Long a pitstop on the way to the Hamptons or North Fork, downtown Riverhead is in the midst of a revival. Street fairs like Alive on 25, a celebration of local food and music that has been held the last two summers, the 2015 addition of PeraBell Food Bar and last year’s opening of Taste of East End Boutique have given people a reason to come to the area. Late this fall, Preston House will give people a reason to stay.
The restaurant and 20-room boutique hotel is the latest project of Ronkonkoma-based J.Petrocelli Contracting Inc., the same company that owns Raphael Vineyard and Winery and neighboring Long Island Aquarium, Hyatt Place East End, The Sea Star Ballroom and Taste the East End boutique.
“[Riverhead’s revival] had a lot to do with our decision to take on this project,” said Jennifer Petrocelli, one of the restaurant’s general managers. “We hope this to be the new up-and-coming location for people to dine and stay.”
The hotel, which is being built from the ground up, will have studios, a one bedroom and suite. Petrocelli said it will provide travelers the opportunity to enjoy the more intimate vibe that epitomizes the Twin Forks. There will be rain showers, plush pillows atop a king-size bed, floor-to-ceiling windows and 55-inch HD TVs in each room. Rooms will range from 400 to about 900 square feet.
“There’s more personalization and the feeling that it’s your home away from home. It’s more intimate, romantic and high-end.”
The neighboring restaurant is set in the former home of the first Shelter Island elected sheriff Henry H. Preston, who fought in the Civil War. It will be classic upscale and keep the home’s original wood floors and shingles. The fireplace is also the same. Guests will be able to cozy up by it in the stone-walled lounge, which will boast cozy seating and a bar.
The restaurant will be two stories in total and have a nine-seat bar. The colors are subdued and clean. Think gray and white shiplap. A chef has yet to be named, but Petrocelli said to expect new American cuisine made from local ingredients whenever possible and plenty of wine.
“We’re going with wines of the world. Old world, new world and of course local. We’re giving everyone a chance.”
There will be four taps of wine and two will be reserved for local vineyards. Raphael Vineyard and Winery is confirmed. The vinos will be stored in an 800-bottle wine cellar, have original wood floors, shingles and an old fireplace.
Though an open date has not been officially set, Petrocelli believes the venue will be open by year end.