When I heard that Silver Spring was getting a new bar, I was really excited. A bar, a real bar, is something that Silver Spring desperately needs. Too many establishments in Silver Spring are restaurant focused. Silver Springers are thirsty and they need places to go for a drink.
First, I heard that a “Hook and Ladder” bar was coming into town. For whatever reason, this changed to another fire-station themed bar called “Fire Station One”. I then saw where it was going to be located and I got really excited. About four or five blocks away from the heavily populated “Silver Sprung” area – this bar is a little off-the-beaten path from the crowds and one could have a drink, even outside, in peace. This feature is particularly important for those of us who work in the community (i.e. teachers) and want to avoid running into their students while enjoying an adult beverage. I was ready to emphasize the often-neglected “drinkmore” section of this blog.
Before I go on, I must say that I visited Fire Station One on a Monday night, which I know is not the best bar night. However, the scorching sun had dipped by the time I got there and there were more comfortable temperatures in the air. I thought that more people would be out to enjoy the night breeze on the official beginning of the summer. Unfortunately, when I got there, there was nobody on the patio. I thought that the section was closed, but did not ask for clarification (it did open up later). I walked in and there were several people in the waiting area. To my surprise, I heard someone call my name with the greeting “Mr.” in front of it. It wasn’t a student this time, but a parent of a student who identified me. It’s not that I do not enjoy seeing parents or students in the community; I enjoy living near where I teach, but I thought this place would be different.
The place did not look that crowded when I entered, but there were several parties waiting to be seated. It seems like the owners plan to have patrons wait because there is a big TV in the lobby to entertain those who may have to be patient for an extended period of time (another bad sign).
I walked up to the bar and waited for my friend. My wife (who is pregnant and not drinking) had other plans and his was watching their 15 month year-old, so I thought that he would very much like to have a few drinks before we ate, which is why I wanted to try this place out. The draft beer situation was not impressive. Aside from two Hook and Ladder options, there really is not anything interesting on tap. However, what is even more distressing is that the “bar area” is really just a bar. The main dining area is mere inches away from the bar. There is an upstairs dining area and an outside patio, but neither was in use when we got there.
Then, we did get a table (twenty minutes after requesting one) the food menu was just as boring as the beer selection. I had a hard time finding something that I wanted, finally settling on a pizza that was okay, but did not sit well after I ate it
Basically, Fire Station One is disappointing because it is just like every other restaurant in town. They have a burger on the menu, but if I want a burger, I would go to Ray’s or Quarry House. “Gourmet” pizzas are on the list, but if I want that – I would definitely go to Pacci’s. A few entrees highlighted pasta dishes that I am sure are not as good as Olazzo’s.
Yet, I would overlook the mediocre menu in a heartbeat if they had made the bar the central focus of the establishment. There are four outstanding HD TVs above the bar that I am sure will be great for catching a game or four during football season in the bar area . . . if there was a bar area.
I am not saying that I will never go to Fire Station One again, but I am still thirsty.
Fire Station 1
8131 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910