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With success north of the border, Anchor Bar expands south to Virginia


There’s good news for Western New Yorkers traveling south – the self-proclaimed “Home of the Original Chicken Wing” is taking its brand to new places.

Buffalo-based Anchor Bar has opened a new restaurant in Toronto and will open another in Richmond, Va.

Vice President of Franchise and Development Mark Dempsey said construction on the Richmond site started a few days ago. He thinks the Anchor Bar brand won’t be changed by the expansion.

“We will produce the exact same wing that we do in Richmond, Va., as we do on Main Street here in Buffalo,” said Dempsey. “We’ll use the same sauce, we’ll use the same bleu cheese recipe. Everything will be exactly the same as far as the wings go. We’ve had these wings for almost 53 years and we’re not changing anything about them. They’re the best ones that are out there and they will be the exactly the same as Main Street.”

Dempsey said there will be slight menu changes to include some local cuisine at the out-of-town locations.

“Toronto will be slightly different than the ones [in Western New York],” Dempsey said. “In Virginia, we’re going to have a little more seafood. We’re actually going to have some crab cakes. We’re going to have a couple unique Anchor Bar items that will utilize the seafood and local fare from Virginia. And as well as in Toronto, we have a couple Anchor Bar staples north of the border, like Buffalo chicken wing poutine, a couple salads and some different pasta items.”

Dempsey thinks the new locations will also help Buffalo.

“I think it’s good for the city, I think it’s good for the tourism,” said Dempsey. “I think it can only help bring people here. If you experience it outside of the city, I think you’ll want to go and try the original.”

The Toronto location features 300 seats, 65-inch televisions, and an outdoor patio. Dempsey said it has been very well-received.

The Richmond site is in the early stages of opening and is expected to open fully in early December.