02/11/14 2:18pm
02/11/2014 2:18 PM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | North Fork Chocolate Company owner Ann Corley, right, with executive chef Steve Amaral at their Tanger Outlets location Tuesday.

North Fork Chocolate Company owner Ann Corley, right, with executive chef Steve Amaral at their Tanger Outlets location Tuesday. (Rachel Young photo)

North Fork Chocolate Company’s temporary lease at the Tanger Outlets food court in Riverhead expires this month, owner Anne Corley said Tuesday, but the Calverton-based artisanal sweets manufacturer has no plans to leave the mall altogether. (more…)

01/14/13 3:00pm
01/14/2013 3:00 PM

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | Peconic Bay Winery will now do all its non-member tastings at Empire State Cellars at the Tanger Outlet Center.

Peconic Bay Winery will be closing its Cutchogue tasting room to the general public, but the location will continue to be the site of special events and where the company’s wine will be fermented, bottled and stored, according to general manager Jim Silver.

Mr. Silver said Empire State Cellars at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead — where the company currently sells almost 800 New York wines and some liquor — will soon feature an exclusive space for Peconic Bay Winery products and will also serve as the winery’s retail and tasting room headquarters. Peconic Bay Winery owns the outlet, which it opened about a year ago.

The Cutchogue property will still serve as the location for the Peconic Bay Winery wine club and other private events, as well as food and music festivals.

“A lot of people don’t know what to make of this and some think we are closing,” Mr. Silver said. “We are absolutely not closing our tasting room. We are just changing it and re-purposing the [Cutchogue] property. The biggest crowds came out for the special events and we’re going to keep doing them.”

In a press release, Mr. Silver said the Riverhead tasting room “can accommodate dozens of interested wine tasters each day and the hours of operation are much longer than they are at the winery. We’ll reach a lot more people this way.”

He said though the company laments no longer offering open mic and other frequent events for local musicians, the sound of music will not be leaving the property for good.

Two festivals are already planned with event production company Starfish Junction which puts on such events as the North Fork Craft Beer, BBQ & Wine Festival at Martha Clara Vineyards and the Pour the Core hard cider festival held at Peconic Bay Winery in October.

“We’re planning another cider festival for Oct. 5 and I have a meeting in two weeks for a wine-related festival,” Mr. Silver said, adding that the Cutchogue Lions car show will also soon be held at the Cutchogue location.

Mr. Silver said he is currently talking with limo and other private driving companies to make Tanger a stop on the North Fork wine trail.

“On the way out after a day of touring the area, who wouldn’t feel like a little shopping,” Mr. Silver said. “Guys can come have a beer at the bar and girls can check out some of the shops. It’s going to be a fun place.”

Mr. Silver said the North Fork region accommodates about two million people annually, a number he said is growing all the time.

“Our piece of that is 40 to 50,000 and that’s a lot. I think with this move, there will be more traffic to go around to the other local vineyards and will bring loyal Peconic Bay wine drinkers to Tanger,” he said.  “It’s going to be a bit more quiet around here in Cutchogue, but we’re going to keep ourselves just as busy and I don’t think it will end up having too much of an impact.”

Mr. Silver said North Forkers who truly love the Cutchogue location should join the wine club.

“Wine club members come in all the time to pick up their shipments and hundreds of them will show up,” he said. “We’re going to have eight wine club weekends in Cutchogue, so wine club members can have the place all to themselves.”

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12/26/12 3:50pm
12/26/2012 3:50 PM

Riverhead Police are on the lookout for a man who robbed a store at the Tanger Outlet Center Wednesday morning, before tying up an employee and stealing her car.

The robbery took place at about 9 a.m. Wednesday, when a female employee was preparing to open up the Aldo Outlet shoe store in Tanger II, according to Lieutenant Rick Boden of the Riverhead Town Police Department.

The employee was by herself at the time when a masked man came up behind her, Lt. Boden said.

“He implied that he had a weapon, although none was seen,” he added. Police said the suspect placed an unknown object to the back of her head.

The robber then forced his way into the store, took the employee to where the cash was kept, and took an undetermined amount of cash, Lt. Boden said.

