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The Fire Hub

May 1, 2017

  • 175 S. Kendall Street
  • Battle Creek, MI 49037
  • (269) 753-0065
  • Website
  • Menu

Battle Creek has a lot of old fire stations.  Some of them, like Station 3 in the Post Neighborhood are still being used.  Some of them, like Station 4 were shut down and sold many years ago.

It’s always interesting to see what happens to fire stations when they shut down.  The ones from the early 1900’s always have a cool design but aren’t practical for modern firefighting equipment.  In the case of Station 4 in Battle Creek, it was built in 1904 when the fire department was still using horse drawn apparatus.

But this blog isn’t about cool fire stations of Southwest Michigan….although that would be a pretty awesome research project and blog if anyone would like to fund it.

Anyway, why am I writing about Fire Station 4. Well, the City used the station from 1904 until 1983.  After that, it was sold and converted into a residence.  Last year, Firekeepers Casino bought the property and turned it in to something unique.

The Fire Hub sits near the corner of Kendall and Dickman Roads in Battle Creek just across the street from the public works building.  Firekeepers took the old fire station turned private residence and put forth a multi-million dollar investment to make this old fire house into a restaurant and food pantry serving the community.

A lot of work was put into this building to convert it in to a restaurant.  It took Firekeepers almost a year.  Asbestos and lead paint had to be removed.  The building had to be cleaned up inside and out.  New fixtures and lighting had to be put in.  Plus, they had to turn it into a restaurant space.

The main entrance to the restaurant is from the parking lot just off Kendall Street.  It’s in the middle of the building.  When you walk in, there is a sign pointing you either towards The Fire Hub to the right or the Kendall Street Food Pantry to the left.

B had fallen asleep on our ride from Kalamazoo to Battle Creek for lunch.  J didn’t want to wake him so she sent L and I in to get a table.  When we got inside, we realized this was a counter service place so I texted J to see what she wanted to do.  She decided to try and get B inside so she could order and we could find a table in the small dining room.

While we were waiting, L noticed a pastry case right next to the cash registers.  I told her she could pick out a cupcake, but she was going to eat a pizza for lunch too.  J noticed the cupcakes right away as well and got one for herself once she got inside so I didn’t get in trouble for telling L she could have one before she ate lunch.

The menu at The Fire Hub is pizza and sandwiches that are cooked in their wood-fired oven plus soups and salads.  We got L a Margherita pizza because we didn’t see any sort of kids menu.  J got the Tanker pizza.  I ordered the Brisket Man Bun.  We added a couple of pop and a couple of cupcakes which brought the total for our meal to just under $39.  The cashier asked for a name and said our order would be called out when it was ready.

I took the kids and went to find a seat in the dining room.  There are two large picnic type tables in the center and one large table in a corner that are regular height seating.  The rest of the tables in the space are all pub height tables.  With B, we really needed one of those smaller tables but there were none available, so we grabbed a high chair and turned one of the pub chairs toward him so he’d have his own little table while the rest of us took a seat at a table near the large glass windows that now enclose the bay doors.

The first thing we did was get our drinks.  This is usually a pretty uneventful thing that I don’t usually include in my blog posts, but The Fire Hub doesn’t carry the typical Pepsi and Coke options….even though the cups are all branded with Pepsi.  Instead, they carry Stubborn Soda…which is a PepsiCo division craft soda.  I filled up my cup with Caleb’s Cola because, darnit, I like Cola.  We let get the Pineapple Cream Soda.  She was so excited because she’s never had pop before.  I don’t remember what J got but they also had a Low Cal Caleb’s Cola (think Diet Pepsi) and a root beer among a few other things.

While I was getting drinks, J and L started in on their cupcakes.  L got the Birthday Cupcake.  The cupcakes are huge.  They’re very tall, very moist and covered in a thick, rich frosting.  L’s was topped with sprinkles which is what she really wanted.  She pretty much only ate the frosting then gave the cake part to her brother.

J’s cupcake was the S’More Cupcake.  The kids fought over the toasted marshmallows on top, so J was left with a chocolate cupcake topped with chocolate frosting and some crushed graham crackers.  She still said it was amazing.

A few minutes after we sat down, I heard my name called so I went up and grabbed the three delivery devices that contained our food.

J and L’s pizzas both came on pizza peels.  It’s a very cool presentation, but the tables are a little small and getting both of them on the table required a little creative placement.

L’s pizza was the Margherita.  I got both pizzas as white crust and they are fired in a stone oven.  L’s pizza came topped with tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, and a balsamic reduction.  Luckily for us, the basil is put on after the pizza comes out of the oven so we could move it off.  L didn’t want the “lettuce” on her pizza, so the slices J and I took for her had an abundance of basil.  The pizza was amazing.  The balsamic reduction is really what makes this particular pizza.  It’s a simple pizza of cheese, sauce, and fresh basil, but that balsamic really jumps out and really adds a layer of flavor to an already delicious pizza.

J’s pizza order as the Tanker.  This creation is tomato sauce, smoked chicken, bacon, artichoke, goat cheese, a house cheese blend and spinach.  J’s pizza was incredibly delicious just like L’s, but J kept going back to L’s.  Had she not hat the Margherita, she would have loved this one, but she fell in love with the Margherita.  Between the two of them, we took home a little less than a full pizza for later.  They could have easily shared one.  We know that for next time.

Now, on to my lunch.  A Man Bun.  I had no idea what a Man Bun was when I ordered it, but the filling sounded good, so I went with it.  What is a Man Bun?  This is a Man Bun.

It’s a delicious fire baked bun that is filled with brisket, boursin cheese, and horsey sauce.  I went back to the counter and grabbed a knife and fork because this isn’t quite a pick it up and eat it type of sandwich.  I opened the thing up and steam poured out of the bread.  The inside was filled with a large portion of brisket as well as gooey, melted cheese and a horsey sauce that just kind of hung out in the background.  The brisket didn’t have a lot of flavor on it’s own, but that tends to be the case with shredded brisket.  It was soft and tender, but the real flavor came from the cheese and sauce.  These man buns come with pork or brisket and are a unique and tasty take on a sandwich.

The Fire Hub is a pretty great restaurant in an area of Battle Creek I wouldn’t expect to find such an upscale place.  The whole purpose of this outreach by Firekeepers is community service.  Eighty percent of the profits from this venture will go to local charities.  They are also giving space to the Food Bank of South Central Michigan to open the Kendal Street Pantry.  This is a huge investment by Firekeepers and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi in Battle Creek.  This restaurant would stand out on it’s own without the casino behind it or all the good things they’re doing.  It’s a delicious concept in a cool building.

The Fire Hub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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