Riverhead Ciderhouse seeks approval for permits over expansions made during pandemic

The Town of Riverhead says it will need an extra 36 parking spaces if the permits are approved.

Kevin Vesey

Apr 11, 2023, 12:24 AM

Updated 408 days ago


A battle is brewing over the expansion of the Riverhead Ciderhouse.
The updates were made during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which owner John King says were put in place to give people enough space to distance themselves from one another.
Some residents were frustrated because they say the business didn't get the proper permits to make those changes.
The business applied about a month ago, which sparked outrage at a recent public hearing.
"Before you do the expansions, get the permits," says Williams Sproston, of Riverhead. "Don't put the cart before the horse. It's not right."
The biggest addition is a 5,000 square foot space, which was converted from a warehouse to a tasting room. There is also a patio that was expanded.
Sproston is concerned about traffic and the safety of the patio, which he says is too close to Sound Avenue.
King says he did not increase capacity when he made the changes and only repurposed existing space.
"We moved the tables and chairs inside - we should have gotten a permit and we didn't," King says. "I've paid my dues already. I've apologized and we applied to get it done."
The Riverhead Ciderhouse opened around six years ago and has helped make the town a popular tourist destination.
The Town of Riverhead says the cider house will need an extra 36 parking spaces if the permits are approved and the expansion remains.
It's not clear when the town board could make a decision, but King says it could happen in a couple of weeks.

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