Lucharitos owner Marc Lamaina plans to open Luchacubano in the former Sunny's Diner & Grill 'this holiday season.' Photo: Peter Blasl

The owner of the popular Lucharitos restaurants is planning to open Luchacubano in the former Sunny’s Diner and Grill on East Main Street.

Lucharitos owner Marc Lamaina was tight-lipped about the new venture when asked for comment, though he launched a Facebook page for it on Sept. 28 and has covered the grill’s window with a sign.

Lamaina is opening a new Lucharitos location —  his fifth — later this month in Melville. He said today he would have no comment on the downtown Riverhead venture, the concept for which is still being developed, he said, until the Melville restaurant opens.

The Luchacubano Facebook page says “Miami vibes. Roast Pork & Plantains. Coffee & Mojitos. Breakfast, Lunch & (reservation only) Dinner.” It also says the restaurant is “Coming this holiday season to Downtown Riverhead.”

The owners of the grill never reopened after the pandemic shutdown last year. They sold the iconic steel diner building to a New York City real estate investment firm that also purchased the Perabell building on the same block, according to county real estate records. Ike Israel of Richmond Realty said last month the new owners were already negotiating with prospective tenants for both restaurant sites. The same firm also purchased the building at 300 East Main Street, the former Michelangelo’s, where Insatiable Eats chef Marco Barrila has signed a lease and is opening a new restaurant and market. Barrila said he hopes to open by the end of this month.

Photo: Peter Blasl

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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.