West Seneca High School Grads Have Big Plans for Orchard Park Rd. 5 Acre Parcel

A project that started on a napkin at a corporate holiday party has taken a big step forward this month.

555 Orchard Park LLC put their plans on display for the West Seneca Town Board recently as they finalize plans for a full-service restaurant, brewery and banquet facility at the former Funke Lawn Care Site on Orchard Park Road in West Seneca. The first tenant in the newly renovated building will be Steel Leaf Brewing Company.

“We still have some big hurdles to clear, but this project is really starting to take shape,” said Dave Sutton, the lead architect and designer of the project and partner of 555 Orchard Park LLC. Sutton presented the plans to the Town Board and answered questions about the project.

The LLC is in negotiations with a managing partner who will manage the day to day operations of the restaurant.  An announcement on that partnership is coming soon.

“We have spent years creating and brewing craft beers that we think the community will really enjoy. Our evolution has been long, but also great, with a lot of lessons along the way. We’ve participated in local brewing events, won a few awards and met amazing people in the Industry. The next logical step was to open a brewery where people can sample and enjoy our entire Steel Leaf collection, “ said Jeff Pitts, Owner of Steel Leaf Brewing. “We spent a lot of time and energy looking for a location that would allow us to be successful. When we did our research, West Seneca really stuck out as an under-served market for craft brewing. Dave Sutton and his team have a lot of experience in creating an atmosphere that is ideal for the craft brewery audience and we couldn’t be more excited to be a big part of this project.”

The newly formed LLC is comprised of four business leaders familiar to the WNY business community. Pawlik is the owner and president of Bison Elevator. Pat Sgroi, president of Sgroi Financial, is well known to the West Seneca business community. Sutton, principal of Sutton Architecture, is highly regarded for his work around WNY, including New York Beer Project in Lockport, Britesmith Brewing Company in Williamsville, and NEAT Restaurant on Transit Road in Williamsville. Marc Honan is president of Gymratts LLC, a production company that produces Gymratts, a 30-minute show seen on the ESPN family of networks.

“As a lifelong West Seneca resident, I take a lot of pride in our community. I have felt for a long time that West Seneca needed more opportunities for residents to enjoy an atmosphere that catered to families and young professionals,” stated Pawlik. “Our goal is to truly create a community destination beyond just a brewery and restaurant. We see this property as a place where we can create events that really attract community participation.”

Pawlik, Sutton and Honan are all graduates of West Seneca West, while Sgroi graduated from West Seneca East.

For more information on Steel Leaf, visit https://www.facebook.com/Steelleafbrew.

***All images provided by Steel Leaf Brewing