The Buffalo wing has found a home in Canada.
The iconic Anchor Bar restaurant will make its Canadian debut in Hamilton, Ont., with a franchise that will open later this year or in early 2013.
“I think it’s great,” said Ivano Toscani, general manager of the Anchor Bar. “It’s a great way to get our name out there and for more people to know about us.”
The restaurant’s first and only operating franchise is at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Toscani said.
The Anchor Bar has been looking to expand through franchising, “but like everything else, you know, it takes time to find the right opportunity,” he said. The restaurant’s Rochester franchise folded last year.
Along with the Hamilton franchise, Toscani said plans are in the works for another franchise somewhere in the state and for another one in Las Vegas.
David Cooperthwaite and his business partner, both fans of the restaurant, approached Toscani about opening a Canadian location.
“I wish them the best,” Toscani said. “If they run their business the way we’ve done the past 60 years, then they’ll have success, but if they deviate too much from it, it won’t be a success.”
Toscani said that was the case with the downtown Rochester location.
The staff of the Canadian branch will be trained in Buffalo and will use products from that location.
But Toscani said franchise owners are encouraged to put their own spin on the menu and other areas of the business to suit local tastes.
“If they want to serve chicken wing pizza, that’s fine,” he said.
The Canadian franchise, which will be in downtown Hamilton’s Jackson Square, is reportedly planning to add more salads to the menu and to use a wood-burning oven from Italy, not used in Buffalo, to make pizzas.