A restaurant where the focus is on good times, great food, and a casual atmosphere
A decade ago, all Ira Levy wanted was a good place to go for chicken wings, beer and to watch the big game – some place fun and affordable, near his Gaithersburg home. The son of a gourmet cook, he turned his townhouse kitchen into a hot sauce testing facility, using his friends and family as guinea pigs. As he visited bars and restaurants while working as a hotel and restaurant upholsterer, he picked up menus to study at home. When he was ready to start his own restaurant, a nearby establishment had closed, and he took a chance, opening the first Buffalo Wings and Beer location.
“It’s a joke now, but I just ‘winged it,’ “Levy said of his beginnings. During the past nine years, Buffalo Wings and Beer has opened seven locations across Maryland. Additional locations are planned for the near future, in West Virginia, Philadelphia and other areas that fit the Buffalo Wings and Beer philosophy.
“I haven’t advertised or marketed, but friends of mine keep wanting to open them up,” he said.
Levy and his friend Chris Beach have opened the latest Buffalo Wings and Beer location in St. Mary’s Square. The building had fallen into disrepair, but the basic kitchen necessities were in place. Levy and Beach are working with the landlord to make improvements and have already started to change the décor.
“We’ve signed a 20-year lease. Buffalo Wings and Beer isn’t going anywhere,” Levy said.
Levy is the first person to tell you his restaurants aren’t about “wood, brass and glass.” The focus is on good times, great food and a casual atmosphere where people from all walks of life can come together.
Buffalo Wings and Beer sells “naked” wings – no breading, no puddles of grease, just tender and flavorful Purdue chicken in a wide range of sauces. There are so may sauce combinations on the menu; a real chicken wing fan could try something new every single day for more than two months without straying from the wing menu.
But don’t let the name fool you – Buffalo Wings and Beer also has an extensive menu of lunch and dinner items, including homemade soups, char-grilled burgers and steaks, fresh pizzas and crab cakes (full of crab, without fillers) a Marylander can be proud to order. Levy creates all the recipes and has a special section for low-carb dieters.
The restaurant offers a wide variety of beers, including eight different draft beers and St. Mary’s distinctive 10-oz cans. There are also several wines on offer, as well as light, lady-like malt beverages. Without a full bar, the atmosphere stays mellow and relaxed. Extended hours also make it the perfect place to go to unwind after all the other restaurants in town have closed their doors for the night.
A non-smoking section separate from the bar, dartboards, pool tables and shuffle bowling is a great place for sports team banquets and families. The digital jukebox gets fresh tunes every week. And though Redskins fans might not want to think about it just yet, Buffalo Wings and Beer will have two 100-inch screen televisions in place in time for the Super Bowl.
“We have high days and low days, but Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year for chicken wing sales.”
Levy and Beach welcome darts and pool leagues, and they are looking forward to supporting local charities and sports teams, as they do at all the other Buffalo Wings and Beer locations.