The Barn Closing Aug. 16

The owners of the highly rated Italian restaurant, Osteria 166, at 166 Franklin St. in Buffalo report that they plan to open a second restaurant at 7 Monroe St. in Ellicottville, the current location of The Barn Restaurant.

The Barn is closing Sunday, Aug. 16, said owner Roger Spell. “We’ll be at the Taste of Ellicottville all weekend and open for dinner Thursday – Sunday.”

Spell said that he and partner Kevin Watt tried to purchase the building, but were unable to come to terms. They will be auctioning their restaurant equipment and other items on Aug. 25 through Cash Realty & Auctions.

Nick Pitillo, who did purchase the building with his partner and corporate chef Jeffrey Cooke, said the “deal is 95 percent complete.” The pair expect to open the new restaurant, tentatively called Villaggio Cucina (Italian for Village Kitchen), as soon as early October in time for Fall Festival.

Pitillo says the menu will be “similar but not as big as Osteria 166’s (osteriabuffalo.com) and will feature its top sellers, family recipes and daily specials.” There will also be a strong wine program, he said, noting that “this is a major part of what we do.”

Pitillo says there are plans for only minor exterior renovations, but he expects the kitchen will be gutted and interior decor changes will be made. Watch for more news about the project in the Ellicottville Times.