August Foodie: Brian Baker of Open Society Public House

Open Society serves South American cuisine, wine from around the world, and a good cup of coffee.
rian Baker grew up in a family that loved to cook. Now they’re taking on the task professionally. “It’s always been one of my father’s dreams to open his own place. This was a fun way for us to start a business together,” says Baker, owner of Open Society Public House, a new industrial-chic restaurant offering an Indiana-meets-South America melange of cuisine and cocktails as well as a high-end coffee program. The menu direction was also a family matter. “We have issues with gluten, and about 10 years ago, we realized Latin cuisine was the only one we could eat without really having to change the recipes,” says Baker, who spent three years researching the food culture, doing recon and working in restaurants in New York City and beyond before finalizing his plans for Open Society. But when it came time to select a site, Baker, who grew up in the Broad Ripple area, didn’t have to look any further than his own home turf. “It made sense to commit to serving the people I grew up around,” he says, having found a spot for his pub-style eatery along the College Avenue foodie corridor.

Veteran chef Tim Brater oversees the kitchen, turning out a protein-centric program that highlights Argentinean churrascos and a shrimp-and-scallops tamal bathed in chile beurre blanc. To wash it down, expect plenty of local craft beers (heavy on Black Acre offerings) and more than 20 rosé selections, including Baker’s current favorite, Loimer Zweigelt from Austria.

His favorite things