Hearing set on restaurant planned for tiny Riverhead parcel

Riverhead, Taco Bell, Nathan's Famous, Route 58
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | A two-story restaurant is being proposed for a sliver of land between the Route 58 Taco Bell and Harrison Avenue.

Can you fit a restaurant on the tiny piece of land between Taco Bell and Harrison Avenue in Riverhead?

A Westhampton man is going to try, and his application will be the subject of a public hearing before the Riverhead Planning Board at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, in Town Hall.

Chuck Chockalingam of Westhampton bought the 3/10 of an acre parcel just east of Taco Bell from Suffolk County several years ago on a tax default. He’s looking to build a two-story 24-seat restaurant there and was recently granted three property line setback variances by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Mr. Chockalingam said he has not yet picked a tenant for the restaurant.

In 2009, he leased the property to a tenant who applied to build a Nathan’s Famous hot dogs outlet there, but Mr. Chockaligam took that tenant to court to remove him from the project because he was unhappy with the pace of the proposed development.

At the time, the Suffolk County Planning Commission had called the application an “over-intensification” of the property.