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Home > Our City > Buffalo My City > Buffalo My City Watercolors > 10-A Anchor Bar (1990)

10-A Anchor Bar (1990)

Narrative by - David M. Rote
(Narratives are copyrighted)

Established in 1935 by Frank and Theresa Bellissimo near the foot of Main Street and the Buffalo River (hence the name "anchor"), the Anchor Bar moved to this 19th century 3-story Italianate building in 1939, succeeding Haefner's Restaurant at that location. The chicken wings originated in the kitchen of the Anchor Bar in 1964, devised and served by Mrs. Bellissimo herself, and have grown to be not only a national gastronomical treat, but also known internationally. When the NFL Miami Dolphins come to town, quarterback Dan Marino stops by with his teammates for the taste of "Buffalo wings". July 29, 1977 was even designated by the city of Buffalo as Chicken Wing Day. Chicken wings have joined beef-on-weck as Buffalo-inspired specialties.

Buffalo is noted for its many wonderful ethnic eateries in the tradition of the Anchor Bar and "eating out" is a popular form of entertainment in the Buffalo area. Various festivals, including the annual "Taste of Buffalo", are well attended events. Fast-food establishments have also made their mark in the community and pizza parlors, found all over the city, often offer chicken wings along with their pizzas.

Rising in the background may be seen Buffalo General Hospital's sixteen-story Medical Tower at Ellicott and High Streets. Buffalo General is the city's second oldest hospital (organized in 1855) and is the home of Memorial Institute, the oldest (1898) and one of the largest cancer research and treatment centers in the world. Another area hospital, Millard Fillmore at Gates Circle, was the scene in 1960 of the world's first cardiac pacemaker implant and its inventor, Wilson Greatbatch of Buffalo's neighbor Clarence, New York was selected for the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1986.

Diagonally across Main Street from the Anchor Bar is Bryant & Stratton Business Institute, established in Buffalo as the Bryant & Stratton College in 1854, where many of its students and faculty have enjoyed the fare at the Anchor Bar over the years.