By Caitlin Croft
Gowanda Harley Davidson (GHD) will soon move into the space that was once the old Kabob’s Restaurant, adjacent to the Balloons Patio. Shane Steward, GHD’s Marketing Manager, took time out of his busy schedule to tell me all about this new adventure. “We (GHD) go to Ellicottville all the time and have thought about a store in the Village for a handful of years now,” he said. Steward conveyed that Ellicottville “made sense” seeing as the community is moving rapidly toward being a four-season destination. Plus on a sunny summer day you can guarantee there will be a bevy of motorcycles lining the streets of our Village enjoying the shops and restaurants!
Steward explained how this long-running idea turned into a reality. One of their Service Managers knows an EBC employee and was able to connect GHD and the owner of EBC and quickly after, a deal was brokered. “Peter has been great to work with and has helped rework the inside of the building to better suit our needs,” Steward said.
Since finding out about their opening, many area businesses have reached out to partner for events. “The community outreach here is unlike anything else, we (GHD) quickly realized that we made the right decision. We feel as if we have been welcomed with open arms.”
The store will only contain retail items such as helmets, hats, jackets, general merchandise and all of the gear you need to be dressed in style head to toe. “Basically everything but the actual bikes, service department and parts will be available,” Steward noted. When asked how this was possible to have two locations so close together, Steward advised that all dealerships have territories and seeing as Ellicottville was in their territory and they would only be doing retail, it was allowable.
A little history on GHD: They opened in 1947 when John S. Reid decided to leave a steady job to open a Harley-Davidson store. To this day, members of the family still own and operate the Gowanda location and they have grown beyond what they could have ever imagined over the years. GHD has done a wonderful job adapting with the times and generations. “Not many brands have been able to navigate the ever-changing retail market with such grace as Harley-Davidson and we are proud to be dealers of their products,” Steward said. GHD recently celebrated their 70th birthday and has served three generations of customers. They are proud to expand on their family tradition of business and begin a new journey in Ellicottville.
There will be a soft opening on June 6 and their hours will be Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. You can also find them on Facebook and on the web at gowandaharley.com. Be sure to stop in and say hello. Their energetic, knowledgeable staff will be ready to advise you and find the best Harley-Davidson products for you or the motorcycle enthusiast in your life!