Sports fans fly to Buffalo Wings

by Jen Chaney
Staff Writer

The regulars have taken their customary positions at the bar. The Orioles are playing the Yankees on the television above their heads and their drinks are within an arm’s reach.

On a Saturday night, it seems there is little more happens.

Cal hits a home run. Applause and a couple of whoops emanate from the men.

“I told you Cal would hit one out!” shouts Jim Crockett of Gaithersburg.

This is a typical evening at Buffalo Wings and Beer, a restaurant and watering hole on Snouffer School Road, which is coming up on its one year anniversary in business in August.

The establishment refers to itself as “a gathering place for the sports-oriented.” And the sports oriented gather here, according to owner and manager Ira Levy, alongside families and those who just want a spicy order of wings.

The feeling in Buffalo Wings and Beer is slow-paced and down-to-Earth, a combination Levy says has attracted patrons in the Gaithersburg area and beyond, including Washington and Bowie.

“It makes me feel good,” he said. “They’re making that effort to come all the way out here and then they’re coming back. 

Some of the regulars include members of the Browns Backers Club, a group of transplanted Ohio natives who rooted for the Cleveland NFL team when its game were on the satellite TV.

The Browns franchise has moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens this year, but members of the Browns Backers continue to come in, to cheer for other Ohio teams, particularly the Cleveland Indians baseball team.

Bill Wolfgang, one of the members of the Browns Backers Club and an 11-year resident of Gaithersburg, feels that the restaurant fills a niche in the Gaithersburg community.

“There are not a lot of places like that around here,” he said.

Wolfgang enjoys taking his children there.

“My one daughter just loves going in there because the waitress remembers her name,” he said.

Joyce Garofalo of Gaithersburg agrees. She and husband John were preparing to pay their dinner bill last Saturday night while their 8-year-old son happily played darts nearby.

Garofalo said her 23-year-old daughter likes to come in to hang out with friends, but she and her husband prefer to bring their 8-year-old along for a taste of wings.

“We can bring our son here and it’s an OK place to be,” she said. “It’s kid friendly.”

Levy is hoping to eventually expand the business, possibly opening up another location in Germantown and in Dewey Beach, Del.

For now, though, the Gaithersburg location has established enough of a following to make the 27-year-old Kennedy High School allumnus happy. And his employees seem to be happy as well.

Patty Herlihy, a waitress at Buffalo Wings and Beer, said she loves her job. When asked why, she explained simply: “Everyone comes back. That’s all I can say.”