Real Estate: The man behind Mattituck’s new market on Love Lane

04/05/2011 6:11 PM |

Architect Chris Smith of Laurel in the Love Lane Market building in Mattituck last Thursday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Architect Chris Smith of Laurel in the Love Lane Market building in Mattituck last Thursday.

When the new Love Lane Market opens its doors later this spring, shoppers will experience the work of a world-class restaurant designer who just happens to live in Laurel.

Architect Chris Smith has been living in Laurel full-time for five years, but this is his first commercial project on the East End. With two children in school at Cutchogue East and four other restaurant projects currently simmering in Malaysia, California, Florida and Honolulu, it’s working close to home that he finds most inspiring.

Mr. Smith is a regular at Love Lane Kitchen, and when he heard last fall that owners Michael and Patty Avella planned to acquire the market next door, he let the cat out of the bag that he was a pro at designing just such spaces. They quickly signed him on to design the new space.

A 1984 graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, Mr. Smith worked as a design director at The Blackwell Group in the 1980s. He led the effort to design Nobu New York and several Planet Hollywood restaurants before starting his own firm, CMS Architecture & Design, in 1993.

His firm also created the concept for the Dylan Prime bistro in New York, the Japanese restaurant Haru with three locations in New York City and one in Philadelphia, and sushi restaurant Doraku, which has several locations in Florida and Hawaii.

But the East End has always been close to Mr. Smith’s heart. He frequently visited his mother’s house in Laurel with his family, and when she died several years ago he moved into her former home.

“I got to know Mike Avella, and once he said he was interested in buying the old market we walked through the space,” Mr. Smith said while walking through the space last Thursday morning. “I told him what I thought of it. My first impression was that we needed to gut the whole thing. The interior was 50 years old and dark and dank. It needed a new change, a new concept.”

The former Village Market building dates back to the 1920s. The appliances and refrigerator cases had been updated, but Mr. Avella and Mr. Smith worked on a whole new idea.

The reworked space, with construction by Gabrielsen Builders, makes use of industrial design elements, including three peaked leaded glass skylights that direct light onto a large new central refrigerated case and front windows designed with thick panes of clear,  random colored panes dispersed throughout.

“I went to Catholic school and the windows in the school always looked like that,” he said. “Someone would break a window and they’d replace it with a different color.”

The panes he’s using in the market’s facade were reclaimed from a 1920s industrial building he found in a salvage yard in Pennsylvania.

Wide beams of long-leaf yellow pine from a barn in Connecticut, re-milled at Riverhead Building Supply, wrap half the  retail space from floor to ceiling. Near the newly designed automatic entrance doors, subway tile graces a bank of refrigerator cases retained from the original market. A tin ceiling and a colorful blend of patterned cement floor tiles to greet shoppers as they enter the store complete the experience.

“The vision for the whole concept is to create a real marketplace that’s light and airy. The food is very visible, very appealing,” he said, adding that the natural light entering the building through the skylights is key to the change.

“It’s like a gallery, lighted from above,” he said. “It has an open-air market feeling.”

Several new entrances have been added to the building. A side door opens on to the courtyard and alley between the Market and the Kitchen next door, and a rear door gives onto the parking lot behind. Alongside the alley there’s a new window just four feet above the ground, with a doughnut machine slated to fill the space.

“We put it in at kid height so they can peek in there and watch the doughnuts being made,” said Mr. Smith.

The kitchen in the redesigned building will be smaller, but chefs will be working out on the sales floor, making gourmet pizza at a wood-burning pizza oven and stir-frying Asian dishes at two wok stations.

“It’s almost display cooking,” Mr. Smith said. “Especially with the advent of the Food Channel, everyone sort of expects to see how everything’s prepared.”

He’s currently designing a restaurant in New York for celebrity chef Todd English where the chefs will work at a grill in the middle of the dining room.

“It’s exciting, especially when there are flames involved,” he said.

If all goes according to plan, Love Lane Market will open in about two months. No doubt Mr. Smith will be a regular once again, sipping coffee with the old-timers as they watch the morning traffic go by from the long table behind the old building’s new facade.

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38 Comment

  • Lets see…………… if you were 20 in 1959 you would ……………. be …………. ah…………oh right ………72 years old …..exactly….. now thats a change!

