The Columbia Firehouse
The Columbia Firehouse

The Columbia Firehouse

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.columbiafirehouse.com/
  • Phone: (703) 683-1776
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch:
    Tue - Fri: 11:30 AM - 3 PM

    Dinner:
    Monday - Thursday: 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    Friday - Saturday: 5:30 PM - 11:00 PM
    Sunday: 4:30 PM - 9:00 PM

    Brunch:
    Saturday & Sunday 11:00 PM - 3:00 PM

    Late Night Menu Available until 1 AM.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: For those who have enjoyed dining at Columbia Firehouse and wish to have us cater your next event, we are pleased to partner with 550 Events & Provisions, a chef-driven, full-service catering and events company. As a member of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s family of award-winning restaurants, 550 possesses an unparalleled depth and breadth of experience, as well as culinary talent. For inquiries and more information, contact 550 Events & Provisions at inquiries@550events.com.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: King Street
  • Public Transit: 20 minute walk from the King Street Metro station.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: There is street parking available, in addition to public lots. Unfortunately, we are not able validate parking.
A word from The Columbia Firehouse
In 1871, the City of Alexandria introduced the Columbia Steam Engine Fire Company. The outfit initially occupied Star Firehouse on the east side of the 100 block of South St. Asaph Street until 1883, when a new station was built for Columbia just across the street at 109 South St. Asaph.

126 years later, Alexandria’s Neighborhood Restaurant Group relaunched this historic and beautifully preserved property as Columbia Firehouse, a sumptuous modern American brasserie and bar located in the heart of Alexandria’s Old Town.

