New owners reopen landmark Riverhead diner after renovations


by Alex Appel

The landmark Peconic Bay Diner has officially re-opened on Route 58 in Riverhead and is under new ownership. It’s also now called Peconic Diner.

And cousins and owners Maryelis Nunez and Amaury Tavaras are at the helm.

“We’re family owned and we just mean the best for the community,” Nunez said. 

Tavaras envisions the diner being the type of place that families go to before church on Sunday, among other occasions, he said.

“When we opened the spot, we wanted to make something to get everybody together for the full community,” he said.

The Stavropoulos family ran the diner for over 30 years, according to this RiverheadLOCAL article about the prior owners.

One day, Nunez’s family passed by the for sale sign. 

“We have other businesses around here and we saw this opportunity and we thought we’d take it,” Nunez said.

After buying it, the diner closed for five months for renovation. Almost everything in the interior is new — except for the booths, which were refurbished — but the family wants the place to feel the same as it did under the previous owners.

“We want the diner feel,” she said. “[We] just changed it up to make it a little more modern, [but] keep it affordable. Anyone can come and have breakfast or dinner and it’d be cheaper than going out to any other place.”

A Western omelet and home fries at the Peconic Diner. (Credit: Alex Appel)

Her family owns several  stores in town that sell hispanic food, but Peconic Diner will keep serving classic American food.

“We’re going to stick to burgers, we’re going to stick to regular American breakfast, French toast,” she said. “We also have quesadillas, we have some Spanish influence.”

Peconic Diner on 871 Old Country Rd., Riverhead, N.Y. The restaurant, previously called Peconic Bay Diner, changed ownership in the fall of 2023. It since closed for renovations and re-opened on Easter Sunday. It is run by cousins Maryelis Nunez and Amaury Tavaras.

The diner isn’t the only store Nunez is running.

“I’m sticking to this one until it runs a little more smoothly, but I’m also in charge of other stores,” she said. “It’s very hard but we have a good team.”

Nunez isn’t a stranger to hard work. At the age of 7 she was already ringing people up at her father, Maximo’s, store, she said. Maximo’s drive and ambition inspires her.

“It’s crazy because his name means maximum, like high power,” Nunez said. “All of us, everyone in my family, we definitely look up to him. He’s the problem solver, I like to say.”

Since Peconic Diner reopened, business has been strong. Nunez, Tavaras and their staff are still fixing things up in the store, but each day is getting better, Nunez said.

Top: Maryelis Nunez, 26, working at the register in the Peconic Diner on Saturday, April 6. Nunez is one of the owners of the restaurant and oversees its operations. (Credit: Alex Appel

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