Buffalo Wings & The Super Bowl

This one is for all you wings lovers (generally the mucky clucks with sauce smeared all over their faces, hands and t-shirts). We have great news, we’ve expanded our wings menu! So, to celebrate, this week we’re looking at the origins of the wings that started it all.

The Buffalo Wings.

Back in 1964, Teressa Bellissimo, the co-owner and chef of Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York (where the name comes from, obvs) created one of food’s happiest ever accidents.

It all came about from a mistaken delivery: chicken wings instead of chicken necks and backs, which the Bellissimo family typically used to make their spaghetti sauce.

From here on in, the story gets a bit confusing.

The first version of how the wings were created is that Dominic Bellissimo (son of Teressa) came into the bar late one Friday night with his friends and asked his mother to throw them together a quick snack. Teressa was in the kitchen preparing some chicken stock for making soups and sauces using the chicken wings, so she decided to broil some instead and serve them to her son and his mates.

Probably because she thought they’d be too pissed to notice.

But Dominic used to tell a different and slightly more colourful story. The bar used to attract a large crowd of Catholics and, at the time, it was usual for Catholics to only eat fish and vegetables on a Friday. So Dominic thought, on one particularly busy Friday night that, as a thank you to his customers, he would bring something free out for them to eat at midnight when they were permitted eat meat again.

He asked his Mother to put something together and all she could find was a crate of chicken wings in the kitchen. Hallelujah.

Finally, Frank Bellissimo (husband of Teressa) has got his own story. It’s the simplest one, so it’s probably true.

Basically the bar got some wings delivered by accident. And they cooked them up a storm.

The one thing they do all agree on, is that, after some time experimenting, Teressa emerged from the kitchen with fried wings covered in a melted butter, vinegar and hot pepper sauce, served with celery and blue cheese salad dressing.

And then it really kicked off.

The popularity of Buffalo Wings in is in part thanks to the American Football team “Buffalo Bills”, who made it to the Super Bowl four seasons in a row between 1990-93.

During this period the area of Buffalo garnered a lot of media attention. The local food scene was covered and in particular a light was shone on the wings that had, by now, become synonymous with the area.

So, with Super Bowl 50 this Sunday, we say: get yourself on Deliveroo and order in some Buffalo Wings from Yard & Coop for your Super Bowl party.

And here’s to you Teressa and your wings that are truly bellissimo!

Why Chicken?

It’s a good question. And one we still get asked all the time. After the burger pandemic it was obvious that the casual food market had to head in a new direction, but the country’s most ‘everyday’ meat? Really?

The thing is that we’ve always loved chicken. Tasty chicken wings with a whole load of spices, roast chicken in proper chicken gravy, moist fried chicken in a crisp crumb… We’ve tasted some good chicken in our time, and that’s what drove us to create our own secret buttermilk fried chicken recipe. Everywhere we travelled we were checking out the chicken and getting back in the kitchen to work out what we needed to do to make ours better.

We like to think that we nailed it, but we are always looking for feedback and ideas from our customers, so come down, try our chicken and hit us up on twitter or Facebook and tell us what you think.

In the meantime, check out some of our favourite chicken restaurants from across the USA.

Warning: this will do nothing to stop your fried chicken cravings…


  1. Bertha’s Soul Food Cafe, Los Angeles, CA




Bertha is the godmother of fried chicken.This place has been around for nearly fifty years and it serves up actual soul food. As in, the kind of food that feeds your soul. So that, when you die, no matter what bad shit you’ve got up to in your life, you know you’re gonna be ok because there was that one time you went to Bertha’s and had mac and cheese, creamed corn and fried chicken wings. Halleluiah.


  1. Root and Bone, New York, NY




These guys are all about bringing authentic and rustic Southern dishes to New York City and their fried chicken is pretty exceptional. Like us, they brine it for 24 hours to make it super moist but then they really bring it to life with citrus Southern sunshine flavours that just make you smile. They do more than just chicken too, like pork chops and brisket biscuits to die for. But get the devilled eggs. And thank us later.


