Family Style

With a passion for excellence at the heart of their business, the Baran brothers are carrying the torch for their family’s Southern California restaurant legacy in the South Bay.

What began in Pasadena as The Brotherton’s Farmhouse restaurant in 1937 has evolved 80 years later into Baran’s 2239—an eclectic local eatery in Hermosa Beach operated by restaurateurs and brothers Jason Baran and Jonathan Baran. Their great-grandparents opened the family’s first restaurant at 2239 East Colorado Boulevard in a tiny Pasadena farmhouse that seated 50 people and served all-you-can-eat biscuits and country fare including fried rabbit and chicken. 

“Our grandfather, Jack Brotherton, helped open the restaurant. He married our grandmother, Luella, in the 1940s, and they eventually took it over in the 1950s. The farmhouse was expanded, and 250 seats were added over time. Our mom, her sister and brother all worked there,” says Jonathan proudly.

The restaurant thrived through World War II and delighted countless guests for 50 years before it closed in 1987, when Jason was spending time there as a young child and the same year that Jonathan was born. Four decades later—as a salute to their family’s restaurant roots—Jason and Jonathan added the street number from The Brotherton’s Farmhouse to their last name and opened Baran’s 2239 in Hermosa Beach in March 2016.

The casual fine dining eatery on Pacific Coast Highway seats close to 50 people is also a family affair. Their brother, Jeff, works with them once per week, and their sister, Jen, is there full-time, as is Jason’s wife, Greyci.

Through the inspiration of their wingman and longtime friend Chef Tyler Gugliotta, the shared plate menu boasts creative and innovative fare with various international influences. Specialties include traditional dishes with a modern twist, such as soft-boiled egg wrapped in lamb sausage (a play off a Scotch egg). Their signature smoked and fried chicken and king crab gnocchi dishes are staples on the ever-changing menu.

“We grow a lot of our herbs at the Hermosa Beach community garden and get much of our produce from Weiser Farms in Tehachapi, which is highly regarded in the California farming community and is owned by Tyler’s family,” says Jason. A wide range of wine and craft beer offerings complement the adventurous cuisine.

Though the menu is dramatically different than the family’s former Pasadena establishment, the restaurant is built on their grandparents’ unwavering commitment to family values, their employees and customers. “We attribute all that we have learned about hard work, giving back to the community and treating our employees and customers like family to our grandparents and parents. Because of this we have developed great friendships through the restaurant, which is the lifeline for our business,” says Jonathan.

With the help of financial backing, encouragement and the faith of their grandmother, the Baran brothers’ restaurant dream became a reality.

“I am very proud of my grandsons. They are going above and beyond in continuing our family’s tradition of excellent food and service,” says Luella Brotherton. “That makes me very happy.”  ν