, dumpsters and boarded-up windows.

Yes, Mr. Finnegan, we know we use dumpsters downtown and we are working on coming up with a better system, which we have already done on the other side of Main Street.

Yes, we know we have some empty stores, but it is also hard to find tenants to fill 12,000- to 24,000-square-foot storefronts. Believe me, I have tried.

You mentioned Dee Muma, Ray Dickhoff, Anthony Coates and myself. You implied the business community and us do not know what’s good for downtown. Mr. Finnegan, we make our living here. We employ a lot of people here. I have my entire life savings invested here.

And, you know what? There is no other place I would rather be. I am sure the others feel the same.

We volunteer here. We work here. And we are commited to make this town grow and prosper. We aren’t where we want to be yet, but we aren’t where we used to be either. Something called a recession got in our way, then a storm called Sandy.

You are a guy from out of town with a dream, but no money or experience. Forgive me, but Riverhead has seen it’s share of snakeoil salesmen over the years. When someone comes with an idea now, we check them out. After all, it affects everyone.

We did not kick you out of town. We tried to give you alternatives. But instead, you kick us on the way out of town. To me that shows what kind of neighbor you would have been. Your angry letter was a turnoff for me and an insult to the town I have come to love.

Ray Pickersgill is the owner of Robert James Salon and did not write this column on behalf of the parking district or business district.

04/23/13 2:45pm
04/23/2013 2:45 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Workers clean out the Knu Style-N-Temple barber shop on East Main Street Tuesday morning.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Workers clean out Knu Style-N-Temple on East Main Street Tuesday.

An East Main Street barber shop is being shut down after getting evicted from its space, law enforcement personnel said at the scene Tuesday morning.

A manager at the store declined to comment.

Store owner Charlie Green didn’t want to talk about the circumstances around the eviction, but said he was trying to take the move in stride.

“God has his way of moving things, making things move,” Mr. Green said. “Everything happens for a reason.”

A pile of chairs, decorations, and potted plants was stacked outside the store Tuesday morning, as workers loaded the supplies into a moving truck and nearby van.

Knu Style N Temple had moved to the Woolworth building location last November.

The store was on Peconic Avenue for the previous 11 years, and was on Old Quogue Road in Riverside for five years before that, owner Charlie Green previously told the News-Review

Plans are in the works to renovate the recently sold Woolworth building for apartments and retail, including a gym.

Mr. Green said he wasn’t sure whether the barber shop would reopen in a new location.

“It’s up in the air,” he said. “Right now everything is in God’s hands.”

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03/05/13 11:04am
03/05/2013 11:04 AM
Suffolk Theater in Riverhead

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The Suffolk Theater’s grand re-opening night.

The numbers are in, and the Suffolk Theater sold exactly 609 tickets to Saturday night’s grand opening gala in downtown Riverhead, theater officials told the News-Review Tuesday.

In fact, the “Back to the ’30s” cocktail party, which commemorated the recently renovated and reopened theater’s 1933 opening, was such a success that theater owners Bob and Dianne Castaldi are considering making it an annual anniversary event.

“I’m delighted. The overall feel and enthusiasm we’ve been able to create here is remarkable,” Bob Spiotto, the theater’s executive director, said of the event’s outcome and ticket tallies.

“It will certainly be a event that will go down in history,” he said.

Tickets sold for $125 apiece for the party, which featured 1930s-style decor inside and out, and period costumes for staffers and attendees alike.

While there was plenty of seating, the event at its peak was standing room only, theater officials said.

03/03/13 10:00am
03/03/2013 10:00 AM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The grand ballroom at Saturday's grand re-opening gala.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOS | The Suffolk Theater’s grand ballroom at Saturday’s grand re-opening gala.

Opening night at the newly restored Suffolk Theatre in downtown Riverhead was a show stopper.

Hundreds packed the venue on Saturday to celebrate the theater’s grand reopening. The “Back to the 30’s” cocktail party marked the first time the theater has been open for business since it screened “Dirty Dancing” in 1987.

“We’re tired, but it feels great,” owner Bob Castaldi said. “This is what we’ve been waiting for.”

The theater first opened in December 1933. More than 80 years later, it remains the last large art deco theater on Long Island, theater officials say.

After buying the theater in 2005, and after litigation with the town halted progress on work, Mr. Castaldi and his wife, Dianne, have spent the last three years restoring the theatre to its former glory. Most of the fixtures and detailing are true to the original building.

Massapequa resident Jim Frost took notice. He recalled coming to the theater as a young boy. On grand opening night — a night two swiveling spotlights shot light back and forth off the clouds, and Main Street was lined with vintage cars —  he took his wife, Mimi, to enjoy the celebration and reminisce.

“It’s wonderful,” Frost said. “We bought tickets right away. I haven’t been this excited about an event in a long time.”

There was no stone left unturned, right down to the ragtime music gracing the stage. The party came to life with the help of Vince Giordano’s band, The Night Hawks. The ensemble won a 2012 best compilation soundtrack Grammy for its work on HBO’s prohibition-era series Boardwalk Empire.

Party guests indulged in the era. They dressed for the occasion and were sure to hit the dance floor.

“This has been something I’ve been talking about since I was 10,” explained Erin McKenna, whose mother has volunteered during the restoration. Ms. McKenna now lives in New York City but made a special trip to support the theater.

Many believe the theater is going to help the long-beleaguered downtown area start attracting much more people and businesses.

“It’s finally here,” Ms. McKenna said. “This is so important for Riverhead.”

The grand opening gala officially ended about9 p.m., but not many noticed. The party continued well into the night, as DJ Aly Di Nas kept guests dancing at the after party that featured signature cocktails.

In the upcoming weeks and months, the Suffolk Theatre will showcase a variety of classic movies, hold live concerts and dance parties and even a couple of magic shows.

To check out the full list of upcoming events, log on to www.suffolktheater.com