  1. Willie Mae’s Scotch House, New Orleans, LA





Ok, New Orleanians are pretty cool people. They’re hard to impress. They are not the type to throw around words like “legendary” and “classic”, so when they do we know better than to ignore it. And Willie Mae’s Scotch House is a legendary classic. The queues for fried chicken at this place speak for themselves, but also the hundreds of volunteers who showed up after Katrina to help re-build the much-loved institution of one seriously unique city. Listen to your heart on this one.


  1. Yardbird, Miami, CA




These guys were one of the first places we checked out when we started on our chicken adventure, mainly because we’d already heard a lot about them. Again with the Southern vibe and family recipes, they have started to make a lot of noise about proper chicken and the food, well it really ain’t bad. Which is something, considering they are based in Las Vegas and Miami… Both places you could easily find yourself craving fried chicken at 4am…


  1. Brenda’s Meat and Three, San Francisco, CA




In case you hadn’t noticed by now we like food served up a bit differently. Food you can share, pick at and mix up, just how you like it. And Brenda’s Meat and Three is all about that casual dining style. They take the Southern culinary tradition that dates all the way back to the 1930s, of one meat and three sides. Choose from a whole range of Southern-style options from a menu that changes daily. And ‘COS WE ARE IN ‘MERICA, the portions are massive. So go hungry. And go for beer, ‘cos that’s awesome too.


Been anywhere that you think we should check out? We’d love to hear about it on twitter @yardandcoop. Or book a table at our place and let us know what you think of the chicken. Because that’s what really matters.

Foodie Pics

Some photos of our food development days…

Long hours in the kitchen, slaving over a hot fryer, eating shitloads of beautiful, juicy buttermilk chicken… those were damn good times…

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The Story So Far

“Open a restaurant” they said.

“It will be fun” they said.

To be fair, a lot of the past year or so has been really fun. Mainly the getting pissed with our mates talking about it bits. But a lot of it has been really hard work. Which kind of makes us even more proud that we got the doors open.

If you want to see a bit more of the journey we have been on, take a look at some of the photos we took whilst doing up the site.

And it’s not over yet…



About Us

We are two friends who love chicken, and behind us are a whole load of other friends and family who love chicken, partying, eating out and having a good time.

So we opened a restaurant. Partly because we always dreamed of doing that, and partly because we wanted somewhere we could hang.

And that’s Yard & Coop.

But a bit more about us, if you like…


After completing a degree in photography and design at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2000, Carl stayed on to study a masters degree in marketing, design and communication, which he completed in 2001.

Then he worked as the marketing and events manager at TL Limited, based in Manchester, the UK’s largest student event organisation hosting some of the biggest student events in the country. Between 1998 and 2003 Carl hosted large-scale club nights, including regular events at The Academy and other iconic Manchester clubs such as Music Box, Sankeys Soap and The Factory.

Carl also worked on events and tours all around the UK, including promoting the underground event Stepback, as well as prolific tours, such as Formation Records and Radio One.

He joined Inventive Leisure in 2004 and became head of sales and marketing growing the Revolution bars brand portfolio from 20 bars to the 55 bars it has today.

But he always wanted to do his own thing.

Carl loves cooking, always has. And drinking, mainly tequila.

You’ll find him in the kitchen probably, but if you do see him behind the bar, make sure you do a shot with him.



After graduating from the University of Huddersfield in 2003 with a degree in Marketing, Retail & Distribution, Laura began her hospitality career at the Camel Club in the town, before taking on her first role with Inventive Leisure as deputy manager of the Revolution Bar in Bradford.

Over the next six years, Laura took on management roles at Revolution bars in Hull and York, becoming one of the group’s only two senior general managers in the UK. She then joined the team at Greens Restaurant in the West Didsbury area of Manchester. In early 2012, Laura took the position of management consultant at Terrace Bar and fell hook, line and sinker for the NQ.

