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The Fire House

downtown Eau Claire bar takes on new life

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by Arya Roerig photos by Andrea Paulseth

 
THEY’RE PROBABLY JUST IN THE BATHROOM OR SOMETHING ... The most eye-catching thing about The Fire House (formerly Diamond Lounge) is the renovated interior with the original brick walls.

  October 11 will mark a new beginning for the building at 202 Gibson St. Though the location has seen many changes over the years (most recently as the former Diamond Lounge), the new owners hope the quirk and charm of The Eau Claire Fire House bar will have lasting power.

 “To be honest it was a rundown-looking building,” said Becky Glass, co-owner along with her husband, Will, and friends, Andrew Martin and Eric Klein. “It’s kind of interesting, kind of intriguing. We’re aiming toward a young professional crowd, people who work downtown and want to go out downtown.”

     The fire house-themed decor was lent out by an Eau Claire firefighter from his personal collection. Big, glass garage doors and exposed brick will top off the ladder-man feel and give an open atmosphere in warmer months.

     “We originally decided to call it The Fire House because we thought the building used to be an old fire house,” said Glass. “We found out later it never was, but the name still seemed appropriate with the big garage doors.”
The foursome had always talked about opening a bar together and only recently saw an opportunity in the vacant location.

     “We were all in volleyball league together and always talked about doing something like this,” said Glass, whose own desire for a new watering hole helped “spark” the idea. (Get it? Spark? Fire?) All four owners will bartend along with eight other part-time staff.

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