Firehouse Restaurant to update 25 year-old kitchen in 15 days

Luna Brewer • Jun 14, 2017 at 2:50 PM

One of Johnson City’s longest running locally owned restaurants might be temporarily closed, but the parking lot remains as full as usual with about 50 construction workers buzzing about the lot.

Since its opening in 1980, The Firehouse Restaurant, formerly known as Bucwood Bar-B-Que, has been tasked with providing the downtown Johnson City area with quality barbeque and service. Now, 25 years after the restaurant’s first major renovation, owner Tom Seaton has closed the main restaurant for two weeks for the place’s fourth renovation project.

“We are upgrading and expanding our kitchen and our carryout area,” Seaton said. “We are also doing some work to the front of the house, but 80 percent of the work is being done to those two areas. We will end up with a much improved, brand new kitchen so that we can better service our guests better.”

According to Seaton, the Firehouse team had been planning renovations for several years now in the hopes to be able to provide better service. After looking at many different possibilities on the West Walnut Street property, the team settled on changing the 25 year-old kitchen.

The age of the kitchen wasn’t the main catalyst for the renovations, however. Seaton saw the changes as necessary in response to the growing downtown area.

“Our business continues to grow, especially carryout, because what is going on in the downtown area,” Seaton said. “Now with what’s happening with the Walnut Street corridor and all the activity that’s going on around here, it’s bringing people closer to the area. With our business growing, we’ve got to expand our facilities to be able to meet the increasing demand.”

Despite the huge changes to the restaurant, Seaton doesn’t plan on the business being out for long. Construction began officially on Monday, June 12, but the CEO plans on reopening to business as usual on Tuesday June 27.

“We’ve got great partners in Burleson Construction as the lead contractors on this project,” Seaton said. “They are the ones who did renovations 25 years ago and they met our timeline of 15 days back then, so I don’t doubt that they’ll meet our timeline again.”

While Seaton and the Firehouse team eagerly looks forward to reopening on June 27, the restaurant’s catering service will remain open and fully operational during construction.

For updates and an inside look at the project the restaurant will be providing exclusive information and photos on its Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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