Three new Main Street eateries have entered the home stretch of the renovation process and look to be open by summertime.

Perabell Food Bar East is sporting a brand new facade and sign. Today a banner went up announcing Perabell is now hiring for all positions. Applications are being taken Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m., according to the banner strung across the restaurant’s brand new entry.

Perabell partners John Peragine and Scotti Campbell have completely remodeled the former Cody’s BBQ. The renovations include a new front; gone is the recessed entryway, which harkened back to the days when large plate-glass windows displayed footwear for sale by Villella Shoes. The exposed red brick frames brand new smoked-glass windows and doors and sports a gold- and white-lettered sign that reads “Perabell Food Bar East.”

Peragine said he’s still waiting on furniture deliveries — and permit inspections. He said he could not speculate on a date for the grand opening but thought it would be no sooner than the end of May.

The large deck on the rear of the restaurant has gotten a facelift and the new owners have installed a new bar top, Peragine said. “It’s going to be a great place for happy hour,” he said.

“I’m hoping by the end of this week we can start scheduling inspections and then we’ll get our permits and will be able to open in early June,” Peragine said today.

Meanwhile, renovations at two other new eateries on Main Street are nearing completion.

2015_0514_sonomaSonoma Grill, located in the former RiverheadProject space, and Mazi, located in part of the space formerly occupied by Athens Grill, both plan to open their doors by summer.

In March, the Riverhead Town Board approved a special permit to convert the use at 300 East Main Street from restaurant to cabaret, to allow Sonoma to have music and dancing on the premises. At its May 5 meeting the board approved a budget for the installation of water service to the establishment. The exterior of the building looks largely the same as it did following renovations for the Riverhead Project. But extensive interior renovations have been underway, according to Chris Pia, a principal in the company that owns the building. Among them was the installation of a fire sprinkler system.

Athens Grill owner John Mantzopoulos with a brass phoenix he plans to inlay in the bar top at Mazi, to represent his new restaurant “rising from the ashes.”
Photo: Denise Civiletti

Athens Grill owner John Mantzopoulos continues with renovations for his new eatery, Mazi. It will occupy about half of the former Athens Grill space. Mantzopoulos, who owns the building, has divided the space and rented the other half to a mobile communications store. An adjacent storefront in the same building, occupied by a Mexican grocery prior to the fire that destroyed Athens Grill on June 28, 2013.

The three storefronts have brand new all-glass facades beneath exposed brick — which is also a striking feature behind the custom-made bar inside Mazi.

Mantzopoulos said last week he does not expect to be able to reopen his restaurant until June this year.

“If it gets to be the middle of the month, I just might wait and hold off until the end of the month and reopen on the anniversary of the fire,” Mantzopoulos said with a wry smile.

Mazi will not have sidewalk tables, something the restaurateur experimented with as the Athens Grill. But Mantzopoulos has renovated the building’s rear deck and created a patio where he plans to have outdoor seating in season.

“It’s been a long haul,” he said. “I’m looking forward to our new beginning.”

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.