Sophie Bolich

Buffalo Boss Opening on Near West Side

Wings-focused restaurant plans to open first standalone location on Sept. 11.

By - Sep 6th, 2023 11:58 am
Site of Buffalo Boss, 540 N. 27th St. Photo taken Sept. 5, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Buffalo Boss, 540 N. 27th St. Photo taken Sept. 5, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Buffalo Boss is bringing its New York-style chicken wings to a new neighborhood. The restaurant, a four-year tenant of Sherman Phoenix Marketplace, will soon open a second Milwaukee location at 540 N. 27th St., on the Near West Side.

The upcoming restaurant plans to welcome its first guests on Monday, Sept. 11, serving mainstay menu items including organic chicken wings, tenders and meatless wings — plus several new additions and exclusive offerings. It will be the latest of four new businesses to open in the area, joining the recently-launched Gray Jett Cafe, The Academy of Skin & Beauty and Washington Park Media Center.

On its website and signage, Buffalo Boss claims to be a purveyor of “Brooklyn’s finest wings.” And while that may be subjective, there is some truth to the title — the restaurant got its start in the New York City borough back in 2010 under founder Jamar White.

The chain is backed by White’s cousin, Shawn Carter (better known by his stage name Jay-Z), and has locations in Brooklyn and Orlando. Entrepreneur Taj Pearsall opened the first Milwaukee restaurant in 2019.

“We wanted to put something here that’s going to be long-lasting, sustainable and that the community could be proud of,” Pearsall said of the upcoming restaurant. “It checks off all the boxes for us,” he added, noting that his biggest goal is to “duplicate the success” that Buffalo Boss has already seen at Sherman Phoenix.

The restaurant, first proposed in 2021, will occupy a building that once housed Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips restaurant. Assessment records indicate it was built in 1974 for the seafood restaurant chain that is now virtually defunct. The building has been boarded up since at least 2007, according to Google Maps. The city acquired the parcel through property tax foreclosure in 2019.

Pearsall, now the building owner, has spent the past several years sprucing up the property — adding a dining room and flexible outdoor seating, as well as landscaping and a patio.

Pearsall said he wants the space to be family-oriented, and, for that reason will not offer a drive-thru window. Instead, efficiency-minded guests will be able to order ahead online for pick-up at a walk-up window. The restaurant also partners with third-party platforms for delivery services.

Buffalo Boss serves both regular and boneless chicken wings that have been marinated for 24 hours and tossed with a choice of sauce; including any of the dozen house-made options, or a combination of two or more.

Chicken tenders, hand-breaded in Panko, are available on their own or within the Boss Chicken Sandwich. For vegetarian and vegan customers, the restaurant offers meatless wings.

“You can definitely get it your way,” Pearsall said of the highly-customizable menu, adding that customers are welcome to ask for their preferred crispiness level or request all flats or drums on any wing order. “It gives people a personalized touch,” he said.

Pearsall also teased a selection of limited time only items that will appear exclusively at the Near West Side location “to make it a little bit more special.”

“We’re excited to be in the neighborhood,” he said. “I want to keep the spirit of the Buffalo Boss going. We’re going to be doing stuff around the neighborhood and within the community — the same wonderful things we’ve been doing at Sherman Phoenix, just in a new neighborhood.”

Buffalo Boss and fellow Near West Side businesses Gray Jett Cafe and Washington Park Media Center all received grant funding through Brew City Match.

Starting next week, Buffalo Boss will be open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Categories: Food & Drink

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