After an extensive two-year renovation by a couple of local firemen, Richmond's original circa-1800s fire station in the historic Depot District emerged as a hopping restaurant-music venue. Open since January 2012, Firehouse BBQ and Blues maintains the building's architectural integrity but also adds lifelike murals and other interesting touches to create a unique dining atmosphere. Barbecue seems the ideal cuisine to serve here; the one-page menu details several appetizers, salads, desserts and barbecue options, including pork, brisket, chicken and ribs. Customers can opt for lunch special meat sandwiches with one side or dinners of meat with two sides and a jalapeno corn bread muffin anytime of day.
The barbecue nachos ($7.95) are delicious: crunchy tortilla chips topped with pulled pork, baked beans, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, jalapenoes and diced onion. Likewise, the pulled pork and brisket dinners ($9.95 and $10.95, respectively) are top-notch, offering tender, flavorful meat. The cheesy potatoes are the best of the side items, with baked beans and slaw running close behind, all served in cute half-size Mason jars. The specialty Smokin' Hog sandwich ($6.95 for the lunch, $9.95 for dinner) consists of a smoked sausage on a bun with pulled pork, cheese and onions. It was good, but not as good as the plain pulled pork without the additional toppings. Firehouse serves lunch and dinner daily and stays open late on weekends to showcase a solid lineup of musical acts from Richmond and the region; the crowd is 21 and up only after 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.