Olean is also a city in New York State. Unlike the fat substitute, which is pronounced O-lean, this city is pronounced O-lee-an. Olean is located approximately an hour and a half south east of Buffalo, NY. Olean, NY’s population is approximately 23,000 people.

Olean used to be a hopping city, which attracted people for various reasons. Currently, Olean, NY is has-been city that is often used as a joke. Back in the day, people used to travel to Olean, NY, from hours away, to go to the Castle Restaurant. It was an elegant dining experience. Currently, the Castle Restaurant is not open for business.

The main (and only real) attraction to Olean, NY is St. Bonaventure University. When I first came to St. Bonaventure University in 1996, there was a sign on the way into Olean that said “The Enterprising City with the Hometown Touch.” To translate, this means, “We have a few tall buildings, but unfortunately, still have more cows than people.”

Olean is the home for a very high number of “welfare families.” Almost half of the students in this area receive a free (35.2% of students) or reduced (8.4% of students) lunch. The “Olean General Mall” has such poor business that even the McDonald's left it.

The below quotation comes from the Olean Chamber of Commerce web page. Below it will be the reality translation:

“Your connection to the Greater Olean Area! Nestled in the heart of the Enchanted Mountains is the unique city of Olean, New York. Surrounded by the spectacular beauty of nature, blessed with an incomparable geographic location, enriched by the presence of four colleges... Olean is truly a wonderful place to live, work and visit.

In the book, "The New Rating Guide to Life In America's Small Cities," author Kevin Heubusch ranked Olean 33rd, tied with Kingston, New York, among 193 small cities (between 15,000 and 40,000 people) nationwide.”


Olean, NY is located an hour and a half east of Lake Erie in the middle of really big hills, the locals call “mountains.” This means that Olean, NY gets lake effect snow and excessive fog. Olean has an extension of Jamestown Community College; the main campus is located one hour away. In addition, Olean, NY is blessed enough to have St. Bonaventure University adjacent to it. The townies continually treat its students like second-class citizens.

Someone, who obviously never visited Olean, wrote that they liked it in a book. If the person did visit Olean, they must have came to the Beef-N-Barrel, one of the two decent restaurants in the town, and then left. (Oh, did you notice the name of the restaurant is the BEEF-N-BARREL??? Yee-haw!)