  • The Oldies concert will cover 60’s 70’s 80’s 90’s, something for everyone.

  • so……… we should listen only to music from the time we are 20 and there after…. um……. so much……. for mozart & bethoven…….. now thats!…… not logical, the bid is putting a series of
    free concerts for all age groups we are not replacing for hear say the blues festival but simply
    filling a gap of our summer concert series between the 3rd of july and the 6 of august you should come down and enjoy these concerts with friends & family

  • Love WATG, but if this is all what is offered, this is gonna stiff. Leveraging the term “oldies” has already turned off a good part of a younger audience that is really looking for a good hometown festival.

    For it’s warts and all, RBF did take shots at periodically drawing a headliner like Joe Bonamassa – this is what will draw attention and bring a revenue stream to hold stronger events for the future.

    If they want to be serious rather than create a stopgap, the BID should take a year off and look at the Great South Bay and NoFo Festivals – nationally renowned acts, great vending and food, a well thought out, family-oriented landscape

  • we are not trying to replace the blues fest or compete with any other event.we also are not charging for any of our events,nofo festival 40.00 per person,think patchogue is 20.00 per person.our events are free and we had no complaints about anything we did on such short notice last year (2 weeks of planning) and we had huge attendance at all our events.this year we have not one but three grammy award winning and nominated entertainers at various events we are doing.the oldies concert we have planned was not last minute we just changed the is a concert for all ages because we are doing from the 60;s to 2000.with various performers.we set up chairs for people who want to sit and tables and chairs for people who want to eat and watch.the best part is qualityentertainment for FREE and very little cost to the town (volunteers and bid members do all the work including picking up the garbage ) wait till the end of the summer meanwhile come on down, bring the family. i guarantee you and your family will have a great time

  • The blues festival put us on the map every year,its bad politics and bad decision making by the board let the people who orchestrated the concerts all these years do their event,theres enough police force in riverhead to do concert day patrols,Riverhead is supposed to be the” county seat” start acting like it do your part for the town and its community

  • Sounds way too fancy to me

  • We will miss you Bob. Wave as you pass by the market though.

  • Sounds great – and I’m sure the place will be very popular. Love Lane Kitchen does things right. My only question is how Love Lane will handle all the traffic?

  • sounds great!?!?!?????(forgive incomplete prior) i grew up in mattituck. i remember the big thrill to have become old enough to ride my bike to love lane —get penny candy from that jewish couple who owned that store(kinda where broken down is). i met my first love at the arcade that was there in my early teens. they are destroying “hooterville”. oh and as far as traffic. they will eventually just erase all of love lane rebuild and like the L.I.E they will rebuild with more lane availability. i am beginning to see why i havent been “home”(ha!) in quite a while. from what i understand there is a big bad realtor in the shadows. well….. i will always have the memories. goodbye hooterville. hello Psuedo hooterville. way too fancy bob i agree.(oh but…..l- …..the long-leaf yellow pine from a barn in connecticut. great. why not from a barn from the north fork—chris. didnt you move to the north fork for it natural inherent qualities……are you really from connecticut? oh well at least the 1%ers will feel right at home. peace.

  • incoherent rambling

  • INCOHERENT RAMBLING?????? really? …….you must be one of the individuals that represent most of society and why most reading material is written on the 4th grade level………peace.

  • Your ramblings look and read like the comminique of a serial killer. Why don’t you just cut letters from magazines and paste them together. It would make more sense.

  • People like this just kill me! Whine and bitch about how progress is destroying “Hooterville” (most people don’t consider it a compliment, TV’s Hooterville was meant as a joke), how the traffic is so terrible that (God forbid!) they may have to fix the road. But when the town council threatens to cut school programs, or services, or lay off workers, these same pikers blame everyone but themselves. Where do they think the money comes from to educate our children and employ their parents and pay for community services? It comes from COMMERCE, from the small local businesses paying taxes and trying to make a go of it in “Hooterville” despite the closed mindedness and ignorance of some (no-longer) residents. The money comes from the people who are willing to travel to the North Fork from Nassau County, NYC and the South Fork to enjoy a little bit of what we have here. And there is enough to share. Instead of trying to prevent progress (a hallmark of extremist fundamentalist groups) offer some constructive insights on how to mould the future. Better yet, this isn’t your home anymore – bud out.

