NYC-style deli & market now set for fall opening

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Tahir Baig and Kaleigh Van Vliet Baig outside Off Main market and kitchen. The eatery will most likely open this fall.

Construction is complete on the much-anticipated Off Main market and kitchen in Riverhead — and tables, chairs and display cases are starting to fill the Osborn Avenue space.

But don’t expect to pick up lunch at the new eatery just yet.

In March, co-owners Tahir Baig and his wife Kaleigh Van Vliet-Baig said they hoped to open by Memorial Day. They now say that date will most likely be closer to early fall.

Ms. Van Vliet-Baig said construction took longer than expected and the couple still has to negotiate contracts with vendors and fill the store with inventory.

The couple has been at the market every day for the past few months, meeting with vendors and working to transform the space that previously housed the Peconic Baking Company into a full-service deli and market.

“All day, every day, it’s all about Off Main,” Ms. Van Vliet-Baig said Tuesday.

Though the Osborn Avenue market has not officially opened, the couple has begun catering and provided food for the River and Roots Community Garden fundraiser in May.

Off Main will feature a market and deli, salad bar and bakery and, according to its Facebook page, will carry “a full line of Boar’s Head deli meats, fresh produce, imported cheeses and floral to make your table the best in town.” The owners also hope to offer catering and free delivery.

Ms. Van Vliet-Baig, a student at the Suffolk County Community College culinary arts program headquartered in Riverhead and a 2004 Riverhead High School graduate, will oversee the kitchen. Mr. Baig, who has over a decade of grocery store experience, will oversee the deli’s front end.

The couple have described the market as a New York City-style deli, but modeled after the Citarella gourmet market in East Hampton.

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