12/20/13 10:00am
12/20/2013 10:00 AM
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Tom Mielnicki of Riverhead hopes to convert this vacant building on West Main Street in Riverhead into a restaurant called Simple Table.

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Tom Mielnicki of Riverhead hopes to convert this vacant building on West Main Street in Riverhead into a restaurant called Simple Table.

Simple Table, a new restaurant proposed on West Main Street along the banks of the Peconic River, received site plan approval from the Riverhead Town Planning Board on Thursday.

The proposed 40-seat restaurant on 305 West Street, across from Concern for Independent Living, is expected to be open by April at best and Memorial Day at the latest, according to Tom Mielnicki, who bought the property earlier this year and plans to run the restaurant with his 23-year-old daughter, Ariana, a culinary student at Suffolk County Community College.

The Mielnickis have described the proposed restaurant as offering “comfort food served family style.”

Mr. Mielnicki, who is vice president of the Polish Town Civic Association, will be the executive chef at the new restaurant.

“This is another vacant store downtown that’s gonna be filled up with a good use,” said Planning Board member Ed Densieski in casting his vote in favor of the site plan. “I’m looking forward to it.”

The application has approval from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the town architectural review board, and the state Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act, which limits what can be built along the Peconic River.

“We’ll also have a kayak launching area on the river,” Mr. Mielnicki said following the approval. He said the state DEC recommended that.

The proposal calls for converting a vacant building on the site into an office and building an 18-foot addition addition on the building.

Mr. Mielnicki said he still has some paperwork and some construction to do on the property, which measures .31 of an acre.

The property currently includes three buildings, including the one designated for the proposed restaurant. One of the smaller structures is currently used as an office, and Mr. Mielnicki has said he plans to build a small addition to connect two buildings that are just eight inches apart, giving the restaurant a total of roughly 2,300 square feet. The third building will remain freestanding.

10/03/13 8:37pm
10/03/2013 8:37 PM
TIM GANNON PHOTO | Pat Tuccio hopes to convert this vacant building on West Main Street in Riverhead into a restaurant called Simple Table.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Property manager Tom Mielnicki of Riverhead hopes to convert this vacant building on West Main Street in Riverhead into a restaurant called Simple Table.

A new restaurant is in the works for West Main Street in Riverhead and the hope is that it opens in May.

The Riverhead Planning Board held a public hearing Thursday night on plans for Simple Table, a proposed 40-seat eatery that Riverhead property manager Tom Mielnicki hopes to create in a vacant building at 305 West Main Street that last housed an auto shop about eight years ago.

“It’s about trying to do something positive with that part of town,” Mr. Mielnicki said of his plans.

Mr. Mielnicki, who is also vice president of the Polish Town Civic Association, said he will serve as executive chef. His daughter, a culinary student, will also work at the eatery, which he said will offer comfort food — served family-style.

Mr. Mielnicki said he also plans to build an outdoor patio with outdoor seating.

In an interview after the Planning Board meeting, Mr. Mielnicki said he purchased the property from Pat Tuccio for $243,000 in June. The property, which is a third of an acre, includes three buildings, including the space for the proposed restaurant. One of the smaller structures on the property is currently used as an office, Mr. Mielnicki said.

Mr. Mielnicki said he plans to build a small addition to combine two buildings that are just eight inches apart from each other, giving the restaurant a total square footage of roughly 2,300 square feet, with the a third building remaining free standing.

Sixteen gravel parking spaces will also be added, he said.

Lisa Cuomo, Mr. Mielnicki’s business partner, said Simple Table will offer reasonably-priced meals, something she said is “kind of lacking right now in downtown Riverhead, from a family’s standpoint.”

“We’re hoping we get the approval to go forward with this because it’s something that could be beneficial and encourage foot traffic,” she said.

The property is located west of the existing Citibank building.

ryoung@timesreview.com