Boutique shopping is abundant on the East End, but where do you go to stock your home with essentials? Riverhead.
If you’ve driven down Riverhead’s Route 58 recently, you’ve probably noticed some new businesses. This year, many new stores and restaurants have opened.
You’ve probably heard about Riverhead’s new Walmart. Since it’s long-anticipated grand opening back in January, when the store moved west on Route 58 to a brand new building right off the L.I.E., customers have had access to fresh produce and meat, a large grocery section, a Subway restaurant, vision center and much more. The move delivered on its promise to combine Walmart’s low prices with a larger selection of goods in a brand new building.
Set to compete with other big box-stores in the area like Target, K-Mart, BJ’s, and the recently opened Walmart, Costco opened its doors on Thursday, June 26. It will be the 16th warehouse in New York State for the popular store. Perhaps just as exciting, the East End’s new Costco will also feature a gas station, which some locals hope will help drive down prices at the chain gas stations located along Route 58. The store will also feature a bakery, fresh meat and produce, a deli, an independent optometrist and a photo center.
Riverhead’s Tanger Factory Outlet Center has several new stores: Hartstrings, Polo Ralph Lauren Men and Gadgets & Gizmos have all opened their doors in the outlet center over the past few months. The Body Shop will also be opening soon, possibly replacing the Naturalizer outlet in Tanger 1. Tanger shoppers will also notice remodels currently in progress: customers perusing the outlets will soon be treated to a vineyard- and Greenport-themed shopping experience.
If you’ve built up an appetite shopping in the outlets or along Route 58, stop in and sample some of the seafood at the recently opened Joe’s Crab Shack. The restaurant, located in the old Boulder Creek building, can be found in the same shopping center as Pier 1 Imports and TGI Friday’s, which is less than a mile down the road from Walmart and Tanger. Or, if you’re not in the mood for seafood, head across the street to the new strip mall and check out Buffalo Wild Wings. The restaurant has been serving its famous chicken wings, burgers and beer to Riverhead diners since February.
Also in the new shopping center, located on the south side of Route 58 just past the racetrack, are Aldi, Christmas Tree Shops and That!, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Five Below and a Starbucks featuring a drive-through for all of us caffeine addicts in a hurry. Aldi, a nationwide discount grocery store chain, sells about 1,400 store-brand food items to consumers at the lowest-possible price. Christmas Tree Shops, despite its holiday-centered name, offers consumers a wide array of affordable furniture, home décor and kitchen essentials, among many other products. Five Below, a retailor tailored to the teen and pre-teen market, offers popular and trendy merchandise like jewelry, candy, room décor and electronic accessories
for $5 and less. Dick’s Sporting Goods is the perfect destination for any outdoors enthusiast or athlete looking to stock up on gear. The new Starbucks offers late-night convenience by staying open until 10 p.m.
Big Lots, open since the end of October, has also created a bit of buzz in town. The nationwide retailer sells a variety of merchandise including seasonal goods, home décor, electronics, toys and furniture.
For those planning on taking a day trip to Riverhead, or shopping at any of the town’s stores, it’s best to avoid the summer crowds and cruise down Route 58 on a weekday morning when traffic is lightest. But, if you find yourself in Riverhead on a Saturday morning between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., don’t forget to check out the town’s Farmers Market, located on East Main Street across from the Suffolk Theater.