“He then tied her up in a storage area and bound her hands, and also took her car keys and stole her car,” he said.

The suspecy used her car, a grey 2012 Hyundai Elantra with the license plate number FRR-4165, to escape, police said.

The woman got herself untied and called police at around 9 a.m.

She was not injured.

She also called her father after she got unbound and he raced toward the scene and lost control of his car on West Main Street, crashing into a telephone poll and then another car, Lt. Boden said. No one was injured, but the street was closed for a short time while LIPA repaired the pole.

Because the man was wearing a mask that covered most of his face, except for eye and mouth holes, it’s difficult to give a description of the suspect, Lt. Boden said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call 727-4500.

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11/04/11 4:47pm
11/04/2011 4:47 PM

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Empire State Cellars tasting bar server Lucinda Bonilla serves a tasting glass of 2010 Vignoles from Hunt Country Vineyards to Lenn Thompson, executive editor of the popular wine blog, New York Cork Report.

After months of pouring, swirling and spitting wines from across the state to select bottles they consider the best, Peconic Bay Winery manager Jim Silver and his staff opened Empire State Cellars at Tanger Outlet in Riverhead on Friday.

The store is stocked with 400 different wines and spirits from New York vineyards, and Mr. Silver hopes to grow that number to 600.

“We really tasted everything we could get our hands on and selected what we thought were the best wines in the state,” he said.

Check out our Wine Press blog to read the complete story

10/01/11 11:00am
10/01/2011 11:00 AM

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Peconic Bay Winery general manager James Silver gets ready to move bottles of the vineyard's wine into Empire State Cellars, a new wine merchant store and tasting room opening in Tanger One in Riverhead later this month.

Peconic Bay Winery’s general manager James Silver knows that most people who come from afar to shop at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead wouldn’t make the trek for his vineyard’s wine alone.

But many tourist shoppers would make the schlep, he supposes, to choose bottles of wine from the majority of vineyards from around the state.

That’s why he and vineyard officials decided to open Empire State Cellars, a 3,000-square-foot wine merchant store and tasting room in Tanger One, filled only with bottles made in the state. The store is slated to open Oct. 21.

“The interest in New York wine has never been greater,” Mr. Silver said, explaining the decision to open up shop in another place. “The interest in local products has never been greater.”

Peconic Bay Winery is one of the only North Fork vineyards to open a second location, a move in accordance with a New York State agricultural law allowing wineries to have up to five satellite locations. Pindar Vineyards opened a second tasting room and retail store in Port Jefferson called Pindar Wine Shop about 25 years ago.

Of the approximately 300 wineries throughout the state, 200 of them will sell their wines in Empire State Cellars. About 15,000 bottles of wine, all made from grapes grown on New York soil, will soon line the shelves of the store.

“It’s a way of uniting New York’s wine region in a way that’s never really been done before,” Mr. Silver said.

Tastings will be held daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

[email protected]

07/05/11 10:35am
07/05/2011 10:35 AM

Want two free Mets tickets? Are you willing to roll up your sleeves for them?

Suffolk County Legislator Ed Romaine is hosting a blood drive at the Tanger II Food Court in Riverhead from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Those who donate will be given two Mets tickets, according to a release from the legislator’s office.

In order to donate you must be between 16 and 75 years old (or have a doctor’s note if above 75), weigh more than 110 pounds, and have not gotten a new tattoo in the past 12 months. You must also bring valid i.d. and make sure you’ve eaten well and filled up on fluids.

05/13/11 4:24am
05/13/2011 4:24 AM

History was made in Riverhead Thursday, as people at Tanger Outlet Centers all over the country — and 487 at the local mall — took part in the world’s largest dessert party. Exact numbers are not yet known but the 487 people in Riverhead were enough to break the previous record of 300.

Students in Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary Arts Department made 2,000 brownies, cupcakes and cookies for the event.

Thursday’s event will be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Read the story in the May 19 edition of The Suffolk Times

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VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Part of the world's largest dessert party was held in Riverhead Thursday. People at Tanger Outlet Centers all over the country and 487 locally took part in the event which will be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records.