Three years ago, Alex Janian left the hedge fund world to pursue his lifelong passion: food. This fall, Baltimore’s restaurant launchpad R. House will be the home of his first food foray when he opens BRD (pronounced “bird”), which stands for Baked, Roasted and Deep Fried—chicken that is. With an emphasis on local, all-natural, and seasonal ingredients, BRD will offer artisanal chicken wings and fried chicken sandwiches.
BRD’s inspiration came from Janian’s family trips to Florence, Italy, and the many rosticcerie they discovered around the region. “You could smell the rosemary chicken roasting on a spit from 100 feet away. It was simple, delicious—the best chicken I’d ever had. It was gourmet comfort food made with great ingredients from right down the road. I wanted to create a similar kind of concept here in Baltimore that serves inventive comfort food made from topnotch ingredients. And fried chicken to me is the ultimate comfort food,” Janian says.
The chicken will only be served two ways—as fried chicken sandwiches and wings. From there, BRD’s customers can choose from a variety of topping and sauce combinations inspired by flavors from around the world. “Think Alabama White Sauce Wings as one option, and an Italian Chicken Parm sandwich as another,” Janian says.
Emphasizing that the most important ingredient is the chicken itself, Janian adds, “Each BRD sandwich will have the same foundation: the best sourced chicken thighs carefully brined, battered, dredged, and then double-fried, giving them extra crispy crusts. These are the first steps in making the perfect fried chicken sandwich.”
Beyond the bird, the menu will feature homemade iced teas and add fresh slaws, salads, and seasonal vegetable-based sides to their meals.
After graduating from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, Janian worked as an investment banker in New York City, advising companies on M&A activities. He then spent time investing in technology, media, and telecommunication companies at a hedge fund in San Francisco. Inspired by his longstanding passion for gastronomy, Janian left the finance industry to focus on restaurants and hospitality. As a native of Baltimore, he is passionate about participating in the city’s evolution into a food destination.