Now they hope to do the same thing for Fenton.
"We think there is no better way to preserve a great building than a restaurant that benefits the community," stated Curt Catallo, owner of Union Joints. "The best thing you can provide is something people can't get anywhere else."
He said the focus would be comfort food, that people would be familiar with, but still be surprised by.
The plans call for an open fire pit kitchen and 60 beers on tap visible through a glass window. The menu would include the Union’s famous macaroni and cheese, customized with bacon and other items. It also plans to enlist a Michigan brewer to create a Fenton Fire Hall Ale and perhaps create a Fenton Fire Hall Cider and Fenton Fire Hall BBQ sauce.
Catallo said his group has experience working with old buildings and turning them into restaurants, including the Vinsetta Garage in Detroit. He said he has plans for a patio on the roof of the building in Fenton, and a bar downstairs. Catallo said seating would be very communal. He said construction could be completed in six or seven months for $1.3 to $1.6 million.
He said he would also plan events for Fenton, including a firemen chili cookoff, something he might try to pitch to the Food Network.
“It is rare to find a building in a community that has what it takes to help build a community. The Fenton Firehouse is that kind of place,” stated Catallo. "You can get something out of an old building you can't build. That’s soul."
The interview process
The selection committee consists of DDA director Michael Burns, DDA member Tom Bertschy, City Manager Lynn Markland, DDA Vice Chairman Jim Saule and DDA member Doug James, similar to the group that previously selected .
Interviews will began at 11 a.m. Tuesday. After, a financial analysis of the final candidates will be conducted that may take up to 30 days to complete. A recommendation from the committee will then be made to the full DDA Board for approval. The schedule for interviews is as follows:
- 11 a.m. with the owners of, the Detroit Beer Company and Royal Oak Brewing Company.
- 12 p.m. with the owners of and .
- 1:45 p.m. with the owners of
- 2:45 p.m. with the owners of Union Joints ().
Read about the other old Fenton Fire Hall interviews on Fenton Patch.
The hopes to narrow the list of finalists following the interviews Tuesday afternoon.
The group hopes to have decisions finalized by the DDA meeting on June 19.