It’s all about slow wild days.
Just a few short months after the major success seen by Ramona – Manchester’s newest Detroit-style pizzeria – the team has opened a new sister bar and restaurant, taking up residence within the Swan Street site’s abandoned MOT station.
Complementing Ramona with an entirely different concept, The Firehouse draws its inspiration from the opposite coastline, bringing to life the owners’ love for slower-paced, relaxed destinations such as California and Ibiza. And it’s that slower-paced ‘escapism’ that really shines through when spending an evening at The Firehouse, with many cogs in its clock working hard to make it a truly transportive experience.
Swapping the pizza dough – which remains Ramona’s staple – for a ‘slow fires open kitchen’, The Firehouse narrows its focus on one key dish: the piri piri chicken. Crafted over a wood grill for both lunch and dinner, chefs Daniel Mullen and Will Taplin pride themselves on the careful sourcing of each and every ingredient used on the menu – boasting the very ‘best’ farm-reared, grain-fed and field-grazed chicken, and cooked with a signature technique inspired by the slow-burning process of producing agave. The outcome? Some of the best piri piri chicken this side of Portugal – a bold statement, sure, but when you grew up in the homegrown chicken shacks of the Algarve, you end up learning a thing or two.
Accompanying the centrepiece of the menu, guests can enjoy a variety of smaller plates – including fluffy Firehouse pita with hummus or, our personal favourite, the kalamata olive and blush tomato tapenade, as well as stracciatella, olives, and roast fingerling potatoes.
Representing the venue’s ‘wild’ ethos, The Firehouse also specialises in the wild spirits of Latin America – including tequila, mezcal, pisco, rum and cachaça, with ingredients such as agave, grape and sugarcane to compliment. Making up the core of the venue’s new cocktail menu, the mixologists have concocted some seriously refreshing tipples to enjoy over summer – so refreshing, in fact, that they can convert even those who’d gag with bad nostalgia over the word ‘tequila’.
Softened by the use of exotic flavours such as toasted coconut flakes, jalapeno shrub, watermelon and charred pineapple, the selection features something for all cocktail lovers – including the venue’s very own take on an Old Fashioned and, of course, a ‘Pisco’ Colada. Alongside the spirits, the bar also houses a ‘Wall of Wine’ and craft beers, as well as speciality coffee from Manchester-born Blossom Coffee Roasters.
Enjoyed in an airy space that’s embellished with desert influences and complemented by the friendly face of the Manchester rain, guests are invited to immerse themselves in the sounds of live DJs bringing social beats in the evenings, or take to the exclusive Chefs Table – which seats just six lucky patrons – where you can watch the chefs in action making the wood-fired magic happen.
Owner Adelaide Winter said of the new venue: “The Firehouse has been an idea of ours for a long time, inspired after spending summers in California and Ibiza. The sort of places that we just never wanted to leave. Intimate, yet epic and all lovingly made. Where everything is enticing, the welcome, the food, the music, the drinks. All the best it can be. For everyone. We just wanted to open somewhere that gives the sort of experience we’re after when we go out”
The Firehouse is open now and can be found at 40 Swan St, M4 5JG, open from Thursday-Sunday midday-midnight.