Hidden Hangouts: The Old Firestation #3

Fourth Estate / Dana Nickel

This Firestation Bar Is Pretty Lit


Disclaimer: I was a cocktail waitress at the Old Firestation last summer. It’s one of my few work experiences where I genuinely enjoyed the relationship I had with my boss, my coworkers and the customers I served. 

The Old Firestation #3 was formerly Fairfax’s firehouse. It’s a small bar and restaurant now, taking up two rooms in the middle of the Fairfax Historic District. 

The restaurant has been run as a tribute to the old firehouse for over 10 years. Signs, paintings and photos commemorating the old firemen cover every wall in the local watering hole. The building used to serve as a coffee shop, and if you look underneath the bar you’re still able to see the remnants of poetry scribbled onto the table years ago. 

The owner of the bar, Harry, is the lifeblood of the place. If he’s not working in the kitchen, he’s working at the bar or chatting up customers that come in. His booming voice and laughter fill the restaurant most nights, and he’s greeted with excited voices shouting, “Hey, it’s Harry!” every time he walks through the restaurant. 

The Old Firestation provides a welcome and familiar feeling, as if you grew up down the road and frequented the bar for burgers and soda pop with your dad every Saturday. Weekdays between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., the bar fills with both regulars and new faces excited for dinner and happy hour after a long day of work. The Firestation’s happy hour means $3 mixed drinks ⁠— a fact that delighted groups of customers, whether they were 21 or 61. 

It’s hard for college students to go out to eat and stick to a budget, especially in one of the most affluent areas in the country. The Firestation serves a mix of pretty cheap Greek cuisine and typical bar food, and I’d even say it’s worth more than what you’ll end up paying for. 

On most days, you can get a large portion of a gyro and side salad for under $8, and don’t get me started on the fries. They are the best I’ve ever tasted. 

If you’re also looking for a spot to hear some music, every Sunday the bar hosts a band that draws a pretty sweet crowd. The band performs classic rock hits, and encourages all customers to sing and dance along while they enjoy their food and drinks. 

On top of that, Wednesday and Friday nights are reserved for karaoke. All are welcome. Honestly, what better way to spend a Friday night than convincing your friends to sing their hearts out to Taylor Swift? I can’t think of one.