Columbia Firehouse stands as a historic, beautifully preserved piece of Old Town’s heritage. From the street, the building has changed little while the interior has given way to sumptuous dining rooms on four levels, an atrium an outdoor patio and an exquisitely detailed barroom.
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The Columbia Firehouse reviews from OpenTable diners
149 reviews since July 27, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
85% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (74)fit for foodies (53)special occasion (41)good for groups (37)romantic (35)vibrant bar scene (28)great for brunch (28)great for lunch (27)notable wine list (26)great for outdoor dining (19)hot spot (14)kid-friendly (11)late-night find (4)scenic view (3)Show More
  • Infinitesimally Small portions
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    $28 = 3 oz of fish. 3 hours later I stopped at taco bell and had 5 tacos. You'd think well, its just him, but the 110 lb person who also had the seafood complained as well. The meat portions seemed reasonable... i.e. pass on the seafood if you want to actually, you know, have dinner... which I thought was the point of going to a restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistent & reliable
    ZMan2
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    If you're looking for a place in Old Town that is convenient and consistently good and reliable, go to the Columbia Firehouse Restaurant. It's in a cool setting (good ambience), and the food and service are pretty reliable. Parking is usually tight on the restaurant's block, but a space can usually be found within a block or two south of the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Only for the able bodied
    MrsMcD
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We enjoyed the food and the service, but were challenged by stairs at every turn. One member of our party is mobility challenged, so while the dining experience was very good, getting him in and to our table was difficult and uncomfortable for him. Either clearly disclose that the building is not ADA compliant or put in some ramps to accommodate those for whom even two steps are a challenge.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent place to eat
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    My girlfriend and I were looking for a new spot to eat in Old Town, Alexandria. We set up the reservation at 8:00 PM for 8:45 PM. Upon arrival we were greeted immediately and taken to our seats. We sat in the downstairs area and it was very quaint. Food was very good, she got the cheese burger and I ordered the steak frites. Very yummy and will definitely be returning in the future to eat again. Great selection for beers.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great little place
    Pammi
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    The food and ambiance are great. Great for hanging out with friends or on a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food and Service!
    TravelForFood
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    The building is beautiful! The ambiance will vary depending on where you sit in the restaurant though.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Brought my family here on a recent visit and they really enjoyed the food. They also loved the building. Service was good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Towners
    Towner
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    Food was quite amazing...most delicious pork chop I have ever eaten. The noise level is a little loud which makes it difficult to converse at times but otherwise the experience was excellent.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It's ok, but not great.
    goodfood
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    The building itself was the best part of our brunch. Our waitress seemed to wish she were anywhere but in the restaurant and provided reluctant, almost surly service. Unfortunately a long wait for the food and poor service colored our poor evaluation of the food. Hopefully other diners will fare better.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    firehouse
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    We have eaten at this wonderful little place in Old Town. The food and service are fabulous and you can just feel the history with the brick walls of this establishment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • ILoveBrunchVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Our service was good but not great and I would say the same about the food. We tried this restaurant because someone gave us a gift card for it. We do not live in Alexandria so I don't think we would go out of our way to go here again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overpriced
    San1
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The food was ok. The food quality/taste of the food was not worth the price. There was not enough food selections on the menu and not enough choices for kids. The entire menu was overpriced. I was disappointed by the taste of the food.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was not great
    mbfood11
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    One of our dishes was served and had a piece of plastic on the meat. The other dishes were good, but the portions were extremely small and should have been advertised as tapas rather than full meals. Over all we were not all that impressed with the meal. The service and atmosphere were good though.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Mussels
    Mike
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    The best thing on the menu.......it keeps me coming back. The only drawback on this visit--I was seated next two a table of 5, three of which were children. If that were not bad enough, the parents used the same "child" voice.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food & Noise Level
    4mms
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Food and services were outstanding. The noise level could be lower, though!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, not great service
    SteakLover
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We arrived just 10 minutes early for brunch and were told to wait at the bar until our reservation time, though there were plenty of open tables. We figured, OK we'll get a Bloody Mary and hang out. The bar was also pretty empty and it took them 15 minutes to get us our drinks. We went back to the Maitre D' to be seated (5 minutes after our reservation time) and they still weren't ready... We were seated about 2 minutes later. The food was great and the table service was fine but we were a bit turned off by not being seated at our time. They said something about the kitchen not being ready but they still could have seated us and told us of a wait for our order...
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Super brunch
    kp11
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Very New Orleans menu, which I enjoy with a Bloody Mary for brunch. Gets crowded quickly, so reservations are a must
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great mussels
    jabmike
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    First time to the restaurant. My wife had the classic mussels and loved them. I had the fried chicken and it was ok. Restaurant was only a block from Hotel Monaco and has a nice bar area. Dining room has a glass roof which was a nice touch. I would return for another meal.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday
    Matt
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Went here for my birthday with my girlfriend and parents. Great choice - great menu for all, quiet enough for good conversation.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, service usually good...
    FJGC76
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The food was excellent as usual. The only negative qas that we ordered a side if muchrooms, which ideally should have come at rhe same time as the mains. However seems the waitress forgot or the kitchen and ended up coming when we were almost done. In good food, timing is essential, and regretably it was bit right this time. In all fairness, other times we've been here timing has been impecable.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner!
    KCFDC
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    I went out with my husband and my sister, and we had a wonderful time. Great service, delicious food. Prices have been going up since we first started going to the Firehouse, so it has had to become a special occasion place for us, but still love it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great overall experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Amazing food, good service, not too insanely priced.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!
