A new restaurant is readying to open in the East Main Street space formerly occupied by PeraBell Food Bar. Photo: Peter Blasl

A new restaurant is coming to East Main Street in Riverhead.

Perla Restaurant and Bar is getting ready to open at the former site of PeraBell Food Bar, which closed in July of last year. 

A “coming soon” banner displaying the name of the restaurant is currently hanging on the building. Restaurant owner Gabriela Montoya of Manorville said in a phone interview yesterday that she expects the restaurant to be open by the middle of December. 

Montoya, who tends bar at an establishment owned by her family, the Cococabana Tavern in Shirley, said the restaurant will serve Hispanic and Italian cuisine. She said the restaurant will cater to families. 

She decided to open the restaurant in Riverhead after she saw the vacancy while passing through the area. She said several family members have owned restaurants.

“I was saving up to have enough to open my own place,” she said.

Perla is the most recent in a series of restaurants that have occupied the building. Once the longtime home of Villella Shoes, 65 East Main Street was renovated into a restaurant space in 2006. The building is currently owned by HREA 65 E Main St, LLC owned by holding company Hildreth Real Estate Advisors.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: alek@riverheadlocal.com