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Escape Quest would bring popular game to Riverhead storefront

For Flanders resident Saulius Trucinskas, escape is the name of the game he’s looking to bring to downtown Riverhead.

Trucinskas, 41, wants to turn a vacant store on West Main Street into Escape Quest, where people can play an escape room game.

The game has become popular in recent years and features teams of people solving puzzles using clues and hints to unveil secret plots in the space and “escape” the room.

Trucinskas noted the lack of recreational options in Riverhead and said he hoped the game would change that.

“There’s not too many activities you can pick on the East End,” he said. “It’s seasonal. There are times when you can go pumpkin picking, dining is nice, wine tasting is nice . . . but you sometimes want to have another option. And this could be a fun one.”

Riverhead Town Board officials said they liked the idea when it was presented at a work session on Thursday. Some noted that the game would fill up an empty downtown space and serve as an attraction that could encourage people to visit some of the downtown restaurants and stores after playing.

Trucinskas asked the board to hold a special public hearing May 17, which is required for him and his business partner, Aleksey Shtenger, to obtain the special permit for the space. The board will vote on that resolution Tuesday.

Trucinskas, who said he played the game overseas during a visit to his family in Lithuania, credited Shtenger, of Middle Island, for coming up with the idea. He said the pair hopes to eventually start similar escape game businesses in other areas.

Trucinskas said he envisions having a space that would hold up to four rooms where players have up to an hour to escape and win the game. He would like to open the business by summer.

“It should be a fun thing for the area,” Trucinskas said. “We are part of the community, so to make it better is a goal for everyone.”

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