The Anchor Bar in Buffalo, birthplace of the "Buffalo wing," has given rise to two local Anchor Bar franchises, one on East Avenue and one at The Marketplace mall in Henrietta, the latter of which we visited on a recent Monday night.
The place: The large restaurant and bar at The Marketplace has an outdoor patio, complete with shade umbrellas for the summertime. Inside are 50 big screens (46 LED TVs and four 120-inch projection TVs) for anyone looking to avoid the heat.
The people: When we visited, the decent-size crowd was a mix of 20- to 40-somethings. Some were shoppers, arms full of bags. Others were sports fans, watching a televised baseball game. A kickball team sponsored by the bar was eating dinner. (The bar also sponsors softball and soccer teams.)
The entertainment: The bar charges a cover (ranging from $3 to $5) on Saturday nights during the summer when it hosts bands and when it broadcasts pay-per-view UFC fights. (Starting in September, bands will play every Friday, too.)
Not your grandma's root beer float: The bar's signature drink — new this summer — is an adult version of a traditional root beer float ($8). A 22-ounce glass is filled with Saranac root beer, whipped cream-flavored vodka, root beer-flavored vodka and a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream.
About that name change: Recently, the Anchor Bar in Henrietta changed its name to the Anchor Sports Bar and Grill — and changed its logo. (Ditto for the East Avenue location.) Michael Ranalletta, general manager of the Henrietta location, explains: "We are a franchise of the Buffalo location, and the only reason we changed our name to Anchor Sports Bar and Grill and changed our logo was because when we first opened up, all anyone ever talked about was the wings. It was wings, wings, wings — that was what they thought of when they heard the name 'Anchor Bar.' We wanted to be known for more than just chicken wings."
Despite that, the Anchor Sports Bar and Grill offers an expanded chicken wing menu. The wings are prepared the same way as they are at Buffalo's Anchor Bar, says Ranalletta. "We buy the same wings, and we fry them the same way."
But, in addition to the five Anchor Bar varieties, the Anchor Sports Bar and Grill also offers wings with Uncle Ralph's Sauce, Full Throttle BBQ and Papa Al's Hot Sauce, among others.
The dinner menu also includes burgers and salads (both $6.99), sandwiches and wraps ($8.49 to $8.99) and homemade pizza ($5.99 to $11.99).
Good to know
What: A franchise location of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo.
Cover: It ranges from $3 to $5 when bands play and on UFC fight nights.
On tap: Guinness, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, Yuengling, Rohrbach Scotch Ale, Brooklyn Lager, Shock Top, Harpoon UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen, Custom BrewCrafters Summer Wheat, Coors Light, Bud Light and Blue Light.
Drink specials: Daily drink specials include $2 Svedka martinis and Blue Light drafts from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday and $1 off drafts and buy-one, get-one drinks on Monday.
Food: Wings, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, salads, wraps and more. A late-night menu is served from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Fun and games: Big Buck Hunter, darts, basketball game, claw machine.
Parking: In mall lot.
Where: The Marketplace, 270 Miracle Mile Drive, Henrietta.
When: 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. daily.
Contact: 272-9333 or anchorsportsbar.com.