Buffalo is known for being a food destination. What you may not know is John Young, a man who died in 1998, is being called the original king of wings.


What You Need To Know

  • Buffalo Bike Tours hosted "The Wing Ride" Saturday afternoon to honor Young

  • Young created the "Mambo Wing"

  • Young was the first to have a chicken wing shop  in Buffalo

  • His restaurant, "Wings and Things," dates back to about 1960


"He was the first person to have a chicken wing shop here in buffalo, his restaurant, ‘Wings and Things’ dates back to about 1960," Marc Moscato said, the Owner of Buffalo Bike Tours.

Buffalo Bike Tours hosted "The Wing Ride" Saturday afternoon to honor Young. People took the ride to learn and taste the history behind the city's most famous culinary tradition. The owner of the bike tours says exploring history like this is what his values are all about.

"Those values are rooted in social justice and championing the underdog stories, and we do that through history tours, food tours," Moscato said.

Every King needs a Queen. In fact, Teressa Bellissimo and John Young were known as the king and queen of wings. In 1964, Bellissimo created what Buffalonians call the Buffalo wing: chicken cut into pieces served with blue cheese and celery.

"People know Buffalo wings as the drum and the wing but when he started selling wings it was the whole chicken wing," Lina Brown-Young said, who is John Young's Daughter.

Young created the "Mambo Wing." Lina let Spectrum News in on some secrets to her father infamous Mambo sauce.

"He took a trip to the Bahamas and changed it up a little, added some fruit and different things in it, at that point he tried to call it "Bahama Mama Sauce," but it didn't take, and Mambo sauce stayed," Brown-Young said.

Lina told Spectrum News there is no animosity towards other chicken wing places that take credit for bringing the wings to Buffalo. She says she’s thankful to keep her father’s recipe in the mouth of Buffalonians.

"Selling the wings and selling the sauce to his memory alive, you know, you hear Anchor Bar because they've been here, but hopefully his name, John Young will be the first thing connected with that," Brown-Young added.