Buffalo’s two most iconic chicken wing restaurants are bringing their rivalry to Transit Road.
Anchor Bar franchisees Michael and Anthony Schiappa will open a location this fall almost directly across the street from a Duff’s franchise in the Eastern Hills Mall.
The Anchor Bar franchise will take the place of a former Corner Bakery Cafe at 7662 Transit Road on the Amherst side of the street. The 4,200-square-foot location will seat 130 people.
“We both serve a great wing, but it’s going to be tough to beat the look of our restaurant,” said Michael Schiappa. “It’s going to be extremely sleek but have that same city feel of the original location.”
Duff’s co-franchisee Gregory Duell takes the rivalry in stride.
“All wing fans in Buffalo have their own favorite,” he said. “There are a million places in Buffalo to get good wings.”
Further revving up the competition is Quaker Steak & Lube, which has won the “festival favorite” award at the National Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival three times. The Pennsylvania-based chain’s only Buffalo-area location sits at 6727 Transit Road, just a mile and a half south of Eastern Hills Mall.
Both Anchor Bar’s and Duff’s franchising power rides on their local lore and reputations.
Anchor Bar credits itself with the invention of the Buffalo wing in 1964, as prepared by matriarch Teressa Bellissimo.
Duff’s opened in 1946, but didn’t serve its first batch of wings until 1969. Still, the true king of wings has been debated among both restaurants’ loyal customers for years.
In 2009, a Travel Channel series called “Food Wars” featured both restaurants in an episode, declaring Duff’s the winner in a blind taste test. But locals consider the score far from settled.
The original Duff’s location is at 3651 Sheridan Drive, Amherst. There are additional locations in Orchard Park, Depew, Niagara Falls and Texas, as well as the one in Clarence and three Canadian franchises in Ontario.
Anchor Bar’s original location is at 1047 Main St. It has franchised locations at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Darien Lake Amusement Park in Genesee County and in Hamilton, Ont.