Photo: Peter Blasl

Hampton Coffee Company will be opening a new location in the Riverhead train station building, Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith announced today.

The MTA board today approved a 10-year lease with Hampton Coffee Company franchisee Cheffield Caffetteria LLC, whose principal, Robert Pollifrone, owns Buoy One Restaurants and other Hampton Coffee Company franchises, according to a document posted on the MTA board website.

Cheffield responded to a May 2 request for proposals issued by the MTA, proposing to invest $400,000 in improvements to the 1,500-square-foot station building, including a full interior renovation and installation of a kitchen.

The new coffee shop will serve breakfast and lunch items. Its menu will include “small-batch, hand-roasted craft coffee, freshly baked homemade muffins and sandwiches, soup, and espresso beverages,” according to the MTA document.

Pollifrone said the lease isn’t finalized yet. He said he still needs to conduct a walkthrough with MTA representatives. Pollifrone said he could not estimate when the location might open, since there is a lot of work to do at the site and the use will require a permitting process that could be protracted.

“Bringing in a tenant to the train station has been a major goal of the town for years,” Jens-Smith said in a press release this morning. “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,” she said.

Jens-Smith said she ordered more patrols for the area, worked with the MTA to install security cameras at the station and organized seasonal clean-ups and plantings around the train station to beautify the area. The town is working with Suffolk County, the town highway department and the MTA to move the bus station away from the front of the train station building “in order to enhance access to transportation for passengers and make sure they are able to exit and enter buses safely.”

“Transit-oriented development is key to revitalizing downtown areas,” the supervisor said.

Hampton Coffee Company, headquartered in Water Mill, currently has locations in Southampton, Westhampton Beach and Aquebogue. It is the largest independent coffee roaster and retailer on Long Island, according to its website.

The former ticket office on Railroad Avenue, more than 100 years old, is not the company’s first atypical setting. Its original location in Water Mill opened in 1994 in a 1940s-era service station and its Main Road, Aquebogue location is also a former service station

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Denise Civiletti
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.