As history tells it, Theresa Bellisimo was the inventor what is now know as the Buffalo Wing. She had a late night request for something to eat and threw together a muchie of deep fired chicken wings slathered with hot sauce and margarine. To extend them she added to the platter some celery, carrots and a blue cheese dip. From there the local favorite spread nationwide. You can find someone selling Buffalo Wings in almost every corner of the United States and in locations around the world.
The sad but true fact is that Buffalo’s business community did not attempt to capitalize on the craze, nor did the Anchor Bar, the originator. It took almost 40 years for the Anchor Bar to begin franchising. At this moment there are only 3 Anchor Bar franchises in the United States, Detroit, MI – Costa Mesa, CA- Tampa, FL.
I find this rather shocking when you consider that there are at least 23 non-Buffalo area companies offering franchises:
Wingstop, Richardson, TX
Wingzone, Atlanta, Ga
Buffalo Wild Wings, Minneapolis, MN
Hurricane Grill & Wings, West Palm Beach, FL
Buffalo Wings & Rings, Cincinnati, OH
East Coast Wings, Winston-Salem, NC
Atomic Wings, Montclair, NJ
Wings Etc., Fort Wayne, IN
Buffalo’s Philly Franchise, Woodbridge, VA
MD Plucker’s Wing Factory, Austin, TX
Mo-Joe’s, Atlanta, GA
St. Louis Bar & Grill, Toronto, ON Canada
Wild Wing Café, Mt. Pleasant, SC
Wing Machine, Toronto, ON. Canada
Wing Nutz, Salt Lake City, UT
Wingman, Northglenn, CO
Buffalo Wing Factory, Ashburn, VA
Planet Wings, Middletown, NY
Buffalo’s Café, Dallas, GA
Buffalo Wings & Beer, Gaithersburg, MD
Buffalo Wings to Go, Beaumont, TX
Buffalo Jack’s Legendary Wings, Destin, FL
Buffalo Wing Factory, Reston, VA
There is a reason for my doing this little piece. It is the result of discovery. And it reinforces an opinion developed over the past year of talking with business people, elected officials (both parties), developers, educators, planners, etc. We have a serious problem with lack of desire. Too many people in an old boy network who just don’t have a clue when it comes to development. They don’t look at the big picture and as a result will never see opportunity where there is opportunity.
Can you imagine the economic fall out in this community if someone had the sense to start franchising early and put together a local headquarters for a Buffalo Wing franchiser with 100, 500, 1000, 1500, etc. restaurants/bars across the nation and globe?
If you go to the corner of !st Circle and Rainbow St. in Amman, Jordan you will find a Cincinnati, OH based Buffalo Wings and Rings Restaurant. How do you like that Western New York business community and chamber of commerce?