[ skip to content ]

ODU Grad's Restaurants Win Regional Small Business of the Year Award for 2019

The Dirty Buffalo, owned Old Dominion University alumnus and entrepreneur Russell Gilbert, recently won the 2019 Regional Small Business of the Year Award from the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.

Gilbert is the CEO and founder of the Western New York-themed sports grill and bar in Norfolk. He received his bachelor's degree in marketing from ODU in 2010. Shortly after, he opened his first restaurant.

The Dirty Buffalo started as a small kitchen with four employees in 2012. In the past seven years, it has grown to two full-service locations with more than 100 employees. The two locations, on Colley Avenue and East Little Creek Road, serve more than 13,000 pounds of chicken wings a week. A third restaurant is expected to open in Virginia Beach in August.

The judges chose The Dirty Buffalo as the overall winner out of seven nominated businesses throughout the region because of its controlled growth in the unstable restaurant market.

"The whole thing has been a learning experience, we teach each other and we are a family who push each other every day," Gilbert said.

The business has received other recognition, including three first-place awards for its proprietary wing sauces at the 2018 National Buffalo Wing Festival. It also has been featured on the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives" and Travel Channel's "Food Paradise."

Related News Stories

2019 Spring Commencement Education and Business

ODU’s 2019 Commencement Speakers Discuss Gratitude, Diversity, Capitalizing on Strengths and Making an Impact

Approximately. 3,500 students received degrees in four ceremonies at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. (More)

PNC Grow Up Great Logo

PNC Bank to Provide Banking Services to Old Dominion University Students, Employees

Program offers financial education, student and workplace banking. (More)


Two ODU Students Earn National Environmental Public Health Internships

Kaitlyn Greene and Brion Ockenfels are in the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health program. (More)

Site Navigation

Experience Guaranteed

Enhance your college career by gaining relevant experience with the skills and knowledge needed for your future career. Discover our experiential learning opportunities.

Academic Days

Picture yourself in the classroom, speak with professors in your major, and meet current students.

Upcoming Events

From sports games to concerts and lectures, join the ODU community at a variety of campus events.