Nelson Moves Practice to E’ville Inn
New Law Office Takes on Speak Easy Look
By Chad Neal
This past Friday, September 15, 2017 a local attorney held an office Open House in the Ellicottville Inn building that is now being used for offices, condos and retail boutiques. The local attorney is John Nelson. The young man and his family live in Ellicottville and have for several years now. He and his wife Samantha along with their son Weston are part of the growing community and Nelson is growing his practice as well, which is why he needed more space and moved from his office he shared with Kathleen Moriarity’s Law Practice on Monroe Street. Everyone was invited to the Open House, and many showed up during the weekly Stroll the Street event in the village. Nelson had the live band Gravy playing popular tunes in a jazzy style outside the building as h’orderves were served with beverages as well. Nelson had run for County Legislator in 2016 and has a fervent passion for the area. His new office shows off his off-beat style and pop-culture attitude. His walls are lined with law books from years ago and the secret doors make it a fun place to visit. Not to mention the large lego style blocks used for office partitions.
The Villager caught up with Nelson at the Open House and after for this interview:
The Villager (V): When did you decide to move to Ellicottville?
John Nelson(JN): When I was working in Arcade, I wanted to live in a place in a rural area, but with a lot going on. I always loved Ellicottville and it seemed like the right place.
V: How did you get your law firm set up in your first office?
JN: I met Kathleen (Moriartity) doing a real estate closing when I first started out. A couple years later I bumped into her at a random bar association event and at a wedding I was Djing about six hours away from here. It was time to go on my own, and she was looking for someone to share space with. As I first rented a tiny little desk in her office with no employees of my own; within a short time I outgrew that space and moved into her space next door (which ironically is the old Foster’s bar, and now, I’m in the other old Foster’s bar.)
V: Why did you decide to move your office?
JN: We had no choice, five people in that space was four people too many.
V: Do you own the new space?
JN: I do, my wife Sam and I never thought we could, but this opportunity popped up.
V: The decorating, who came up with it?
JN: It was a collaboration. Steve Namisniak, a dear friend, an architect from Canada who lives here a good portion of the year really encouraged me to not put up walls, keep it as open as possible. He gave the blessing on the lego walls idea, telling me the worst case, my son, Weston would have the coolest set of legos ever if we turned the office into something else.
I always wanted to live in a place with hidden doors. Why not live your dreams? My friends Kurt and Dan Grassel of 4-B Woods designed and built the hidden doors and hidden arcade game cabinet. They are master cabinet makers from Ohio who have visited here for years.
As far as the overall look, it was a combination of Josh Zolner from Apex Construction, my friend Tyler (Burns) and my ideas. We dumpster dove many of the 1800’s Law Books that really defined the space, and the rest belonged to John Northrup’s Great Grandfather who came here working for the Holland Land Company. The ceiling was all Josh’s idea, which couldn’t have turned out better.
So overall, the inspiration as to keep it as original and vintage as possible. I really wanted it to look like a speak easy and as the pieces came together, it looked more and more like one, so we went with it.
V: What plans do you have for the office, it looks like a place to hang out too?
JN: For now it’s going to be a law office, so I can pay it off. (lol) Oh and apparently, according to my wife, Fridays at 4 is women’s wine hour, lol. But there are bigger plans for the future. As I said before, it’s way too nice to be a law office.
Nelson also added, “We are so blessed, and can’t wait to be in the village for many years to come!”