East End Italian chain has plans for downtown Riverhead

The building that once housed The Riverhead Project and then Sonoma Grill has a new tenant.

Downtown Riverhead’s most notable vacant restaurant location is poised to have a new tenant with a familiar North Fork name.

Michelangelo Pizza and Restaurant is slated to move into the former The Riverhead Project and Sonoma Grill building at 300 E. Main Street, building owner Chris Pia confirmed last week. Michelangelo —with affiliated locations in Mattituck, Southold and Eastport — is known locally for both its pizza pies and Italian menu staples like eggplant parmesan, baked ziti and meatball heroes.

The pizzeria and restaurant will be the third tenant to lease the space, a former bank, since it was renovated into a modern restaurant and lounge in 2011.

Serving craft cocktails and upscale fare, The Riverhead Project was widely heralded as a milestone in the revitalization of downtown Riverhead, but ultimately failed as a business and closed suddenly in 2014.

Sonoma Grill opened in the 4,000-square-foot space in 2015, but lasted just a year.

Pia said several restaurants expressed an interest in the space in the 16 months it remained dormant.

Representatives of Michelangelo did not return several phone calls seeking comment for this post.