If you’ve visited Pacific
Beach recently, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the construction of the newest
addition to the seaside dining and nightlife scene: Firehouse
American Eatery and Lounge.
Rumors of waitresses in red suspenders,
bartenders in yellow jackets, busboys in oversized black boots, a “flame
thrower” house shooter, and a bi-hourly rescue simulation are spreading like
wildfire through Pacific
Beach. To set these
rumors straight, DiscoverSD.com stopped by Firehouse
for an exclusive tour and interview with co-owner Brandon Gillum.
Although a tourist-centric, theme-based Firehouse tinged with red and yellow accents is easily imaginable, the men
behind the real Firehouse have a different vision in mind. Owners Brandon
Gillum, Tyler Charman, Matt Spencer, Kevin Brown, Adam Stemmler, Eric Berman, and DJ Scooter are deeply immersed in the
nightlife scene, with strong roots in Aubergine, DJ Here, and D Town
Productions. As a result, this entourage of authority promises to make Firehouse a chic yet delightfully nonconformist destination.
Firehouse formerly housed High Tide Cafe, a run-down, run-of-the-mill American restaurant. But when the downtown entourage looked at it, they saw unrealized nightlife potential. They took immediate
action, renovating the Firehouse into a beachfront retreat of unrivaled originality.
As Brandon Gillum keeps an emphatic eye on the upper deck
construction, he explains the medley of inspiration and the Firehouse vision.
"It's an upscale house-party vibe of
Aubergine meets a mix of Moondoggies and Tower23," he says eagerly. "We’re not trying to imitate
the frat row scene on Garnet or the VIP scene Downtown.”
Despite the current scenery of disheveled counter tops and
skeleton bars, Firehouse will soon welcome roughly 240 guests,
with 30 tables in the downstairs dining room and approximately 10 cocktail tables
atop the second floor patio.
The dining room will offer a full bar, plasma screen TVs, chrome
and black décor, and a spacious central area for mingling and dancing. Up the
staircase, guests will enter a rooftop terrace that features a second full bar, a
large fire pit, and glass walls showcasing the ocean view.
Firehouse brings a new wave of class to Pacific
Beach without sacrificing comfort or low prices. Although Firehouse offers
an upscale atmosphere; the casual, affordable, and inviting core balances
Firehouse with its Pacific
cuisine is completely unique, but never overpriced," says Brandon. "Our breakfast, lunch, and
dinner menu ranges from $10-15 and drinks range from $4-8. Happy hour will also
feature appetizer and drink specials.”
Flirting with American culture, the Firehouse menu is a
playful caricature of American stereotypes: the good, the bad, and the
hysterical. A few buzz-worthy menu items include the Trucker Breakfast and the
Nicole Richie Breakfast. The Trucker is a blend of biscuits, gravy, and bacon
served with a tall can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. On a lighter note, the Nicole
Richie Breakfast consists of your choice of a raspberry or peach bellini served
with a delectable saltine cracker.
Firehouse also hosts humorous hors d'oeuvres and
traditional American dinner favorites such as the build-your-own burger, the mini
corn dog plate, and for dessert, an all-time classic: milk and cookies.
In addition to innovative cuisine concepts, Firehouse will
feature exclusive entertainment. DJ Here guest
DJs will perform weekly at Firehouse, while the hyped-up Sunday rehab craze
will reinvent Sundays in Pacific
Beach. While Firehouse will also offer bottle service, Brandon believes
bottle service doesn’t have to go hand in hand with pretension.
"If guests want
bottle service, they don’t have to be confined to a VIP area," Brandon says. "They can sit at
any table in the house and enjoy a bottle of their choice—whether during dinner
with the family downstairs or on the rooftop during sunset.”
Although Firehouse staff will not feign firefighter gear or sport
fireman paraphernalia, the adjacent Pacific Beach Fire Station is a fan of the new
Firehouse renovation. If you want to meet a fireman or lifeguard in Pacific Beach, chances are you’ll find one at
their new neighborhood hangout. To show your support, order a specialty
Firehouse beer—a percentage of the proceeds from Firehouse beer will benefit
American Eatery and Lounge is slated to open the second week of June, 2007.
Check back for DiscoverSD.com’s inside
scoop on the grand opening party.