GRANT PARPAN PHOTO
Construction is under way at the former Village Beverage Center on Route 25A in Wading River. The owner of the property said Dunkin’ Donuts plans to open its doors in the renovated building on June 1.
The old white building on Route 25A in Wading River that most recently housed the Village Beverage Center has undergone many transformations over the years. It was a delicatessen, a pizzeria, a fish store and even once a hobby shop featuring a remote-control race-car track.
Now, after being vacant for nearly a year, the building will soon be home to one of the northeast’s most successful food franchises — Dunkin’ Donuts.
“We’re thrilled about it,” said Anna Sohre of Sound Gardens Landscaping, which owns the property.
Ms. Sohre, a Riverhead resident who has owned the property for 12 years, said the franchise is expected to open by June 1. The new shop will be the only one of its kind between Miller Place and Riverhead on Route 25A.
“I was hoping for May 15, but it’s rained a lot this year,” Ms. Sohre said of the project’s progress.
Ms. Sohre said the inside of the building will be split into three storefronts, with half the square footage occupied by Dunkin’ Donuts. One-fourth of the building space will be for a sweet shop, which will offer gourmet ice cream, candies and nuts, Ms. Sohre said. The northern quarter of the building, Ms. Sohre explained, will be converted into retail space for the expansion of her landscaping business, where she will sell equipment and seasonal decorations.
“It was a project about a year-and-a-half in the making,” she said.
Dunkin’ Donuts is the largest coffee and baked goods chain the world, selling over one billion cups of coffee and over 900 million donuts yearly, according to the company. Founded in 1950, Dunkin’ Donuts has more than 6,500 shops in 35 states and the District of Columbia.
Riverhead planner Theresa Masin said the building has been renovated to include a 16-seat restaurant, but the footprint of the building will not be expanded. Unlike many Dunkin’ Donuts shops, the Wading River location will not include a drive-through due to zoning regulations for the corridor, Ms. Mason said. There will not be any additional parking required either, Ms. Mason said.
“They are going to give [the building] reverse gables to make it more pleasing to the eye,” Ms. Mason added.
Ms. Sohre said that the building will also be getting a new storefront and signage. “Basically, we are giving it a face-lift,” she said.
News that the building would be occupied came as music to the ears of longtime Wading River resident Sid Bail. Mr. Bail, the first vice president of the Wading River Civic Association, said he was glad to see the renovation of an existent structure and that the additions would be an improvement to the building.
“It was never really an attractive building to begin with,” Mr. Bail said.
Ms. Sohre said she is looking forward to the location’s grand opening, so that she can get some feedback from the community.
“I think it is going to be a good thing for the town,” Ms. Sohre said. “I just think that we needed something new in Wading River. We’re excited. I think that everyone is excited.”