Nestled in Gruene’s Historic District, The Birdhouse, Fancy Chicken & Fine Wine aims to offer upscale, southern scratch cuisine and great customer service.

Meet the owner

Ross Wilkinson is no stranger to the hospitality industry. Formerly known as The River House, Wilkinson saw an opportunity to pivot and try something new.

“After years of working in advertising, I was really motivated to try and find a business of my own for my family and for my legacy,” Wilkinson said.

He decided to rebrand his restaurant completely due to growing operation costs. Wilkinson said he received great feedback from the community on his chicken dishes. A fried-chicken enthusiast himself, he wanted to provide quality meals at an affordable price.

“The star of the show is definitely the fried chicken,” he adds. "But I also wanted the stars of the show to be the friendship, the cocktails and the family friendly aspect of our restaurant.”

Now a year later Wilkinson prides himself on creating positive staff culture and committing to his passion of hospitality.

On the menu

The Birdhouse features a selection of fried, hot and cold chicken options with popular items that include the hot honey, Nashville hot chicken and spicy black truffle sandwiches.

Wilkinson uses a unique blend of spices from his own seasoning line called Bird Dog Spice Blends, which he created during the pandemic. He said he wanted to become consistent with his recipes which led him to explore the process of creating his own blends.

What else?

The Birdhouse offers a full-service bar with signature cocktails all named after different chicken breeds like The Leghorn, The Ameraucana and The Sussex. The Chicken & Waffle Mary features a bloody mary topped with a mini waffle, fried chicken tender and a seasoned deviled egg.

Wilkinson is currently developing new dishes that will be added on the menu in the near future.

“I just hope that when people come to The Birdhouse, they feel at home and catered to," Wilkinson said. "I hope they feel hospitality with a good sandwich.”