Business

New restaurant proposed by Suffolk Theater owner for East Main Street

Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi is seeking to build a two-story restaurant on a Peconic Riverfront property adjacent to the Turkuaz Grill restaurant. 

The application is called 38 East Main Street, although the sign on the vacant building says 315 East Main Street.

The Town Board discussed the application at its work session Thursday with two representatives of the applicant: architect Henry Muff and former Councilman Vic Prusinowski. 

Town Building and Planning Administrator Jefferson Murphree said in a staff report that the .06-acre property is being proposed for a two-story, 4,031-square-foot, wood-frame restaurant with 24 seats proposed on the first floor and 97 seats on the second, Mr. Murphree said. 

The proposed height is 34 feet.

A special permit from the Town Board is needed since the application proposes to exceed the maximum permitted building lot area of 80% development with a proposed 100%. 

Mr. Murphree said the small building is often called simply the “green building.”

“This building does not appear to be occupied and the current use is not known,” he wrote in his staff report. 

In the past, it’s been used as an office and retail use. In 1985, it received site plan approval for a two-story restaurant which was never built, according to Mr. Murphree. 

Mr. Prusinowski pointed out that the building also was once the office of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.

Asked what type of restaurant was being planned, Mr. Prusinowski said he was not at liberty to say yet until the contract with Mr. Castaldi is finalized. But, he added, “it’s a family business that’s been around a long, long time, and they have a good reputation.”

The Riverhead Town Sewer District owns the property to the north, and Turkuaz Grill is located to the east.

The property is located in an AE Flood Zone, which is an area of high risk next to the Peconic River and requires all new construction to be constructed at least two feet above the base flood elevation level, Mr. Murphree said. 

The Town Board will need to hold a public hearing on the special permit. The board also is expected to declare the proposal a “type one action,” which means that it will be circulated to other agencies to determine if there are objections to the town serving as lead agency in the review of the property.  

Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said Mr. Castaldi “does good work.”

She said “it seems like there’s a little bit of work to be done but I know you’ll get it done.”

“We don’t disagree with anything in Jeff’s report,” Mr. Prusinowski said. “There are issues that we have to address.”