Nearly 10 years after the longtime Chaffee fixture closed, Earl's Restaurant is being demolished, to be replaced by a new wedding and event venue that will be constructed by the owners of Pioneer Motorsport across the street.
Terry and Michelle Armstrong plan to break ground this fall on their $2 million project to build the Annex, a 13,000-square-foot building that is slated to begin hosting events by spring 2020. The new venue, which can seat up to 350, will begin taking reservations starting this fall.
Located on the eastern side of Route 16 in the southern Erie County hamlet northwest of Arcade, the new facility will offer a bridal suite, groom's room, indoor facilities, an on-site catering kitchen and a full-service bar. It will be run by Samantha and Stephane Armstrong, the daughters-in-law of the owners.
The Armstrongs bought the restaurant building and adjacent land at 12139 Olean Road in December 2012 for $250,000, and then used the lot to test power sport machines, host events and store equipment. But the family recognized the potential for redevelopment, and seized on the event venue concept as they saw wedding business grow in Western New York.
"We have an ideal geographic location, a strong network of established vendors and a young team spearheading the project, which we believe will help us establish the Annex as one of the go-to venues in all of Western New York," Michelle Armstrong said in a statement.
The Annex will be constructed by Morton Builders at the back end of the 11-acre property, with parking and an access road extending from the current lot. The building will feature white-ribbed steel siding contrasted by a black roof, with large windows providing natural lighting to the interior, as well as a wraparound porch, a large courtyard, a turf lawn and yard games.