2011-06-09 / Business

Ebenezer Ale House to offer signature beer-infused food

New restaurant expected to open by end of June
by KIMBERLY MCDOWELL Editor

Ebenezer Ale House owners Nathan Springer, left, and Shawn Schweis are finalizing construction details before the grand opening of their new restaurant, located at 4348 Seneca St., which has been slated for the end of June. Photo by Scott Schild.Ebenezer Ale House owners Nathan Springer, left, and Shawn Schweis are finalizing construction details before the grand opening of their new restaurant, located at 4348 Seneca St., which has been slated for the end of June. Photo by Scott Schild.The days of empty, run-down buildings are becoming a thing of the past in West Seneca, as new businesses slowly begin to settle into former “homes” that have been vacated, and sometimes neglected, by their owners.

Residents have driven by the shell of the former Z’s Pizzeria, which has been sitting lifeless for the last year or two on Seneca Street, just past Queen of Heaven Church.

But by the end of the month, that structure is expected to become a new landmark in the community and, possibly, as much of a local favorite as another predecessor, the Ebenezer Onion.

Located at 4348 Seneca St., the Ebenezer Ale House will offer a full menu of area favorites — burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and wings with 15 different sauces to choose from — in addition to a few special creations that feature the flavoring of local brews, such as Flying Bison Aviator Red.

“It’s original to the area in terms of concept,” said co-owner Nathan Springer of the beer-infused food. He noted only one other place in the immediate area that he’s aware of to offer such innovative cuisine.

“We have the beer, so we might as well use it,” Shawn Schweis, the other owner, added with a laugh.

Ebenezer Ale House is expected to feature roughly 20 different beers on tap, including only three domestic; the rest will be imported microbrews from around or out of the state. The craft beers are expected to change often, pending the season and top sellers.

Springer, 34, of Buffalo and Schweis, 42, of Williamsville had previously searched Western New York for a potential restaurant location. They eventually entered into a two-year lease agreement with the owner of the Seneca Street property, with the option to buy at the end of those two years.

But Springer and Schweis have already embraced the area so much that they’ve become acquainted with the locals and, more importantly, have even incorporated a piece of the town’s history — the Ebenezer Society — into the restaurant’s name.

Also bearing the title is one of their signature creations, the Ebenezer Reuben sandwich which features house-braised corned beef in Weihenstephan Hefe-Weissbier.

Other beer-infused cuisine includes the 10-ounce Ale House burger and brown ale-braised beef short ribs.

Prices currently do not exceed $10 for appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers or pizza — though just a touch more for specialty pizzas such as the Italian Chicken, Steak House or Buffalo Chicken. Entrees will range between $10 and $26.

The bar will also feature an extensive menu of martinis and mixed drinks, as well as a fair selection of wines that should not exceed $20 per bottle.

“We’re trying to keep prices down but still give it that upscale look,” said Schweis.

The owners will both take active roles in the restaurant — Springer will work behind the scenes in the kitchen and Schweis in the main portion of the restaurant. Together they bring more than three decades of experience in hospitality and restaurant management.

Reconstruction began April 1 on the inside of the Seneca Street structure. This included ripping down shards of sheet metal that were glued to “practically everything,” including the face of the bar, floors, ceiling and walls, according to Schweis.

Now nearing the end of its construction phase, the restaurant is taking on new life — a myriad of black high-top tables and matching chairs sit atop a refinished hardwood floor. They compliment the black textured ceiling and wooden bar, with a handful of 50-inch, flat-screen TVs to soon be mounted onto freshly painted Earth-tone walls.

To the left of the entrance, behind the wall that features a brick fireplace, is a cozy covelike area that will feature additional dining. A wooden deck at the rear of the restaurant will also hold about eight tables for patio dining in the spring and summer months, weather permitting.

The new establishment is slated to open by the end of June. The liquor license was recently approved by the West Seneca Town Board; now, the owners are awaiting approval from the Department of Health.

“We have a bit of everything, and we’re keeping everything reasonable,” said Schweis.

The Ebenezer Ale House will open at 11 a.m. every day and close at 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call the restaurant at 674-2337 or visit online at www.ebenezeralehouse.com.

email: kmcdowell@beenews.com

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