After more than 40 years in the restaurant business, Tom Zerbian has announced his retirement and the closing of Cadillac Jack’s at 24 Monroe Street Bar and Bistro. But as one door closes, another door opens. Later this fall, look for Sara and Frank Testa to open the Public House of Ellicottville at the current Cadillac Jack’s location.
Zerbian started in the restaurant business as a teenager, washing dishes at the Shoreview and then serving at the Brown Derby, both in Willowick, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. He worked his way up over the years, having been a bar manager at Shooters in Cleveland, a manager at the Telemark and the Gin Mill in Ellicottville, and beverage manager at the Seneca Allegany Casino. Tom has been President of Cadillac Jack’s, Inc. since the restaurant opened in 1993 at the base of Holiday Valley. Cadillac Jack’s relocated to 24 Monroe Street in downtown Ellicottville in 2015.
“It’s bittersweet,” says Zerbian of his retirement. “I’ve met so many interesting people over the years, many of whom have become close friends. I will miss that, but it’s time for the next chapter in my life.” Zerbian, whose wife Tina and sons Alec and Camron, have been key partners and supporters in the business, won’t be passing the torch. “Our sons have their own lives and fantastic careers. I can’t wait to watch them grow in their own ways.”
The Public House of Ellicottville will be the third restaurant to open under the direction of Sara and Frank Testa. They currently own the Public House of Buffalo on Hertel Avenue and the Public House on the Lake in Hamburg. They are excited about joining the Village of Ellicottville, as it has always been a favorite place of theirs. They will be offering a great selection of craft beer drafts and bottles, wine and craft cocktails. Their menu consists of house-made items using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. They aim to bring a comfortable, inviting, social gathering spot.
October will be the last month for Cadillac Jack’s, one of the Village’s most highly rated restaurants, and one known for its casual approach to upscale dining. Look for the Public House of Ellicottville to open its doors in November.