Rounds, Northrup, Pitillo Come Home

By Jann Wiswall

Three people who left Ellicottville to pursue careers have come home to start new businesses and embrace the Ellicottville lifestyle.

“I’ve traveled all over the world and there just aren’t a lot of places like Ellicottville,” said John Rounds, who was born and raised in EVL and has returned to open Adventure Bound onthefly at 16 Washington St.

Rounds is bringing his product expertise, business acumen and marketing savvy from Colorado, where he runs SUPonthefly, an online specialty retail outfitter of outdoor, paddle sport and fishing gear, to Ellicottville where he’s opening the brick-and-mortar Adventure Bound onthefly store on Fall Festival weekend.

Adventure Bound onthefly is a full-service outdoor store with a wide range of quality equipment and clever gadgets for everyone interested in the outdoor lifestyle. Brands include Yakima roof racks, Osprey backpacks and luggage, Swiss Army knives and Victorinox watches, Nite-Ize lighting and lifestyle devices (described by Rounds as “way cool stuff”), YakAttack fishing gear, MSR backcountry stoves and tents, Bison coolers, Ruffwear performance dog equipment and more. There will also be a children’s department with technical clothing and action-inspiring toys.

Adventure Bound is also where you can learn all about stand up paddleboarding, one of the country’s fastest growing new sports. Rounds not only has his own brand of stand up paddleboards (SUPs), but also carries a range of other brands to suit beginners and experts alike.

“It’s about time SUPs get to this part of the world where we have a huge selection of fantastic rivers, lakes and ponds,” he said.

For more information, follow them on Facebook at AdventureBoundonthefly or visit

Also returning home from Colorado, Rachel Northrup has purchased an already thriving shop at 9 Monroe St. — The Purple Doorknob.

The Purple Doorknob, known fondly as the “sock shop,” has been a thriving business at 9 Monroe St. in Ellicottville since it opened in 2010. It sells an eye-popping variety of men’s, women’s and children’s socks in every style and material to appeal to every sense of fashion, humor or adventure.

Having the opportunity to own and operate the Purple Doorknob was the perfect next step for Northrup, who worked with Rounds in Colorado, as well as for an outdoor equipment manufacturer and a women’s outdoor apparel retailer.

Since returning to Ellicottville in 2011, she co-founded the Bike & Bean burrito shop and started a personal organization consulting firm that uses feng shui philosophy and principles to help people declutter their lives.

Northrup emphasizes that the shop is not about her.

“Walking into the Purple Doorknob is an experience in itself,” she said. “I want to nurture that and offer the same fun, wacky, practical and memorable shopping and gift-buying experience people have come to know and love.”

For more information, visit

Another Ellicottville native, Nick Pitillo, also has come home to live and to open an Italian Restaurant — Villaggio — at 7 Monroe St. This is Pitillo’s second restaurant. The first is Osteria 166 in Buffalo, which consistently receives rave reviews.

“Ellicottville is home to me,” Pitillo said. “It just made sense for me personally and professionally to take a chance on a community that has brought so much joy to my life. Some people may think I’m a bit out there to want to own and operate two restaurants, especially when they are about 50 miles apart, but I believe this is meant to be.”

Pitillo and Jeff Cooke, his business partner and executive chef, purchased the building that formerly housed The Barn in early September and have been busy improving the exterior and renovating the interior, which included a complete kitchen redesign. The end result is an attractive venue to serve what Pitillo describes as “rustic Italian food” in a relaxed family setting.

“The sky is the limit with what we have going and I think the development and growth happening in Ellicottville is outstanding. That should allow us to fit in, fill a niche and provide a place with a really comfortable vibe,” said Pitillo. “I am very eager to welcome everyone and make it clear that Villaggio will be a place where you will be warmly welcomed as friends and leave as part of our family.”

Villaggio also opens Fall Festival weekend. For more information, visit Villaggio on Facebook, or call 699-2199.