Jul 26, 2014

New Bar & Grill to Replace Old El Balazo

Firehouse No. 37 plans to move into The Marketplace shopping center in June or July.

New Bar & Grill to Replace Old El Balazo New Bar & Grill to Replace Old El Balazo New Bar & Grill to Replace Old El Balazo New Bar & Grill to Replace Old El Balazo New Bar & Grill to Replace Old El Balazo New Bar & Grill to Replace Old El Balazo

Firehouse No. 37, a bar-and-grill restaurant with a novel firehouse theme, is set to open this summer in San Ramon’s Marketplace shopping center.

The new restaurant moves into El Balazo’s old space, which has been vacant since the Mexican restaurant .

Danville resident Dan Hawkins says his restaurant will offer roughly 40 beers on tap and an expansive menu of "gastropub" fare (gourmet pub grub) plus many speciality dishes (thin-crust pizza, Dry Boat Pacific Seabass with mushroom risotto and Callebaut bittersweet chocolate molten center cake, to name a few.) Hawkins is not new to the restaurant business: He also owns Luigi’s Pizzeria in San Francisco and co-owns Basil Leaf Café in Danville.

Although not a sports bar, Firehouse No. 37 will cater to sports fans by sprinkling six flat-screen televisions in the bar and lounge area. The eatery will also feature indoor seating for up to 300 diners plus more seating in two patio areas. Adults can mingle in the separated bar and lounge area. (Get a preview of the new layout in the attached PDF.)

While Firehouse No. 37’s large lounge area should lure plenty of adults, families will find a family-friendly atmosphere in the main dining room where kids get their own menu and can enjoy the subtle firehouse theme woven throughout the restaurant. An antique hand-pulled fire hose cart will greet visitors in the main entrance and old-fashioned fire extinguishers will decorate the lounge area.

Where did the name Firehouse No. 37 come from? Hawkins says he came up with the name and restaurant concept accidentally. “One day while I was driving home I saw an old fire truck for sale on the side of the road,” says Hawkins, who once wanted to be a firefighter. “It got me thinking about creating a firefighter-themed restaurant.” And the No. 37? Hawkins says that happens to be San Ramon’s latitude and, he discovered later, the number of one of San Ramon’s fire stations.

Hawkins hopes to include firefighters in more than just the theme of his new eatery. He plans to reach out to local fire stations, inviting them to use Firehouse No. 37 as a hub for their philanthropic and fundraising events.

The new restaurant will open near The Hop Yard, another bar and grill located just a few doors down in the same shopping center. But Hawkins sees enough of a difference between the two restaurants to allow the two to coexist.

“We'll be similar to a gastropub," says Hawkins. "Our menu will be more eclectic and varied than a traditional brew pub or bar and grill. The menu will be built on a `farm to table' concept that supports local growers and vendors when possible.”

When Hawkins opens his new restaurant in June or July, it will join a large variety of other eateries in The Marketplace, which has become a dining destination for many residents.

More than a dozen food-focused businesses now fill the center with a range of diverse options including Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, Thai, Greek, Indian, Japanese, American and Italian restaurants as well as places to grab a morning donut or lunch sandwich. You can see the complete list of The Marketplace restaurants at the center's website.

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