Iron Rooster—the Annapolis favorite that made breakfast-all-day cool long before McDonald’s—is opening its second location at the Shops at Canton Crossing later this month.
The restaurant will settle in the former home of Farmstead Grill, which shuttered its doors in September after a woman crashed her car into the side of the building. Thankfully no one was hurt, but the freestanding restaurant sustained significant damage.
As repairs from the accident progressed, Farmstead approached Iron Rooster owner Kyle Algaze about bringing his concept into the space. Having previously considered Canton’s Gunther apartment complex before settling in Annapolis, Algaze jumped at the opportunity.
“When the accident happened, the [Farmstead Grill] owners kind of said, ‘Let’s take a deep breath and see what direction we want to go in,’” Algaze says. “We had all known each other for a couple of years and they saw how well Annapolis was doing, so they thought we’d be a perfect fit.”
The partnership between the two parties was finalized in September, and Algaze estimates that the ongoing repairs and renovations should be complete in time for a mid-November debut.
“We don’t do anything slow here,” he explains regarding the turnaround. “We opened in Annapolis in 30 days, so we’re used to that pace.”
The restaurant’s signature brunch menu, which includes chicken and waffles, house-made pop tarts, and complimentary bacon, will remain the same in the new space. While serving breakfast dishes all day is Iron Rooster’s claim-to-fame, the spot also offers colorful salads, farm-to-fork burgers, and hearty entrees such as salmon, meatloaf, and grilled rib eye.
The Annapolis location’s vintage-inspired interior, featuring reclaimed wood furniture and iron accents, will also carry over into the new 175-seat space, which boasts a large patio, 65-foot ceilings, and 360-degree windows. (Oddly enough, all of Farmstead Grill’s existing rooster logos will be replaced during the transition.)
“It’s a really cool space, and we want to make it look like our own,” Algaze says. “It should always feel personable; we don’t want people to feel like we just went through a catalogue.”
While the restaurant’s menu and aesthetic will be consistent with its flagship location, Algaze says he hopes to implement some new drink specials, such as hosting an early morning happy hour from 5-6 a.m. for overnight workers like nurses and first responders.
In keeping with that sentiment, the restaurant will host special previews for locals and neighborhood associations during opening week. Algaze says that establishing a relationship with the community will remain a top priority as Iron Rooster finds its footing in Canton.
“We wouldn’t have been able to grow in Annapolis as quickly without the support of the community, and that’s our hope for Canton,” he says. “We’re hoping to be a landmark for 20 years if not longer.”