Riverhead Ciderhouse opens on Sound Avenue: First look

The main tasting room at Riverhead Ciderhouse in Baiting Hollow. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

The main tasting room at Riverhead Ciderhouse in Baiting Hollow. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

There’s a little something for everyone at Riverhead Ciderhouse in Baiting Hollow.

The new tasting room, featuring cider, beer, wine and food, opened Friday on Sound Avenue, where it was recently approved to operate under a 90-day permit during Long Island Winterfest.

“I think this place brings a little something extra that other places in the area don’t offer,” Riverhead Ciderhouse controller Kim Nelson said.

That “something extra” is products from across the region and not just the cider produced in house. There are 48 different taps behind the bar, pouring Lieb Cellars and Martha Clara wines and beer from Long Ireland and Great South Bay, among others. Wolffer Estate and Palmer Vineyards bottles are also featured on the wine list.

“We want to really make this a New York tasting room, not just my tasting room,” said Riverhead Ciderhouse CEO John King.

Of course the company’s own hard cider — which comes in three styles: Razzmatazz, Benjamin’s Best and Founder’s Reserve — is also being served. The cider, made from New York apples, is produced by veteran North Fork winemaker Greg Gove, who previously worked at Hargrave Vineyards, Pindar Vineyards, Laurel Lake Vineyards and Peconic Bay Winery.

“It’s just a whole new world,” Mr. Gove said, adding that he’s excited to share his cider with the North Fork.

Greg Gove inside the Riverhead Ciderhouse production facility. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Greg Gove inside the Riverhead Ciderhouse production facility. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

The building has a café, two private tasting spaces and one large open tasting room, complete with a cozy fireplace on either end, couches and tables. Almost all of the furniture is used, donated or recycled, said COO Sinead King. The tables in the main tasting room are made out of old doors with seats from old tractors.

“It’s an old warehouse, so let’s play on that,” Mr. King said of the design of the building, where his Grapes and Greens food processing facility also operates.

Near the fireplace are books and board games available for guests and hanging on the walls are a few donated guitars that guests are able to take down and play.

The café at Riverhead Ciderhouse. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

The café at Riverhead Ciderhouse. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

The cafe, which is run by Chef Jon DeKenipp, offers fresh salads, hot pretzels, chicken and meatball parmigiana and a variety of pizzas.

“It’s just a great environment,” said Tim David of Bellport, who warmed up by the fire Saturday.

“I love that it’s all from New York state,” his wife Jen added. “It’s beautiful. You could have never imagined from the outside what it actually looks like on the inside.”

The Prohibition Room, one of two private tasting spaces at Riverhead Ciderhouse. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

The Prohibition Room, one of two private tasting spaces at Riverhead Ciderhouse. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Wanda and Bill Beagen of Patchogue said they liked the options offered behind the bar, as he sipped beer and she sampled the wine and cider.

Mr. King said Riverhead Ciderhouse will use the next 90 days to see what kind of business they do and how the space can best be utilized in the future.

“It’s not about us just trying to be a tasting room,” he said. “We’re trying to be a great place.”

Riverhead Ciderhouse is located at 2711 Sound Ave in Calverton. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday, opening at 11 a.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. It stays open until 9 p.m. on Saturdays, but closes at 6 p.m. on Sundays.

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5 Comment

  • We stopped by last night on our way to check out Cucina 25 (Excellent). We’ve been curious about this place
    and concerned because we live in “The Hollow of Baiting.”
    It is a first class operation!!!!! We met John King and we’re happy to have him as a new neighbor.
    We sampled the pizza and pretzels which were very good. We’ll be back to hear Henry (piano man) Haid perform.
    Best of luck!!!

  • Wow what an awesome place! Love it…so much attention to detail and the offerings are great, from cider to wine to beer, what more could you want? Best of luck and I will surely visit soon!

  • Hello and congrats in opening this warm and welcoming
    place to relax with friends, family or that special person.
    We have a friend that suggested for my husband and I
    to contact you . We play music that are songs from the great American song book.
    We have played at vineyards on the NF. Libraries, private parties . We will be playing at Bliss Restaurant in
    East Setauket 3/10 from 6:30-9:30 pm to see us live.

  • Are the ciders gluten free? Are there gluten free food options? If so I’ll be there in a heart beat!!

  • It looks great , congratulations !