08/24/18 9:36am
08/24/2018 9:36 AM

Riverhead Town officials Thursday reviewed a site plan for Michelangelo’s Pizzeria, set to open on East Main Street this fall.

In January, northforker reported that the popular pizzeria and restaurant would move into the former The Riverhead Project and Sonoma Grill building at 300 East Main Street. The restaurant is affiliated with locations in Southold, Mattituck and Eastport. READ

09/20/14 10:00am
09/20/2014 10:00 AM
The Riverhead Project in downtown Riverhead. (Credit: File Photo)

The Riverhead Project in downtown Riverhead. (Credit: File Photo)

Some of the reaction to the news that The Riverhead Project has closed its doors has really bothered me these past couple of weeks.

I can’t say I’m exactly shocked by the closure. Nor was I surprised at all by the quasi-celebratory reaction from some of our readers.  (more…)

09/12/14 1:03pm
09/12/2014 1:03 PM
Dennis McDermott, owner of The Riverhead Project, said the downtown eatery is closed for good.

Dennis McDermott, owner of The Riverhead Project, said the downtown eatery is closed for good. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

The Riverhead Project, the downtown eatery widely heralded as a milestone in the revitalization of Riverhead, has gone out of business, according to the restaurant’s owner. (more…)

07/08/13 6:00am
07/08/2013 6:00 AM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Athens Grill owner John Mantzopoulos (left) with fundraiser organizer and owner of the Riverhead Project restaurant, Dennis McDermott, on Sunday.

On a weekend typically reserved for fireworks and family gatherings, restaurant owners are usually hunkered down at their businesses, trying to make the most of the busy summer holiday.

But this particular holiday weekend, Riverhead proprietors put their own livelihoods, and competition, aside for an afternoon to support one of their own.

Friends and fellow downtown restaurant owners banded together Sunday for the first of many fundraisers to help Athens Grill rebuild after it was destroyed in a fire a little more than a week ago.

The barbecue lunch, called “Rebuild Athens,” at The Riverhead Project restaurant saw dozens show up in support for Athens Grill owner John Mantzopoulos and his family. Trays of food were donated from neighboring eateries, including Blue Duck Bakery, Digger O’Dell’s, Meeting House Creek Inn, Crooked Ladder, Cody’s BBQ and Grill and many more.

“It’s like the end of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ when everybody comes together,” event organizer and Riverhead Project owner, Dennis McDermott, said of the event. Guests were not asked to pay for a meal, however nearly all donated for Athens Grill’s reconstruction efforts.

“It’s not even about the money; it’s to show John that we are here for him,” Mr. McDermott said.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The interior of the Athens Grill days after the fire.

“I was actually surprised so many came together,” Mr. Mantzopoulos said. “Riverhead has really shown me good faith.”

In 2004, Mr. Mantzopoulos took ownership of Athens Grill, expanding and upgrading the former gyro joint into an elegant, Greek restaurant. For almost 10 years he has been a part of Riverhead’s downtown revitalization efforts and currently serves on downtown Riverhead’s Business Improvement District’s board of the directors.

“John would always help anybody and now it’s his turn,” said Ray Pickersgill, the BID president, adding the outpouring of compassion is characteristic of the downtown business community. “They are all in competition, but they are all members of the business district.

“People here like to help others when they’re down.”

Mr. Mantzopoulos said he was relieved no one was injured by the fire, and that he is looking forward to re-opening.

“It’s too early to say what color the walls will be, but we will rebuild,” he told the crowd Sunday. “Hopefully in six months from now I’ll see you back at my tables.”

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