Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About 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.
Alexandria, VA 22314
American, Comfort Food, Bistro
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 3 pm
Monday: 5:30pm - 9pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 5:30pm -10pm
Friday&Saturday: 5:30pm - 11pm
Sunday: 4:30pm - 9pm
Saturday - Sunday: 11am - 3pm
Monday: 4:00 pm - 1:30am
Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 1:30am
Saturday&Sunday: 11:00am - 1:30am
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is street parking available, in addition to public lots. Unfortunately, we are not able validate parking.
20 minute walk from the King Street Metro station.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
Housed in a landmark 1883 building in the heart of Alexandria's Old Town, Columbia Firehouse offers sumptuous private dining space for events of sizes and styles. From an intimate dinner for 12 to a gala for 150 we have a unique, historic, and beautifully preserved setting for your next event.
The Columbia Firehouse Ratings and Reviews
We had not been to brunch here but have had many dinners and late night bites over the last few years. The brunch menu is quite diverse and interesting. We really enjoyed it. Two complaints: although we love the beautiful, bright atrium room, the spot we were seated had a contestant cool air blowing toward us. Not so pleasant in January. The California Eggs Benedict I ordered come to me quite cold. But I did love the dish otherwise which had avocado over multigrain toast, a nice variant from the usual English muffin.
Neat space, friendly staff. We got there at 6pm, which was good because they were full by 7pm. Their cocktails are pretty good. The Firehouse 75 was nice but the elderflower one was way too sweet. I just ordered a plain martini after that, and they didn't blink when I got particular about it (half vermouth, half gin, olives but no olive juice). We started with the squash fritters: A bit sweet but dense and kind of doughey in the way of gnocchi. Nice savory aoli with them. The crab was good, naturally. Hard to mess that up. Although be ready to make a mess yourself while you eat it. The fries came out in a big bucket. It's enough for at least 4 people (and only $7-8), but rescue them from the bucket before they steam themselves. The mussels were ok - a generous amount of mussels (I couldn't finish) but there only an inch of broth at the bottom of the tall pot. Skip the bread they bring out. I'd go back.
Wife had risotto that was undercooked and had a poor ratio of rice to veggies. My ribs were underseasoned and baked beans flavorless. French onion dip appetizer was also bland and better dip can be bought at a store. Service was excellent. Waitress was knowledgeable about drinks and attentive about refills.
This was the first time I have been to Columbia Firehouse. I did frequent it when it was Portners. I made reservations for 1:00pm on Saturday so that I could see the Scottish Walk and then eat lunch. I had brunch and it was delicious! No complaints except their tables do not have salt and pepper. You must ask for it. There was NOTHING on the table but a tablecloth. That in itself was the strangest thing about eating at Columbia Firehouse. I think it could up it's game simply by having salt and pepper at each table and a small vase of flowers. The food was good. We had a server who told us it was her first day. She did really well considering she had to wait tables both upstairs and downstairs---we ate upstairs.
I came here with my parents, uncle, and 18 month old nephew for family dinner. They seated us at a downstairs table that was very quiet, so we could actually have a conversation and enjoy each other's company. Servers were very helpful and considerate, and the food was very good. Would recommend!
Have always enjoyed CFH but every restaurant can have a bad day. Funny thing is that something seemed off from the moment we walked in. No one at the host stand, only a waiter in the bar area that seemed frenetic. After a few minutes he approached us and began looking for menus under the host stand that were clearly sitting on top of it. I pointed it out. We opted to eat in the bar area, proved to be the mistake of the day.
I came in looking forward to mussels only to be told after the order was taken that they were out of them. Anyway, no worries. i'll have Steak Frittes. A few minutes goes by and suddenly the waiter came back with a mussel update. They have been found and can be made.
Great, lets do it. We had ordered Calamari that should arrive any minute and we are hungry. Twenty minutes goes by and no Calamari. Then our waiter comes out with our appetizer and entree's at the same time. We inquired about it and he asked if he did not think it was a big deal, blaming the kitchen. He asked if he should take the entrees back. I asked if they would be re-fired and he said no. We asked for the manager who came and apologized, provided the re-fire and continued to check back with us. Good recovery, thank you. He also provided about $20 in appeasement on the bill.
