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Dark Horse restaurant a possible Riverhead white knight

The new Dark Horse restaurant in downtown Riverhead will have a symbolic grand opening next Wednesday, in what town officials hope will become an anchor project for their downtown redevelopment efforts.

The project, a ground-floor restaurant and five duplex apartments with residential and office space, is at the corner of East Main Street and Peconic Avenue — the western end of a business district with more empty stores than occupied ones.

Dark Horse got a $150,000 state redevelopment grant from New York’s Homes and Community Renewal program, and town officials say they are working to get another $250,000 to help cover the cost of renovating the Suffolk Theatre, an old art deco movie house which opened in 1933 and has been closed since 1987.

And, on the eastern end of the business district, workers are constructing a new hotel next to the Atlantis Marine World aquarium.

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