By Alicia Dziak

Steelbound Brewery & Distillery, the 5,000 square feet building at 6600 Route 219 in Ellicottville (across from Tim Horton’s), will soon be ready to welcome guests from all over WNY. With an opening day planned for Monday, May 7, Steelbound will offer brews, signature drinks and fresh food.

After some name confusion within the industry, the restaurant/bar changed its former name of Stillhouse to Steelbound. It’s owned by William Bursee, a retired building contractor who now lives in Springville. While Bursee originally planned to open the brewery in Buffalo, he was drawn to Ellicottville’s beauty, and made the decision to open here when he and his wife drove by the current location and saw the “for sale” sign.

“It’s gorgeous,” Bursee said of the view while pointing out the window from the upstairs bar area, which overlooks ski slopes in the distance.
The new brewery sits on about 2 acres, with plenty of space for parking. The restaurant portion of the building is two floors, each with its own bar, and has a capacity of 307 guests. The brewing equipment is located toward the back of the building.

Steelbound, which has been brewed at the current location for the past couple of months, is currently on tap at many area bars and restaurants, from WNY to Rochester to Syracuse. Tim Hooker of Springville, a former ELA teacher and longtime craft beer brewer, directs the brewing operation.

The flagship location in Ellicottville will offer a variety of beers, from stouts to ales. Bursee said their most popular brew is the Last Minute IPA, which he describes as a juicy, New England style.

Steelbound will also offer signature drinks made with their own simple syrups, making them truly one-of-a-kind.

In addition to beverages, Steelbound will feature a dinner menu.

“Our chef is absolutely incredible,” said Bursee, noting he will even be making his own condiments for the dishes. Ingredients will be sourced locally and since there is no freezer on-site, everything will be fresh. A Tuesday night buffet will be available, changing from week to week. To celebrate the opening of the restaurant, they will also be offering a special Mother’s Day buffet on Sunday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that includes unlimited soft drinks and a cash bar. Cost is $25 for adults and $16 for kids. Reservations are encouraged by calling (716) 803-2916.

Bursee said Steelbound will employ about 30 people, 12 of them full-time. He repeatedly complimented his team and their dedication to the business. “They work tirelessly,” he said. “It’s cool to see that passion.”

As far as future plans go, Bursee hopes to build a large patio in front, overlooking Route 219. Since he grew up in Buffalo, he likes the idea of the patio looking out onto all the activity going on, instead of being behind the building. Bursee also plans to feature live music, and there is a large stage on the first floor of the restaurant to feature musicians. He also talked of possibly organizing tours in the future that involved other breweries/distilleries in the area.

Bursee said there will be a grand opening celebration in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned to the Ellicottville Times or visit for more info.