Melvin Recinos was driving in Middle Island one day in April when he saw a building with the aesthetics of an old 1950s diner for sale and immediately decided to buy it.
Now, there’s a little piece of Mattituck at 25 Middle Country Road, where the diner — previously known as The Cook Room — became the second location of Lucia Restaurant in July.
“We liked the building very much and we decided to start a new project here for the community to try our Salvadorian food,” said Mr. Recinos, owner of the restaurant.
Lucia Restaurant in Mattituck has been providing the North Fork with traditional Salvadorian food for the past five years.
The restaurant was named after Mr. Recinos’ grandmother. His mother also works at the restaurant as a chef. He runs the business with his cousin Nuria Dominguez.
“Working with my family is the best thing that’s happened to me in this country,” said Ms. Dominguez.
Mr. Recinos works mainly out of the Middle Island location, while Ms. Dominguez works at the Mattituck location. She joins the Middle Island team on weekends.
Anita Alampioska, Mr. Recinos’ wife, mentioned that although it carries the Lucia name, the Middle Island location turned out to have its own identity.
“We originally started thinking it was going to be Lucia number two, like the same menu we had and everything, but it turned out that we had to switch it up a little bit,” Ms. Alampioska said. “They’re kind of two different places.”
The menu at the Middle Island location has something for everyone, according to Mr. Recinos.
“Our menu, we changed it a bit to offer them breakfast, omelets, sandwiches, pancakes, french toast, hamburgers and, of course, our traditional Salvadorian food — burritos, quesadillas, a little bit of everything,” he said. “It’s not just specifically Salvadorian what we’re offering here.”
Middle Island customers can also enjoy a tiki bar and outdoor dining on the back patio in the warm weather months.
“For now we’ll sell beer and wine but as soon as [the weather warms]… we’re going to have a few cocktails and things like that,” Ms. Alampioska said.
The Mattituck restaurant is not eligible for a liquor license because its Main Road location is too close to a church.
Lucia in Middle Island is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is closed Monday and Tuesday.