The bummer of it all is that food was just ok. The mussels were small and the calamari was a lot of over fried batter and very little squid. Like I said, bad days happen and I will go back with the hopes of a better experience overall.
This is our go to restaurant in Old Town. Always a great ambiance. Delicious cocktails, good beer and wine selection. The food can vary a little bit and is sometimes absolutely excellent. Love the thoughtful recipes and selection. Almost any group is sure to be satisfied.
Although we had a reservation, it took a little while to be seated. We sat at the bar area for pre-dinner drinks but was difficult to find someone to wait on us. Dinner was ok. Calamari was soft and undercooked and the French fries were cold. Service recovery was satisfactory though. They offered another order and removed the calamari from the bill. Will probably not return although the atmosphere was nice.
Service was slow and lackluster -- server brought check without asking whether we wanted dessert (we did). Server had a very heavy accent and we had difficulty understanding her; we were patient, but she got impatient with our repeated questions. Restaurant was very dark and very loud. Food was at least good, especially the fried chicken and collards.
We showed up early for our reservation and they happily accommodated us ahead of time. Food was delicious, as were the drinks (local wine was great, but the cocktails seemed a bit watered down). Highly recommend the risotto and the fried chicken. It was a bit dark where we sat, so I'd recommend the restaurant add a candle or two to each table.
It was our anniversary and we wanted a nice quiet table for a private dinner. The restaurant was quiet with a nice ambience. Our server was very good and the food was excellent. We had the filet and it was cooked perfect. The only thing I would change is the lighting. It was a bit dark to where it was hard to see the menu - they just need to adjust the lighting a tiny bit.
Dinner for two at Columbia Firehouse was really good. Most enjoyable was the ambiance; it's a very pretty building with a greenhouse room adjacent to the brick building and most tables were spaced nicely except for one really weird tiny table pushed against the back of a booth. The sound level was fine but the lighting was two low for me for the most part. Lots of people were using their phones to illuminate their menus! But that's a small thing; the food and service were both fine. Upon arrival the hostess took our party of two to the previously mentioned small table shoved up against a booth despite dozens of better alternatives and very few diners. We asked for a booth and were graciously seated in one. With a good view of that table I saw numerous diners steered there and they request something different, so at least they are accommodating! But really, just get rid of that table! The couple who eventually were seated there were so close to the people in the booth (us!) that is was less than ideal. No privacy. Anyway, the food. We started with shrimp cocktail and dungeness crab which were both very fresh and briny. After that we shared a plate of the tuna tartar tacos and a basket of onion rings, both of which were really good, but the O-rings were the standout. They were served in a crisp and slightly sweet tempura batter which was fantastic. Did we have room for dessert? Yes. Skillet baked chocolate chip cookie with vanilla gelato did not disappoint. Definitely big enough for two to share. Our waitress was very attentive without being omnipresent. Our first dessert never made it to the table as it burned. Because of the wait, the dessert was comped and the manager came out and apologized before we even said anything, letting us know of the problem. So, all around pretty good. I would love to try it for brunch or dinner with a larger group.
The building is beautiful. Service was wonderful but the food was only mediocre for the price. I had the sea scallops with corn hash. Corn hash was oyster mushroom, red pepper and corn. I was expecting much more flavor. My partner had the fried chicken . It was good. Mac and cheese was cheesy but not creamy.
Great atmosphere and quiet in early evening time. Great menu options made it difficult to choose a meal. Service was great always checking back to see how we were doing throughout. Food was above average and maybe a bit high. Store ambiance makes up for it. Great location. I'll be back.
If you are a beef lover, you will like this restaurant. If you prefer something lighter or healthy - not a great pick. The beef entrees were large and well supported by sides, the fish entrees were skimpy on both portions and sides. There were also no side salads or healthy vegetables available to order ala carte. Desserts were good, but pricey.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.