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Two Kansas City bars give locals a taste of Buffalo and Buffalonians a taste of home

Bills fans in KC
Posted at 7:38 PM, Jan 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 17:08:16-05

KANSAS CITY, MO (WKBW) — For Al Burns, the owner of Al's Bar & Grill in Parkville, Missouri, this weekend is a special one.

"This is the most fun I have all year," he said. "I gotta be honest."

Burns is a South Buffalo native who owns one of the Bills Backers Bars in the Kansas City area. It's always an exciting time on game days, but when the Bills come to town, the excitement level goes up a notch.

"People don't understand what Buffalo's all about and people don't understand what the Buffalo Bills loyalty is all about," Burns said. "It's fun talking about the places you know, the things you do, and for me it's like going home."

Al’s Bar & Grill is a place that any Bills fan feels welcome, but there’s never just one Buffalo connection.

About 20 minutes away in downtown Kansas City is a place called Taps on Main, a bar with a picture of Tonawanda on its wall. It's owned by the Tower brothers of Kansas City, but their dad Barry, is a City of Tonawanda native. They grew up on Buffalo spirit and chicken wings.

"The best food any of us had growing up was my dad's chicken wings," co-owner Marc Tower said. "He's been doing wings his whole life."

"He would spend all day on them," co-owner Grant Tower added. "It was maybe once or twice a year and it was the best day of the year."

It's why the staple on their menu is "Tonawanda Wings" named after their dad's hometown. They're doused in a secret sauce that only Barry and his son, Grant, know how to make.

They're a hot ticket item, especially when Bills fans come to town. Tower says they anticipate selling around 1,000 pounds of wings this weekend, three times the amount they typically sell in a week.

"On a scale of one to ten, I'd give it a nine," patron Mary Suto said about the wings. "They're very good."

Could it get any better? Two bars that give Kansas City a taste of Buffalo and Buffalonians who visit, a taste of home.

"You make sure you got a lot of beer, you make sure you got good wings, and then you just put them all together in one room and they're all very happy and glad to be with each other," Burns said. "When you're with Bills fans, there's no such thing as a stranger."

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