Heading out to Riverhead for lunch at Farm Country Kitchen? Bring cash to tip the valet.
The popular West Main Street eatery, which has come under scrutiny from the town for its lack of parking and other code concerns, is no longer allowing customers to park their own cars.
A pair of valets were at the restaurant this week backing cars in for customers and even re-parking vehicles when drivers pulled forward into a spot on their own.
“The owner wants everybody to be backed in,” one valet said. “He doesn’t want any accidents. He wants everyone to be able to drive right out.”
Farm Country Kitchen owner Tom Carson declined comment to News-Review reporters this week.
The restaurant, well known for its scenic riverfront location and its tasty gourmet sandwiches, came under fire last June, when the Town Board voted to authorize legal action in state Supreme Court against the business.
“He cannot do what he’s doing there,” Town Supervisor Sean Walter told the News-Review back then. “He cannot have a full-fledged restaurant, no parking, no traffic control, no handicapped access, and basically no permits.”
Town officials said the new parking policy has nothing to do with any kind of settlement.