Who's the Boss?
The new Buffalo Boss building at 540 N 27th Street
Taj Pearsall and his cousin Beth Fritzler had been bringing delicious wings to the customers of Buffalo Boss in Milwaukee’s Sherman Phoenix food hall for five years when Keith Stanley said, “You should open a Buffalo Boss in my neighborhood.” With those words, Stanley, the then director of Near West Side Partners, ignited a spark that had been waiting in Taj, a spark that would become the second location of Buffalo Boss Midwest.
After some initial discussion, Stanley came back to Taj with three potential properties for the new location. It was the foreclosed building at the corner of 27th and Michigan that “ticked all the boxes” as Taj said. Not only was it an opportunity to own a building instead of rent, but it was closer to downtown and Marquette University and High School and “bridged the gap between the north and south sides.” “It gives us a wider range of people we can touch and connect,” he said.
"We take pride in being able to specialize – to make customers feel special when they come in."
One problem: the 1,600 square-foot building, that had been dormant for over a decade, was in need or serious work. Although Taj was able to buy the city-owned property outright, MEDC was able to help with the funding to make the location functional and hospitable. “Everything has been redone except the shell,” Taj said. This includes a new foundation, patio and parking lot and total interior renovation, complete with kitchen and dining area.
But the building is just the vehicle. What makes Buffalo Boss a beloved business is, of course, the wings. Fresh, antibiotic- and hormone-free wings are served with choice of 12 different sauces. “We take pride in being able to specialize – to make customers feel special when they come in.” This includes the ability to order all flats or all drums (the two parts of a chicken wing to which many have a devoted preference) and to have the chicken done from “regular cook to burn ‘em.” Chicken ‘n’ waffles, sandwiches, rice bowls, tenders, and shrimp round out the menu. While they do mostly carry out and delivery service orders, there is also a small dining room. “You can come in with the family and watch a Bucks game,” Taj said. “And the music is always a great vibe.”
After being open just over a month, the restaurant already has regulars and Taj is happy to see new folks with Buffalo Boss sauce on their fingers and smiles on their faces. “I enjoy the response from customers who are excited and happy and want to come and support us. My goal is to get them to come back. I want them to feel welcomed and appreciated.”
Buffalo Boss is located at 540 N 27th St. and is open Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–12 a.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
(top row, left to right) Crystal, Lee, Stashia, Sequoyah, Taj, Beth, Q
(seated) Katrina, Jasmine, Rajanay