  • Since the time when apes left the trees and started living in caves, men have tried to make their abodes appear nicer. Bob, I suspect that your idea of “decorating” is a gallon of flat white paint. So the owners and the architect of Love Lane Market are making an effort to bring something nice to Mattituck; what’s your gripe? Rather, I think that Southold Town should take notes while they debate the fate of the Mattituck corridor. Seems to me, they could do worse than to hire Chris Smith to bring a little panache to the project.

  • boy!!!!!!!!!!!!! did i hit a sore spot or what!? i went from a ignorant closed minded (no longer) resident to a extremist from a fundamentalist group in less than two sentences. and than you needed to come back an hour later and call me a serial killer. are you uncomfortable in your own skin or only when others dont see as you do. “comminique” (did you spend most of the hour looking that word up)………….o.k. maybe you graduated from high school……………my bad. peace.

  • hey tee ! google the word “projection”. it is a pychological defence mechanism. we all use them. but once we recognize and acknowledge them they discontinue to interfer with our relations with others. we allow others to be themselves and we feel comfortable in our own skin. ck it out you may learn something about yourself. hurt people hurt people. peace. really!ck it out…………..

  • hey tee ! google the word “projection”. it is a pychological defence mechanism. we all use them. but once we recognize and acknowledge them they discontinue to interfer with our relations with others. we allow others to be themselves and we feel comfortable in our own skin. ck it out you may learn something about yourself. hurt people hurt people. peace. really!ck it out…………..

  • “pychological defence mechanism”; “discontinue to interfer”. Really? Granted, I misspelled “communiqué”. I promise not to pick on your spelling or grammar if you promise to stick to the subject. And, by the way, capitalization is performed by depressing the keyboard button marked “Shift” or “Caps Lock”. Although I dislike when people type everything in CAPS; as much as, when people try to make a point by using lots of punctuation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes, you did hit a nerve. I take umbrage whenever I hear (or read) flippant comments about serious issues. These remarks mostly spew from ill-informed, parochial dullards. It is such a common refrain from the local twig suckers. We want THEIR money; but don’t let THEM into the neighborhood. Fortunately most of these frontal lobe challenged dinosaurs have moved away; much like yourself. BTW, I didn’t call you an extremist, I merely projected your arguments to their extreme conclusion – a common technique in debates. I do apologize if I “hurt” you; I didn’t realize that you were quite so thin skinned. You can stop trying make points by alleging your “superior” education, as I seriously doubt that that is the case. Among my numerous failings is the pleasure I take when engaging in a battle of words and wits with an unarmed man. I am not proud of it.

    I would be happy to continue our debate sans the personal attacks; if you have any true point of view about why we shouldn’t encourage businesses to invest in Mattituck.

  • i CHOSE to not use the “shift” or “caps lock”. if you were as intelligent as you have been trying so so very hard to prove. (DOES YOUR HEAD HURT!?!?!?)(again how long did it take you to look up all those BIG words) you will see that i use the “shift” and “caps lock” keyboard button(s) very strategically.(THANKX SUN TZU) and as far as future debates————–your permission to enter only if my point of view is relevant to you……makes me HAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as long as you continue to write to suffolk times i can and will (i promise you) reply in ANYWAY i want to.(i am going to be childish here (pretend i am sticking out my tongue) ) like i say to people who want to censor t.v——TURN THE CHANNEL—duh!?!?!? and as far as personal attacks YOU started it——its written in black and white for ALL to see,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,#1: “incoherent ramblings” #2:”fundamental extremist” #3:”serial killer”. CANT YOU READ!?!?!? OR DID YOU JUST READ THE “CLIFF NOTES”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PEACE.

  • Really no point in continuing this. You have nothing to offer. Go ahead and post something so that you can have the last word.

  • THANKX t…….(nothing to offer!?!?!?!?!?!?!?—–now t i told you to look up the pyschological defense mechanism “projection” and then MAYBE JUST MAYBE you will have benefited from what i had to offer) (DONT be scared!!!!) (OH BY THE WAY———– do you still live in your moms basement) PEACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • HEY t……………….THANKX AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( I AM TELLING YOU CK IT OUT)

  • you really try hard dont you t-