Fried chicken lovers rejoice, J&L’s opens in downtown Riverhead

J&L’s served up fried chicken sandwiches Saturday. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Their food has been a favorite at local fairs and festivals. J&L’s Chicken, Fish and Ribs, once a roaming restaurant, will now be serving up comfort food daily at its new brick and mortar building.

The casual-style restaurant opened to big crowds Saturday at the former Kratoville’s Luncheonette, located at 1020 Main Street.

“We’re excited,” said general manager Caprice Crippen, who is engaged to co-owner Leroy Hines. “We have been dreaming of this for a long time and it is nice to see it come together.”

This is the first time Mr. Hines has opened a restaurant. But the Riverhead native is no stranger to serving food in the area. For the past 28 years, he’s operated a private catering company, Hines Catering, which includes an ice cream truck that makes rounds in Riverhead.

Ms. Crippen said when it came time to choose a permanent location for J&L’s, it had to be Riverhead.

“This is home,” she said.

The Riverhead store may be the first, but it won’t be the last, she said. The couple is hoping to turn J&L’s into a franchise and is eying a spot in Flanders for the next eatery.

And while J&L’s is known for its fried chicken, cheese steaks, gyros, hot dogs and hamburgers, it also serves breakfast. The restaurant opens at 6 a.m. serving breakfast sandwiches on southern style biscuits, not to mention pancakes, home fries and more.

The storefront will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

View more photos of opening day on the next page.