Sunday, April 06, 2008

The new old firehouse plaza

The new 2-story building at the Old Firehouse Plaza has been open several months, the boutiques, gallery and requisite upscale eatery are in place, though a local favorite, Biff's Bagels is gone, which is too bad. Thus far, its space remains empty... are some of the courtyard tables.

However, the R.E.D. theme is hard to miss. Though my introduction seems sardonic, I actually find the new Old Firehouse Plaza quite attractive; maybe the R.E.D.-ness is one reason. But I think it is primarily the scale: small, intimate -- and cool in the summer.

An added attraction: the R.E.D. dress overlooking the scene to keep order.

The signs are suitably upscale (and R.E.D.); a discrete flame is incorporated in the otherwise plain iron work of the balconies.

About the Firehouse Plaza, a bit of history (if 15 or 20 years ago counts as history). In the 80s, the city had decommissioned the fire station building that is the foundation of the Plaza; Paul Murphy, then a hot young local restaurateur, applied for a license to operate a restaurant and brewpub in that location. The matter went before the city council, which turned Murphy down flat, arguing that a microbrewery would use too much water. It was only a handful of years later that the Prescott Brewing Company opened in Bashford Courts. No mention was made of Murphy's would-be brewery. Thus is history written, as inconvenient facts are banished into a civic black hole. Didn't even find anything at the first several pages of my consultation with The Google.


TomboCheck said...

Pangaea Bakery (which has been in this plaza for as long as I can remember) has taken over about half of the space that Biff's used to occupy (work finished about 2 weeks ago).
No mention yet as to what will be going into the other half, but workers have been in there all week.

I definitely like this little plaza, even though I have never gone into the non-food establishments. I do very much enjoy the outside tables for eating, especially in the great weather we have had lately.

JesseL said...

The red theme is a little amusing to me. At the time that there was actually a firehouse operating at that location, all the local fire engines were chartreuse yellow - not "fire engine red". (Of course chartreuse yellow wouldn't make a very aesthetic choice for the decor)

Granny J said...

tombo -- good to know that new businesses figure they can open, despite the current economy. The plaza certainly looks like an inviting place for open air dining, though I've promised myself to stop at Wild Iris the next time I'm out walking downtown. Love its location.

jessel -- I wondered about 1) the appearance and 2) the disappearance of the chartruse fire trucks. I've never seen any discussion of the reasons, though it's obvious that nobody believes in a fire truck unless it's R.E.D.

TomboCheck said...

We tried the Wild Iris for the first time a few weeks ago. GREAT setting and environment. Nice smelling plants inside, and a beautiful courtyard if you want to drink outside. I wasn't terribly impressed by the baked goods or staff, but the setting itself is quite remarkable. :)

Lucy said...

The demise of a bagel house must always be a source of sadness... a comparitive rarity in non-metropolitan UK, they are impossible to find here, save in the Marais in Paris.

I like the jaunty red, though it looks rather hot.

Also loved the little cars, so cute!

meggie said...

I love the red dress, over looking everything!

GrannyJ said...

00dmantombo -- as soon as that courtyard was completed, I longed for a coffee house or a bar or something to enjoy it!

lucy -- the red isn't too hot. After all, we're up in the mountains & except in late June/early July, the temperature isn't that bad.

meggie -- can't you just imagine what that red dress is thinking?

worldphotos4 said...

Interesting what they are doing. Guess there is hope for the economy.

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