Monday Briefing: 13 downtown restaurants and three on the way

All of Riverhead’s a stage.

At least that’s how it seems lately, with the number of videos and slide shows being posted at In just the last two weeks we’ve featured the Sing East End open karaoke event at Vail-Leavitt Music Hall —which the previous weekend had hosted the Riverhead Idol contest — Winterfest jazz performances and Riley Avenue school’s production of Cinderella.  And, of course, Riverhead Middle School’s annual Roman Banquet and play Thursday night.

We hope the kids and parents have enjoyed the coverage. Before the Web some of these great photos would have never been seen.

•  Hungry? Yesterday marked the first day of Hamptons Restaurant Week. I’m not sure if all these restaurants are participating in the $19.95 or $24.95 prix fixe meals, but thought it would be interesting to try to name all of downtown’s sit-down eateries, both mainstays and in the works:

These are the restaurants I could remember from between the LIRR tracks to the east and the Suffolk Historical Society to the west. Did I miss any?

Parto’s Restaurant

Julia’s Pizzeria


Athens Grill

Digger O’Dell’s



Star Confectionery

Riverhead Diner and Grill

Tweeds Buffalo Bar

Dark Horse

Cliff’s Rendezvous

Jerry and the Mermaid

In the works:

The Riverhead Project (in the old Chase bank building)

Tex-Mex place (behind Haiku)

Barbecue joint (in the former Casa Rica bar and restaurant)

So downtown may just be becoming that restaurant destination many have envisioned. Now we just need some more fun bars like Bay Shore’s Nutty Irishman.

• Speaking of the Irish, Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll be heading to my Italian mother-in-law’s house for some corned beef and cabbage. Perhaps if this downtown thing takes off Riverhead may one day host its own St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The Hampton Bays parade has really grown in popularity since the first one was held some six or seven years ago, and it’s a great way to welcome spring, which arrives next Monday.

It couldn’t come sooner.

After today, the five-day forecast calls for temperatures in the 50s, even reaching 65 degrees on Friday. That’s almost 70, people!

• There is a Riverhead Town Board meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. Be sure to follow us on Twitter during the meeting to get headlines from reporter Tim Gannon.