Buffalo Wild Wings is an American casual dining restaurant and sports bar franchise that operates locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Philippines. Buffalo Wild Wings was co-founded in 1982 by Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery in Columbus, Ohio near the Ohio State University campus. Once when visiting Ohio, the pair craved the barbeque chicken wings from Disbrow’s, Buffalo, NY, but couldn’t find anything comparable. Instead of giving up on finding the famous Buffalo delicacy, Disbrow and Lowery decided to start their own restaurant. Originally called Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck, from which the abbreviation BW-3 was created (the third W was for the beef on weck sandwich, also popular in upstate New York), Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck began to franchise in 1990.
In 1996, Sally Smith took over as CEO of the company and its then, 35 locations. In an effort to expand the brand, Smith took on the task of restructuring the company’s finances, broadening the appeal of the chain by revising the name, redesigning the buildings, and evolving the brand from a college bar concept to a family-friendly sports bar and grill. In 1998 the name was changed to Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar.