The double cheeseburger at Burgercade in Riverhead.

The double cheeseburger at Burgercade in Riverhead. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Marc LaMaina is determined to get downtown Riverhead right and he’s hoping that Burgercade, his second concept in 18 months, is the charm. The super-casual burger joint-video arcade opened in July, replacing the short-lived LuchaCubano, a more upscale Cuban restaurant that opened in 2022.

LaMaina, who also owns four Lucharitos Mexican restaurants (Greenport, Mattituck, Center Moriches and Melville) as well as the fledgling Good Juju’s in Aquebogue, said that Riverhead demanded a cheaper, more family-friendly concept to appeal to visitors of the Long Island Aquarium. "We needed to figure out how to get them to go down the street to eat.”

The answer: Burgers. “I’ve got three boys and I know they like burgers and I know they like video games. For $5 I can sell a great burger, a great hot dog.”

Burgercade’s starter burger, $5.15, is a quarter pounder made with ground brisket from Cow Palace in Rocky Point and served on a Martin’s potato roll. Add cheese, or another patty — you can’t spend more than $10. There’s also a black-bean burger and a fried fish sandwich, chicken tenders and wings, bubble waffles, milkshakes and a root-beer float.

The cheapest sandwich on the menu may also be the most exalted: Burgercade’s hot dog, $4.45, is a 6-inch “Snap-O-Razzo,” produced by Long Island’s own Ralph Perrazzo, who operated Rocky Point’s BBD’s from 2013 to 2018. (Perrazzo’s gastropub was lured to the Las Vegas Strip in 2018 but closed during the pandemic, by which time he had already launched his line of artisan hot dogs.)

Not only is Burgercade’s price point lower than at LuchaCubano’s, there’s no table service — order at the counter and listen for your name to be called. While you wait, there are plenty of vintage games to keep you occupied including Donkey Kong, Big Buck Hunter, Mortal Kombat, Ms. Pac-Man as well as pinball, a Fun Zone crane claw and a jukebox. LaMaina plans to add new games every few months: The Simpsons and the X-Men are in the on-deck circle.

Along with its burger-centric menu, Burgercade in Riverhead features classic...

Along with its burger-centric menu, Burgercade in Riverhead features classic arcade games and a jukebox. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Another reason that LaMaina is determined to succeed is that Burgercade occupies the former Sunny’s Riverhead Diner & Grill, the last incarnation of the vintage diner that had been in continuous operation from 1932 to 2021.

Burgercade, 87 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-591-3575, Open Monday to Tuesday and Thursday noon-8 p.m., Friday to Saturday noon-9 p.m., Sunday noon-7 p.m. Closed Wednesday.

Top Stories

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months