After 13 years in downtown Huntington, F.H. Riley's has served its last pint — at least in the village.
The restaurant at 400 New York Ave. closed Dec. 2, said Kerrliyn Hughes, wife of owner Brett Hughes. Yet it is not the last of the business: A few miles away, in East Northport, a banner announcing Riley's East has hung at 200 Larkfield Road spot for months, and that business is poised to open in coming weeks. "We're really looking forward to getting in there," said Hughes, and serving both new clientele and longtime Huntington customers.
F.H. Riley's opened in Huntington in 2006 with a solidly American menu, a bar, a white-tablecloth dining room and sidewalk tables that could get busy in warmer weather. Brett Hughes served as chef-owner, a role he will reprise in East Northport, said Kerrilyn Hughes. While the menu will be slightly different, a few Huntington dishes are making the jump. "The menu will be more finely tuned, but definitely the gumbo and the mac-and-cheese will stay," she said. "Some of the staff from Huntington is coming with us, so there will be familiar faces." While the Larkfield Road space is slightly smaller overall, she said, the bar is larger (with 16 taps) and in addition to tables and booths, there will be a community table.
Meanwhile, in Huntington, a "for rent" sign has been posted in the window of the former location. From the late '70s until 2002, the New York Ave. spot was a Greek restaurant called Spartacus, before becoming Il Panino and then, F.H. Riley's. Nondas Kalfas, the son of Spartacus' original proprietors, still owns the building. Realtor Brian Phelps said the space retains its bar and full kitchen, and is "almost a turnkey." Phelps had fielded dozens of calls on the spot since it went up for lease last week, he said.