Denny’s eyes Riverhead Town for new restaurant

06/24/2011 2:46 PM |

The Denny’s restaurant chain, known for its 24/7 service and “Grand Slam Breakfast,” has been searching for a site in Riverhead Town, according to a source who requested anonymity.

Denny’s has more than 1,600 locations in the United States and other countries, but only two on Long Island, Selden and Levittown.

The company has not made any formal applications to the town, however, and town planning director Rick Hanley said he has not heard anything about Denny’s coming to Riverhead, and he has not received an application.

Local realtor and restaurant owner Ed Tuccio said publicly this week on WRIV 1390 AM radio — and later to Times/Review — that he had heard Denny’s was looking at a site either in downtown or on Route 58, and was seeking Industrial Development Agency tax benefits from the town, something he opposes.

“You have to fight like hell to get your assessment reduced in this town and here you have a nationwide chain like Denny’s looking to come into Riverhead and you give them all the advantages we don’t have?,” he said.

Mr. Tuccio said IDA benefits, such as tax exemptions, are intended to attract business to the town that will create jobs, not to attract fast food chains.

“How many Denny’s are there in the United States?” he said. “That’s like saying McDonald’s needs IDA benefits.”

Tracy Stark-James, the executive director of the Riverhead IDA, said there is no application from Denny’s for IDA benefits.

A spokesperson for Denny’s did not return a call seeking comment.

[email protected]