Laura is all about operations, making sure the whole experience at Yard & Coop is fantastic for every customer. So she’ll be front of house, rushing about (no, not like a headless chicken…) or wining down at the bar. Come and say hi.

Tunes To Fry To

These are some of the tunes that we’ve been playing while frying up our chicken. Plug your ears in and groove…

Brick House – The Commodores


It’s a disco classic that epitomises Commodores funk about a woman with a fine body (built like “a brick shithouse”. That’s is a good thing, in case you weren’t sure).

The story goes that William King, the group’s guitar/ trumpet player was sent home to write a new song. He fell asleep on the couch and woke up with a notepad of words on his chest. Fortunately for him his wife Shirley Hanna-King was also a songwriter and she did it for him. Going to see if the same technique works for the rest of this blog…


Low Rider – War


War were a funk band from Long Beach, California who fuse rock, funk, jazz, latin, rhythm and blues. All the good stuff, basically. It’s got a driving bass line and an awesome sax solo that made it a proper anthem back in the day. Even though it’s good to listen to while frying chicken, we reckon it would sound even better cruising through downtown LA.


Master Blaster (Jammin’) – Stevie Wonder


Needs no introduction.


Surviving The Times – Nas


This tune is Nas’ autobiographical account of around the time he signed for Columbia. “I bought my first mic, I wrote my first rhyme, I was about nine… I wonder could they tell, how did they know. Sixteen years later, here I go”. Eight studio albums, two labels and a whole load of beef later, Nas’ music definitely survives the times.


Southern Fried Chicken Pt 1 & 2 – Bill Thomas and The Fendells


Two main reasons to like this tune. The chicken (obvs) and Thomas going “awight, awight, awight” over the top of it. What a lad.


This Must Be The Place – Talking Heads


Byrne said he was going to steer away from love songs. He said the subject was “kinda big’. But he was happy with this one because it wasn’t corny, stupid or lame. That’s pretty much our love song checklist too.

Our Secret Recipe Buttermilk Fried Chicken

It takes two days to prepare our buttermilk chicken before we fry it. We brine the chicken for 24 hours to make it really moist. Then we blend eleven different herbs and spices in our secret crumb* recipe to give it a peppery, spicy and crispy coating that is delicious on its own, or when combined with any of our dustings and sauces.

When we were experimenting with different ingredients and techniques to mix the perfect crumb we were aiming to create something that gives the chicken some crunch but keeps it moist. And we’ve had to eat a lot of fried chicken to get it just right.

The buttermilk gives it a luxurious texture, and you create your own chicken dish by picking your favourite sauces and sides.

We are already preparing a whole load of specials, coming soon. But why not tweet us at @yardandcoop if you have a favourite chicken dish you’d like to see on the menu?

Winner, winner chicken dinner.
*Ok, you didn’t think we were actually going to tell you how we do it, did you?

Welcome to Yard & Coop

So. First blog. Bit awkward isn’t it, ‘cos we haven’t properly met or anything yet, but we should probably break the ice. So here goes…

We are two friends who really love fried chicken. We’ve eaten fried chicken all over the world, especially in Kentucky where Laura has some family. You probably have too, eaten lots of fried chicken we mean. ‘Cos it’s a damn tasty thing. But we thought that it just wasn’t getting the respect it deserved, it was getting stuck in greasy buckets and served up by some old dude with a white beard. Well we thought there was more to it than that.

So we started playing around with our own recipe for buttermilk fried chicken. It took us a while, over a year in fact, of travelling, tasting and testing out spices, marinades and crumbs. Then we got it.

And Yard & Coop was born.

We love Manchester, the Northern Quarter, going out and anywhere that lets you have a good time without any bullshit. Fun, casual dining in places where you get a proper welcome, where sharing food is just part of the party.  So that’s what we want to create in our restaurant.

And we really hope you like it.