An American-style restaurant and bar with two locations in the Dayton area is competing at the National Buffalo Wing Festival in New York.
Archer’s Tavern will take an 11-person team to Buffalo on Labor Day weekend to see how their sauces stack up to others in the nation.
Dan Apolito, owner of Archer’s Tavern, told Dayton.com he is excited and a little intimidated.
“I have no idea what to expect,” Apolito said. “These are the best wings in the U.S.”
According to America’s Best Restaurants, the festival is known as the “Super Bowl” of the chicken wing industry.
“The event draws attendees from all fifty states and many countries around the world,” America’s Best Restaurants said in a press release. “Highlights include numerous contests, such as competitive wing eating, amateur cook-offs, bobbing for wings and a qualifying event for the USA Mullet Championships.”
“It’s different than the local wing competition at Fraze Pavilion, the Kickin’ Chicken Wing Fest, in that when you go to the national wing festival, they cook all of the wings and bring them to our tent,” Apolito said. “All we have to do is sauce them.”
The Archer’s Tavern team is competing in a variety of categories by taking five different sauces to the competition including:
1. Archer’s Style - A signature Buffalo-style sauce featuring spicy garlic and parmesan
2. Dry Rub - A combination of spices including salt, garlic, cayenne pepper, brown sugar and more
3. Wing and a Prayer - The tavern’s hottest sauce featuring fresh habanero peppers
4. Sexy Sauce - A combination of Archer’s style, Dry Rub and another special spice combination developed over the years by team members
5. PB & A - A sauce featuring peanut butter and agave
“We will feature all of these wings during football season,” Apolito said. “They will all be available at both Archer’s locations.”
Archer’s Tavern was supposed to compete in the National Buffalo Wing Festival last year, but due to staffing and COVID issues, Apolito said they decided to hold off until this year. To make sure the restaurant was worthy of a spot in the competition, Drew Cerza, founder of the festival, sent a team from Buffalo to try their wings.
Cerza is known for edging out Bobby Flay in a “Chicken Wing Throwdown” on the popular Food Network show in 2007.
Apolito recalled the team thinking the Wing and a Prayer sauce was their best.
Archer’s Tavern will be competing against 15 other restaurants from around the country including Anchor Bar, the official “Home of the Buffalo Wing,” America’s Best Restaurants said.
“Anchor Bar is where they invented the Buffalo Wing, which is super cool to us, and, in fact, we call our wings the world’s second-best wings in honor of them,” Apolito said.
Apolito told Dayton.com he never thought Archer’s Tavern would go to a national competition, but he is eager to learn from the other competitors.
“I can’t wait to meet all of these guys and see how they run their wings, best practices they have, flavors, and then we can bring them to the Dayton area,” Apolito said.
Archer’s Tavern will also be interviewed on-camera during the festivities by America’s Best Restaurants.
The festival will be held noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4 for the first time on the field at Highmark Stadium, which is also known as the “Home of the Buffalo Bills.”
For more information about the festival, visit www.buffalowing.com.
Archer’s Tavern is located at 9496 Dayton-Lebanon Pike in Centerville and 2030 E. Dorothy Lane in Kettering.