Firehouse Pub: slight change of address but atmosphere remains the same

It was quite the project, renovating the pub’s new home.

Marnie Hayes went to great lengths to assure that her regular Firehouse Pub customers were comfortable in her new location. KEVIN HANSON PHOTO

Marnie Hayes went to great lengths to assure that her regular Firehouse Pub customers were comfortable in her new location. KEVIN HANSON PHOTO

Marnie Hayes didn’t intend to own a bar. But circumstances prevailed, the winds of business shifted and, now, she’s right where she wants to be.

Hayes is the owner and driving force behind Firehouse Pub in Buckley, a longtime establishment she has owned since 2010. It’s also the center of a success story that brings crowds to a sometimes sleepy downtown core.

Firehouse Pub is a Cheers-type venue where regulars occupy particular stools during Seahawks games. Staff and patrons know each other by name and many of the faces are beyond familiar. It’s an atmosphere Hayes covets.

“The people who come in and out of this place are genuinely some of the nicest people in the world,” she said on a weekday morning while preparing to open.

The recent evolution of the Firehouse involves its move to new quarters. It wasn’t much of a stretch, heading just a few doors down in the same block of Buckley’s Main Street, but it’s a tale that played out over the course of nine months.

Seeking a building she could call her own, Hayes took the plunge in 2017 and purchased the vacant space that had been D’Jon’s Restaurant. That was the beginning of an extensive remodel that saw crews working around the clock to get the new Firehouse open in time for the summer Log Show.

To say the building was gutted is not overstatement. The aging edifice was taken down to three walls, with the entire rear portion of the building removed. In its place came a separate room for pool tables and an outdoor seating area that filled during the warm, late-summer weather.

If the inside of the new Firehouse looks familiar, it’s by design. Hayes knows her loyal customer base and it’s a group that might have revolted had she gone new and fancy. So, the counter that dates back to the early 1900s was ripped from the previous space and manually hauled down a Main Street sidewalk to its new quarters. Tables and stools were moved as well, rather than buying new.

The move, Hayes explained, allowed much more than an opportunity to own a piece of downtown Buckley.

It also allowed her to open a companion diner, dubbed Lumberjack’s. With a separate Main Street entry, it’s small but family-friendly. The menu is the same as found next door, but can be enjoyed by all ages. So can the sundae bar that’s available daily.

It’s a split shift at Lumberjack’s, which is open 6 to 11 a.m. and again from 4 to 9 p.m. Hayes saw a demand for a breakfast and is now better positioned for a take-out business that continues to grow.

For Hayes, a bright spot in the entire process was the support of the community. That included some rushed hours immediately before Log Show when friends pitched in to assure a timely opening. When possible, Hayes used local contractors and she gushes about the financial expertise provided by Columbia Bank in Enumclaw.

It was a learning process for all involved, she said, “and they held my hand through the entire thing.”

With a tumultuous year behind her, Hayes is now focused on keeping the Firehouse Pub just the type of place her regulars have come to expect. There are no great changes in the works and certainly no expansion plans.

“The Firehouse has always been someone else’s starter bar,” she said. “This is my ending bar.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Business

Don Brunell
E-waste reduction requires innovative approaches | Brunell

Less than 13 percent of electronics are recycled — the rest is dumped.

Don Brunell
Boeing’s good news | Brunell

Boeing’s revamped 737MAX to ready to return to service.

Venise Cunningham and Belinda Kelly celebrating the opening of their new restaurant and bar, the Simple Goodness Sisters Soda Shop in Wilkeson. Contributed photo
Simple Goodness Sisters Soda Shop opens in Wilkeson

There’s sodas for the kids, cocktails for the adults, and ice cream and sandwiches to round out the family-friendly vibe of the new shop.

Don Brunell
Coronavirus spurring air cargo growth | Brunell

Air cargo sector has retained 92 percent of its business during the pandemic.

Melisa Kahne makes all of her own products, which can be bought online or even at Nature's Inventory, another shop on Cole Street. Contributed photo
The business of beauty: how Kanary Naturals began

The story of how an entrepreneur had to completely change how she did business.

Don Brunell
Diversity in America’s military | Don Brunell

A history of integration on America’s military.

These are just a sample of Blaze Ward and Leah Cutter's many, many book series. The two Enumclaw authors also write non-fiction books about how to write and make it your business, and collaborate on a number of anthology magazines. Contributed images
Enumclaw authors explain how to write (and make money doing it)

Leah Cutter and Blaze Wars have always wanted to be writers and storytellers. And, thanks to independent publishing, are able to live off of their works.

Image courtesy Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce
Enumclaw Chamber launches new “Imbibe Tour”

The tour takes you across Enumclaw’s seven breweries and wineries.

Enumclaw businesses were able to apply for a $7,000 grant from the city of Enumclaw last September. It was recently discovered at least two businesses did apply, but their application was lost due to a technological error. Image courtesy the city of Enumclaw
More businesses get COVID funds

A tech error led to at least two local businesses’ grant application to the city of Enumclaw getting lost.

Don Brunell
Defunding the police is a bad idea | Brunell

Seattle now has one of the lowest ratios of cops to citizens of major U.S. cities.

Don Brunell
President uses rare order to break China’s hammerlock on critical metals | Brunell

The only American rare earth mine is located in California, but it has to be processed in Canada.

Mail Express was fined $7,500 by L&I. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Local business fined by LI for failing to wear, enforce masks

The Mail Express Business Center was fined $7,500, the most of 11 businesses.