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 email@example.com.
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 have been told by many friends that this was a must try spot in Alexandria! We had been looking forward to our reservation for a week, but we found ourselves very let down. As soon as we arrived for our reservation, we were told that our table wasn't ready yet, and that we would need to wait. We were early, so we didn't mind waiting, but when we looked around, there were many empty tables. After a few minutes of waiting, the hostess took us to our table which was in the basement of the restaurant, where nobody else was sitting. On a busy night this would have been fine, but we felt like we were being hidden from everyone else, and we really missed out on the ambiance. The tables around us were dirty, as there was nobody cleaning them. The service wasn't good. It took a while for us to be approached by our server, and he never checked in on us after our food was delivered. While the food was good, the overall experience was not. For what we paid for, and for all the hype we heard about ahead of time, we were nothing but disappointed. If you're going to make the trek from DC to have date night in Alexandria, this should not be your destination.
So sorry to have to review like this because my previous experiences at Columbia Firehouse were outstanding. This was 5:30 on a Saturday so not really crowded. We had to flag down a server to get plates for the bread (that happens, no big deal) but then when they were taken away and our appetizers came, we had to scramble to other tables to get plates AGAIN as no one was around to ask. Our main courses were brought at the same time as the appetizers so we asked them to hold them off for a bit. When we did receive them, they were not cold, but definitely not warm, much less hot. Sides were mushy. They probably sat on a counter until we finished our appetizers. Really dissatisfied-wine was good though! Hope we can work our way back to try again...
Living in Old Town and went to Columbia Firehouse for a Valentine's Day dinner. Promptly greeted and taken to the table. Very nice upscale atmosphere and decent menu. However, couple of suggestion for improvements are in order:
1. Although the waiter was very prompt and attentive, you would expect somewhat more upscale service for an upscale venue - Main Entrée (Steak) was delivered while we were still enjoying the appetizer and it was not as hot as desired by the time we got to it. I would have rather waited for couple extra minutes rather than feel rushed.
2. The steak was ordered Medium, delivered Medium Well (very) at best, almost crispy outside.
Overall a very decent experience but could be even better!!!
Not sure what's changed recently, but the service was lackluster at best. Stood at hostess stand for a good few minutes as they fumbled with phone and general appeared disorganized. The table service was adequate, but not to comparable to the level of service of other Old Town restaurants. While it was Valentine's Day, it was not at all crowded.
My boyfriend and I went to Columbia Firehouse for an early Valentine's date. We chose this place based on the reviews from others and was not disappointed. The architecture and ambiance is very authentic and unique. We felt very much welcomed by the staff and enjoyed the delicious food. We took a chance and tried steamed mussels as an appetizer, which were extremely good. The rest of our dinner was well cooked. I definitely feel we would try this out in the future as a romantic date night.
Absolutely horrible experience we were seated near the door (inside area) - although the door was closed there are had a very close breeze. When we asked to moved to another table the hostess had absolutely no interet in assisting us or finding a solution instead told us this is all that is available despite the fact that there was several tables free - we left and went somewhere else - absolute shame that one member of this restaurant can ruin our first time experience at a place we heard so much about
The restaurant week chicken choice was so over cooked, my husband and guest were glad they had water to wash it down. My husband has heard too many horror stories about what happens to food returned to a kitchen to ever send a meal back. My salmon choice was well cooked, the fennel was good only for decoration. The wine recommended by our server was good as were the crab sliders, the strawberry salad and creme brulee. We chose this restaurant because of the mention in DDD. Unfortunately, we won't be hurrying back. The hamburgers looked good, maybe we should have stuck with that.
I chose this because it was Restaurant Week for a lunch with a work colleague. We were quickly seated and our water glasses were filled. Because it was Restaurant Week my choice was limited so I had the chicken. It was a boneless breast with the wing attached and it was fork tender and delicious. I also had a salad and dessert. The only hitch was that when my salad was cleared, my silverware was not replaced. After several attempts at flagging a waiter, busboy and even a manager, I finally got up and took a set up from another table. Otherwise service was attentive without being overbearing. This was my first time at Columbia Firehouse and I will go back again. It's a unique place with good food.
Menu was not the same as listed on OpenTable. Brunch menu has been scaled down considerably. The $6 childrens waffle was exactly the same as the $14 main menu waffle.
While they tasted good, they were not any noticeably different than what we could easily make at home.
It seems like every time we've been here in the past few years there's something off. One time the service was terrible, another time the food was bad. Now the menu was shorter and the food seemed overpriced.
Will most likely check out a new place next time.
The staff were excellent and reasonably attentive even on a busy night. Table was ready when we got there and the location was comfortable. We were surprised that the restaurant week selection didn’t include a vegetarian selection for the main course, but the waiter quickly made a good substitute. The prime rib that I requested was both expensive, excessively fatty, and way over cooked. I was quite disappointed in the food quality. The salmon was much better and I regretted my selection. Overall it’s a decent place to get together, though I had to ask my friends to repeat themselves a few times during some of the noisier moments. The decor is quite pleasant and I felt comfortable. Hopefully I was just unlucky with my food selection and that the quality is typically much better.
Had high expectations but when my wife made special request to have the lobster prepared warm instead of chilled which was the way it was on menu we should have realized that the chef was just attempting to please us. It came barely heated and not grilled as we expected. It was basically an appetizer portion that they heated and charged us $29. If that was end of story I would give the absolutely lowest rating but thanks to a very understanding manager he not only had a second whole lobster brought to us but insisted on giving us free desserts and even took 10% off the total bill. This is a restaurant that believes in its mission of making every customer feel important and appreciated. Bravo to the manager. I only wish I could recall his name but if he is like this all the time this is a restaurant that should receive the highest praise.
I requested a “single tablespoon” of risotto as a substitute for the side with my entree rather than creamed spinach, and the chef sent a message saying it would be a $7 cover charge for the change. I asked for a medium rare to medium (clarifying as pink in color)!strip steak which was served medium rare with blood on the plate. The waiter was clearly in a difficult situation, made more uncomfortable by my unhappiness, and I think that affected his attention.
It was only when clearing my friends plate that any real attention was paid to my essentially uneaten meal. At that point, when a replacement entree was offered, I declined saying it was too late to go back to the beginning. The charge was removed from the bill, as it should have been, but neither my friend nor I found anything that would warrant a return visit.
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.
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