By Jann Wiswall

Two new Ellicottville businesses are getting closer to opening following the Village Planning Board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Adventure Bound onthefly received the Village Planning Board’s approval for a double-sided, sandblasted sign for the front of its new store at 16 Washington Street. The outdoor goods and gear store being developed by Ellicottville native John Rounds expects to open in time for Fall Festival weekend. The lower level of the building will be occupied by The Boardroom snowboard shop’s second Ellicottville location.

Around the corner from Adventure Bound, at 7 Monroe Street, another Ellicottville native and successful Buffalo restaurateur Nick Pitillo, is opening a casual Italian dining spot in the former location of The Barn. Pitillo and his partner/corporate chef Jeff Cooke currently operate the popular Osteria 166 on Franklin Street in Buffalo. The new Ellicottville location, which is twice the size of the Buffalo restaurant, will be called Villagio (village in Italian).

While not on the planning board’s official agenda for the evening, Pitillo and Cooke attended the meeting to get feedback on possible changes to the exterior of the building. Renderings of the proposed look and feel of the building façade were presented, along with two possible logo treatments.

Pitillo explained that a high priority will be to find ways to let more natural light into the restaurant. Two openings on the front second floor of the building that currently hold air conditioners will be replaced with windows. Future plans include adding dormers.

The front entry doors will be replaced with double doors and topped with an awning. A perpendicular hanging sign also will be installed.

Extensive interior changes (which don’t require planning board approval but are necessary for health dept. and code enforcement approvals) are in the works as well, Pitillo said. He and Cooke are working closely with Ellicottville Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer Tom Abriatis to ensure everything is done according to code.

Overall, the planning board was very pleased with the direction Pitillo and Cooke are taking with the building.

According to Pitillo, Villagio will be a restaurant for “relaxed family dining” in a cozy, warm, inviting setting. “This won’t be a party bar,” he said.

The menu will be similar to Osteria 166’s, with an emphasis on Italian dishes that are family recipes, and will feature a wide variety of wine and daily specials. Pitillo and Cooke are leaning toward opening for dinner six nights a week and serving lunch on weekends, but specific hours of operation will be determined. They hope to open by Fall Festival weekend with a tentative VIP opening on Thursday, Oct. 1.