A new restaurant and bar is opening in downtown Riverhead with a name reflective of its menu offerings.
Craft’d is coming to the former Vines & Hops location on East Main Street this June. The 48-seat restaurant and bar will focus on craft cocktails and beer along with a soon-to-be finalized menu of bar food, small plates and entrées.
Sean Kenna and Robert Manolio, the duo behind Cucina 25 in downtown Riverhead, originally hoped to use the space for larger catering parties for the pizzeria and Italian restaurant, but changed course to allow Craft’d to stand on its own.
The business partners got their start in the industry as bartenders, and later as bar managers, before opening Cucina 25 in February 2017. Their combined 30 years of behind-the-bar knowledge inspired Craft’d.
“We always had aspirations of opening a bar with craft cocktails,” Kenna said. “Craft’d is its own entity, but there will still be catering and private parties for both restaurants there.”
Kenna and Manolio are currently renovating the 2,200 square-foot space that has been vacant since Vines & Hops — a wine, beer, coffee, and small plates café — shuttered in the fall of 2017. Renovations include creating a brighter, more modern ambience and moving the bar to the front of the restaurant.
“It is a full remodel,” Kenna said. “When we got in the building it was completely empty, they had taken everything out and it was a blank slate.”
Kenna said he sees a lot of potential for continued success in downtown Riverhead, and hopes to cater to the lunch, dinner and after-theater crowd at Craft’d.
“The location is great … It’s right across from The Suffolk Theater,” Kenna said. “The Town of Riverhead is evolving in a positive manner and it’s really making that leap people have been talking about for the past 20 years.”
Craft’d is eyeing an early June opening at 127 East Main Street.