The downtown Riverhead area will once again have a coffee shop.
At a meeting Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board approved a 10-year lease agreement with Cheffield Caffetteria LLC, owned by Robert Pollifrone.
According to a meeting agenda, Mr. Pollifrone plans to open a Hampton Coffee franchise at the 1,500-square-foot station building, which has been vacant for several years.
In May, the MTA issued a Request for Proposals for leasing the Riverhead train station building, soliciting bids to repurpose the building into retail use.
Menu items will include “hand-roasted craft coffee, freshly baked homemade muffins, sandwiches, soups and espresso beverages,” the document said.
Mr. Pollifrone has proposed to invest $400,000 toward improving the building and adding a kitchen.
Under the proposal, the MTA will waive rental fees for the first three years since the applicant has proposed a “substantial investment” in improvements to the station.
Mr. Pollifrone owns the Buoy One restaurants in Riverhead, Westhampton and Manhattan and several Hampton Coffee Company franchise locations. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith announced the partnership in a press release Wednesday.
“Bringing in a tenant to the train station has been a major goal of the town for years,” she said in a statement. “Coming into office last year I made a determined effort to make that happen, even as many told us that it could not be done.”
During her tenure as supervisor, Ms. Jens-Smith has made revitalizing the area surrounding the train station a priority. In recent years, several seasonal clean-ups have been held, security cameras were installed and additional police patrols of the area have been instituted.
The supervisor also said she is working with Suffolk County, the town highway department and MTA to move the bus station away from the front of the train station in order to “enhance access to transportation for passengers and make sure they are able to exit and enter buses safely.”
The brick building, which dates back to the early 1900s, had most recently been used as a soup kitchen until 2011.
The MTA believes the lease will bring value to the LIRR and Riverhead area. The town’s Community Development Agency is currently studying the area near the train station, which could be revitalized through transit-oriented development.
Hampton Coffee Company is headquartered in Watermill and operates locations in Southampton, Westhampton Beach and Aquebogue in addition to their mobile food truck.
Hampton Coffee Co. representatives could not be immediately reached to comment Wednesday.