New stores and restaurants are returning to downtown Riverhead, but there are more than a handful of empty or boarded-up storefronts in the community, a sign of the hard times Riverhead, and the country, has faced.
Riverhead Patch is going to spotlight some of these vacant businesses to start a discussion in the community about what can, could or should be done to make use of the abandoned places across town, and so help to revitalize Riverhead.
Today we start with a former staple of Griffing Ave, the old Court House, later J.P. Michael's, Restaurant.
It's estimated the building, located less than 100 feet from the Supreme Court building in town, was first built in 1890, according to the Town Assessor's office, and was expanded around 1974. The Klein Family, who now own , operated the Court House Restaurant for decades, until it was sold and renamed J.P. Michael's.
Now the building has sat empty for over a decade, with weeds growing on the lawn and in the gutters. A stop-work order is posted on the former restaurant's sign, but years of decay have torn away half the paper.
J.P. Michael's has been shuttered for years: what would you like to see there? Another restaurant? A new type of business?