The owner of Buffalo's legendary and world renowned Anchor Bar has died. According to restaurant management, Ivano Toscani passed away today after battling a long illness, he was 68 years-old.
“Those of us who were fortunate enough to know and work with Ivano have lost a dear friend and colleague, whose spirit will forever be ingrained as part of Anchor Bar’s history,” said Mark Dempsey, VP of the Anchor Bar Franchise & Development Company. “Ivano’s leadership and guidance at the Anchor Bar cultivated a Buffalo staple into a world-famous food brand, sought by tourists and locals alike for the past several decades. We were blessed to have him as part of the Anchor Bar family and will dearly miss him.”
According to the restaurant, Toscani moved to Western New York from Italy in 1973. He was originally introduced to Frank and Teressa Bellissimo, founders of the Anchor Bar, by a mutual friend. Frank and Ivano worked for many years together, and Frank taught Ivano every aspect of the restaurant business. Following the passing of Frank and Teressa, as well as their son, Dominic, Ivano continued to grow the Anchor Bar business into what it is today: the internationally recognized birthplace of the Buffalo Wing.
Toscani launched the Anchor Bar bottled-sauce line in 1999, retailing in more than 3,000 supermarkets worldwide. In 2009, Ivano realized his dream of franchising Anchor Bar restaurants. Today the company has 15 locations.