By Sue Whistler
If you haven’t visited Ellicottville since the end of last ski season, you might feel as though you’re in a strange dream where everything looks vaguely familiar but places aren’t quite where or how you remember them. It’s OK. You haven’t fallen down the rabbit hole and you won’t see Alice having tea with the White Rabbit on the sidewalk in front of Dina’s. It’s just that the village has been involved in a giant game of “musical buildings” over the past several months, and the changes are extensive and can be, well, a little disconcerting to the occasional weekend visitor.
Here’s the 411 on the top 13 big moves in town:
Nature’s Remedy and Gado-Gado have moved down Monroe Street into the former home of the Double Diamond Saloon. Gretchen Mendell, owner of Nature’s remedy purchased the building last spring. She and Suzanne Roberts, owner of Gado-Gado, along with their army of local tradesmen, have done an incredible job renovating a wonderful historic building and turning it into a stunning retail showplace.
Kim Reading and Miguel Azcarate have packed up Mud Sweat N’ Gears and have moved down the road to the old Market Square building, the former home of Nature’s Remedy and Gado-Gado. They completely gutted the lower floors and renovated them into a fabulous new home for MSG. The new location opened in August with even more space including their new Speed Factory tuning equipment, rental shop and expanded inventory of new lifestyle clothing lines, as well as all the usual great ski stuff.
Now that MSG has switched “gears,” Arlene Solly and Kazoo II have made their move across Main Street into the beautifully remodeled space that MSG vacated. They reopened over the summer with a full array of beautiful and unique pieces of jewelry, home accessories and giftware.
A Touch of Ellicottville has found a new home on the north side of Main Street (in the former jewelry store) with an expanded inventory, which will include the same great Ellicottville signature merchandise. We’re so glad that Valerie Quesnel, Tom O’Connor, Jay Monte and wonder dog Tyb will remain in the heart of the village.
Kabob Kafé has moved – literally. They picked up their building, spun it around and dropped it in the parking lot behind Balloons. The restaurant is settling into its new location with a beautiful new bar with seating on the main floor and new decks off the dining room on the first and second floors.
Ellicottville Brewing Company is expanding their restaurant and brewing operations into the large hole next door where Kabobs once stood. Construction is well under way and will be completed by early next spring. The addition is huge, extending all the way to Martha Street, and will add about 55 seats to the restaurant and house a beautiful new brewing facility currently being assembled in Germany.
The new Main Chalet at Holiday Valley is well under way and on schedule for completion in time for next season. Jane Eshbaugh, marketing director for HV, is excited about the new construction. She said, “Gone are the low ceilings and block walls of the Clubhouse Chalet, but the vintage charm will be retained and improved upon. The bar was set high with the Yodeler and Tannenbaum Lodges, and the new HV Lodge will be even better!”
HoliMont has added a new high-speed quad to replace the old Exhibition lift in front of the main lodge in time for the opening of the upcoming ski season. They are offering free chairlift rides on Oct. 6 from noon to 4 p.m.
Kwik Fill and the Red Apple convenience store is moving across the street to 5 Main St. into a new plaza with additional retail space for several more tenants. They will reopen in their new location later this month. The expanded retail space is expected to be finished sometime next spring.
A plan has been proposed to renovate the old Kwik Fill/Red Apple convenience store into a new Visitor’s Center for all of Cattaraugus County. Brian McFadden and the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce have been working with supporters and legislators to make this proposal a reality.
The old Larimer & Norton building on Elizabeth Street is being renovated by Sprague Development into an eight-lane bowling alley and new home for Tim and Bonnie’s Pizza. It is scheduled to open before the snow flies. What fun for village residents and visitors alike! Anybody up for forming a league?
The Ellicottville Town Barns at the intersection of Routes 242 and 219 are moving to their new location off Bryant Hill by the Holiday Valley Tubing Park. The new barns are under construction and nearing completion. A Tim Hortons coffee shop will replace the town barns at their old location. The proposed plan includes a 1,900-square-foot restaurant, a patio and fire pit with seating, drive-thru and a second floor with apartments. Tim Hortons is expected to be open in time for ski season.
The 160,000- square-foot Signore plant on Jefferson Street in the village has been demolished after it partially collapsed over two years ago. There are several plans currently being considered for the 50-acre property so stay tuned.
Many four-season resort communities comparable to Ellicottville have public recreational trails used for exercise, commuting and improving health. This concept led a small group of local leaders and business people to begin exploring the possibility of building a trail in the Ellicottville area. In a few short years, the Ellicottville – Great Valley Recreational Trail could provide a safe, traffic-free place to jog, bike, skate, walk your family dog or push your baby in the stroller.
There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding all the changes in town. McFadden, executive director of the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce said, “As far as developmental changes, we are very excited about all of the investments into our community this past summer. Both local owners and regional developers have worked with our planning and zoning boards to help change the face of the landscape without losing the small historic community appeal we have. These changes are not only for visitors but also assist the community by enhancing our quality of life. The bowling alley is an example.”
If you aren’t dizzy yet, you should be. It’s been crazy around here, but really fun to watch. Don’t stay away too long or you’re liable to miss something – and you never want to miss a thing in Ellicottville.