    JoyofFood
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    The service was excellent, the food was very good, the decor is beautiful. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Great!!
    vischer
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Another great meal at Columbia Firehouse. When our favorite appetizer wasn't on the menu our server spoke with the Chef who had some remaining in the back and was able to fix it for us. Spectacular!!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brunch with kiddos
    Trixie
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    I enjoyed brunch on the patio with 5 year old triplets and another adult. We had great and quick service and everyone left satisfied and nothing was spilled!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently good food
    JoJoLoCoVA
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    My husband and I have eaten here few times, and the food has always been good. The ambience is great, and the wine and beer list is decent. On this occasion We met some out friends from Canada there and I think they enjoyed it as well. For wine we had the Perla Real Monastrell 2009, which was very nice (and didn't give me a headache or hot flashes, lol). For appetizers we had the Tuna Tartare and The Board (meats). The sausage on "the Board" is fabulous and they should offer it as an entree, but not thrilled with then tuna as it was served in 3 mini tacos. Not really appropriate for 2 couples sharing. Our entrees were tasty (burger, salads, bison stroganoff) and good enough, but not rave worthy for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Dinner
    2BlueYamVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The only thing that made this evening not quiet 100% was some communication issues with our server. When our beverages were delivered, she asked if we were ready to order. We indicated that we were ready to order. The server apparently didn't hear us or didn't understand us and walked away. She did come back in about 10 minutes to take our order. I believe that the server's first language was not English, and when we placed our order she did echo it back to us and got almost right. We corrected the one item. Otherwise the service was quiet good and this would certainly not keep us from returning. The food was original and tasty as usual. The Bison Stroganoff (Friday and Saturday special) was excellent as was my dining partner's Gnocci.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I liked the cocktails
    JamesVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We were drawn in by the menu and the cocktails. The cocktails were very good and reasonably priced, something unheard of these days. The food was just average, nothing to get excited over. With all the competition in Old Town, I think they need to step up their game.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Trying to relive old favorites...
    ElizabethVIP
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    My husband and I originally came here on a food tour in January 2011 and fell in love with their scallops and Israeli couscous. We came back a few times before we moved out of the area in March 2012. We happened to be back and were hoping to relive our old date night. Unfortunately, this favorite item has been replaced on the menu. My husband tried the new scallop dish, and while good, admitted that it wasn't what he had hoped for. The braised pork shank was good, but also wasn't what I had hoped for. The wait staff was attentive and patient. No complaints. Food was good, just not what we were looking forward to that evening.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent
    Searay290
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Amazing architecture and food to match. A great spot in old Alexandria!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sonic Boom
    kggoatVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Great looks, good foods. Probably not a good bet on a Saturday night after college football if you want to have a conversation.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great ambiance
    FineEaterVIP
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Appreciated the attention given to the one person in our group that was gluten-free. It took some coordination, but came out well in the end.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • HOT FIREMEN HANG OUT HERE
    PERFECT
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We had a blast here. My friend is a retired fireman. It was fun for our group to go there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 2nd time and still good
    KMCfromDCVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    This is the second time I have eaten here. Always enjoyable and the food is reliably good and consistent. I ordered the mussels. They were smaller than last time, but still tasty in a nice broth.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful dinner
    Megdines3
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Brought my dad here when he was in town. The dining room is stunning with lots of natural light in the old building. We had the butter milk biscuits with Virginia ham and mustard it was a great and unique appitizer. We both tried the fried chucked. It was crispy outside but not heavy and juicy inside. The gravey was rich. The staff was very friendly and prompt. Would definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Summer Sunday Brunch
    musician
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We joined another couple for Sunday brunch before an outdoor concert. Service was great, and the restaurant had just opened and was quiet. We all had breakfast brunch items with eggs. The eggs, bacon and potatoes were all outstanding. But for such a great breakfast, the toast was a said disappointment. I only ate a couple of bites of my wheat toast. It was dry and unappetizing, like sandwich bread gone wrong. I would hope they'd spring for something better in the future. My table mate also commented on the toast quality. Our cappuccinos were also mainly milk froth. I searched long and hard for the coffee.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Must Try Bison Stroganoff
    GaryVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The restaurant is in a converted firehouse for a great ambiance. The beer selection is great offering flights of 3 beers. The Cast Iron Shrimp is a great appetizer which is pan roasted in garlic & herbs. The FRA Diavolo are great mussels in a spicy tomato broth with more than ample bread for dipping into the broth. Absolute standout on the menu was the "Bison Stroganoff." It was fork tender bison short ribs in a rich gravy over pasta. Seasoning was perfect. For dessert, I do not recommend the "Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp." It had very little fruit and almost had the consistency of a jelly. Additionally, the crumble crust was very thick for the amount of filling. Minor issue, the servers need to wipe down the tables between courses.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OK if you live nearby
    StephenVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We were taking advantage of restaurant week to try a new place. The food was OK; nothing special but nothing bad either. Service was poor. It took 10 minutes to get a replacement beer and we often had to remind the server of things we had ordered and which did not show up. The aircon was on high and I was cold. I asked for it to be adjusted. It never was. If you live nearby, it is OK for a convenient meal. I would not, however, make a special trip.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Two thumbs up!
    SuzieH
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We chose this place for restaurant week because of the menu and we were not disappointed! The mussels were to die for as were all the other sides. Our main courses were all great with the exact right portions of each. The ambience is incredible - beautiful woodwork throughout. A great find and we will definitely be going back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice informal place to eat
    DanSteely
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Restaurant Week, Friday night. Happy hour only at bar. Appetizers were the best course -- mussels and soup. Filet was okay. Scallops were good. Ginger beer float and strawberry rhubarb crisp were good. Wine pairings were nice. Overall a good solid experience.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.