Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Firehouse Restaurant is Open!

Last night Kelly Ray and I strolled over to Firehouse, the new restaurant in the rapidly becoming cool "Dekum Triangle," which is about eight blocks from our house and just four blocks from the Woodlawn International Guest House.

The restaurant officially opens on Friday, but last night they had a preview party, and I think that other than the owners, I was the most excited person there. I've been biking and driving and walking by for six months, watching their progress, and am just so excited for my neighborhood to see this kind of development.

We enjoyed some wine and delicious food, mingled with neighbors, and I just bathed in the joy of having a very, very cool place that I can walk to!

Here is the description and some pics I took last night.

Firehouse is a new restaurant opening on the main floor of the historic Dekum Firehouse in NE Portland, owned by Eric Rose and Matthew Busetto. The focus is on the food they love to share with friends and family-simple, honest, ingredient driven and guided by seasonality. Firehouse will feature local meats, sustainably harvested fish and seafood, and regional. farm-direct produce. Central and Southern Italian influences and the wood-fired oven, rotisserie and grill, highlight these ingredients and allow the simple, honest flavors to shine. Firehouse will also be featuring house-made breads, pastas, sausages, and cured meats well as pastries. A vegetable and herb garden on the grounds of the Firehouse as well as a variety of fruit trees will provide the kitchen with additional fresh picked produce in season.

The original firehouse was built in 1905 in the heart of the community of Woodlawn. Matthew and Eric, along with Matthew’s wife, Elizabeth, who will be opening a naturopathic clinic on the second floor of the building, and with the help of numerous friends in the community, have refurbished the historic building from the ground up, doing as much of the work themselves as possible, restoring some of the original luster and bringing new life to a beautiful building in this revitalizing community.

Eric and Matthew have an intense passion for food and cooking, with over 35 years combined experience in the restaurant and food service business. Eric was the general manager of the pioneering Ron Paul Charcuterie for nine years where he began to develop strong relationships with local growers, and purveyors. He later joined New Seasons Market at its inception as its food service director developing and overseeing the deli and specialty cheese programs. During that time he intensified his commitment and focus on working on relationships with local farmers, ranchers, fishermen and cheesemakers. Matthew has worked in restaurants, beginning when he was 16 while growing up in the Bay Area. He continued to work through college until he finally gave in to his passion and committed himself to kitchen work full-time. After working along California’s north coast he attended the California Culinary Academy to be closer to his Bay Area home and hone his skills in San Francisco at Restaurant LuLu and MoMo’s. After a 3 year hiatus in Alaska, Matthew and his wife Elizabeth moved to Portland looking to be involved in its burgeoning restaurant scene. After working at clarklewis Matthew began working at New Seasons Market, for the last 2 years as Store Chef, and it was there that he and Eric met.

Eric and Matthew plan to continue their efforts towards sustainability, building relationships with local producers and purveyors, and strong neighborhood and community involvement, that were a major part of thier focus at New Seasons.


Buh said...

I live about two blocks from the Firehouse and I can't wait to try it now that it is open!

I really need to make it over to Izogie (or whatever the name is, I can't read their sign) and try that place as well. I'm a little put off since it is always empty when I go by.

Sarah Bott said...

Izogies is GREAT! They just have a crappy storefront.

Buh said...

That's encouraging! I wonder why there is never anyone in there? I always wonder how they stay in business when they never seem to have any customers. I'll have to try it out.

Sarah Bott said...

It's always quite crowded on Sunday. We operate the guest house across the street (Woodlawn International Guest House) so we see quite a few people in there on weekends.

I think they just need some help with their storefront and marketing.

Kajsa said...

Hi! My husband, 2 1/2 year old daughter and I live in the 1890's house on 10th, Madrona and Claremont, just across the bridge from the park. So glad to see the review of the Firehouse. We have yet to get up there, but are also looking forward to Rumpspankers. I'd love to hear more about your guest house. We've noticed it and been intereseted. I also noticed all your Hawaii references. I grew up there so would love to chat. My email adrees is

Buh said...

Kajsa, we must be neighbors, I live in the grey ranch style house right by that same intersection.

Sarah Bott said...

Ok, you guys, we simply must meet at:


We have choices! Lord Hallelujiah, we have choices!

Anonymous said...

i heard that they are operating without a certificate of occupancy and have not gotten final sign offs by the City for the renovation.....sounds risky to me