Firehouse Bar and Grill is Closed -- Japanese Steakhouse to Open--Updated with New Photos

The above photo was taken Wednesday, March 12, 2014.  There is definitely something going on behind the closed doors of the old Firehouse.  Shima is taking shape.  Stay tuned!


The remodel from Firehouse to Shima is underway.

Original story:

After three and a half years in business, the Firehouse Bar and Grill has closed its doors.  As you can see from the picture above, the windows are covered and the message is clear.  The owner lives in Los Angeles, making it challenging to run the restaurant from afar. The sign identifying the restaurant as the Firehouse has already been removed.  A new restaurant group has purchased the business "FF and E" (furniture, fixtures and equipment), though the building is still owned by the Firehouse family. 

The new owner lives in Coronado and is excited to bring something different and exciting to the island.  Look for the space to be closed for several months while it is redesigned as a Japanese steak house to be called "Shima", which means island in Japanese. 

The vision includes creating an upscale family-oriented type of restaurant that will provide not just an eatery, but a dining experience the entire family will enjoy. The new restaurant will offer a Coronado twist on the teppanyaki style made famous by chain Benihana.  "It's something new that we don't have," offered the new owner, adding that "we want to help bring more people to this end of the island." 

The creation of the new theme is somewhat fluid at this point, meaning that it could change as work on the space evolves.  The vision currently includes water features with three separate "islands" and maybe small bridges leading to each separate seating area.  One side of the restaurant will be a Japanese style lounge with the fine dining on the other side. 

What would you like to see included in the new space?  Comment on this post to offer your ideas for the new dining experience.

The new owners will be checking in with periodically.  As soon as there is an architectural rendition of the restaurant, you will be able to find it here!   So check back in the next month or so to see the progress and follow the transformation from bar and grill to lounge and fine dining with some island flair.

The space will host a new dining experience, but the building itself will remain the historical site it has always been.

Shima will join several other restaurants on Orange Avenue between First and Second Streets, offering many different choices for diners. 

Instrumental in negotiating this exciting venture was ParkLife Real Estate, specifically Tim Monahan and Jessica Blagg, whose commercial real estate expertise brought the deal together.  Tim and Jessica have managed the Firehouse Bar and Grill building since its inception and have intimate knowledge of the business and the building which allowed for a productive and smooth negotiation of the restaurant purchase and the building lease on behalf of both parties.
ParkLife Real Estate has become the go to brokerage in Coronado for commercial real estate deals.


Kellee Hearther

Staff Writer

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Views: 4673

Tags: business, community, entertainment

Comment by Anne Covington Morse on January 14, 2014 at 9:53pm

Very interesting! Thank you for the update. This will add a new twist to Island dining - I can't wait to try the new restaurant when it opens!

Comment by Colleen Moser on January 14, 2014 at 11:07pm

yes and apparently the previous owners never told their employees they were closing....they just showed up and the doors were locked...nice

Comment by lisa on January 15, 2014 at 6:58pm

Shima sounds great! It will be so nice to have something different here.  We gave Firehouse many chances,but the food just never lived up to the great space.

Comment by Tedster on January 16, 2014 at 5:39pm

I concur with Lisa, we wanted so much for the Firehouse to succeed since it had an open air feel and better parking opportunities than central village.  Despite the numerous warning and complaints on Yelp, nothing changed.  Long distance ownership of the restaurant explains its demise.  Looking forward to taking the family to a teppanyaki style restaurant on the island and not having to travel to Benihana in Mission Valley. 

Comment by Howard Roarke on January 17, 2014 at 11:13am

It's my understanding that the member of the family that owns of the building and who operated the Firehouse, would "give" a 10% ownership of "the business" to each new manager and chef who walked through the door, and I could never really understand what the true value of 10% "of nothing" was about.

Yet beyond the multiple poor multiple managers, "chefs" (loosely used term here), and a bar-tending staff that was known to be "making more than the register," the concept/idea of even operating a restaurant -- on a city block that had "bookend-ed restaurants" serving essentially the same-same (burgers, fries, pizza, ribs, etc.) and "splitting nickels" between the restaurants made even less sense.

As for an Asian-type restaurant occupying the space, I embrace the concept wholeheartedly! Just do it right!!

Photo Star
Comment by Dan Megna on January 17, 2014 at 5:45pm

Firehouse was (is) a terrific restaurant venue however I never had a meal in there that was worth a darn. And management never seemed to care at all. There seemed to be an underhanded and disinterested element that had the reins of the place. Personally, I'm happy to see the Firehouse close. I pray what ever goes in that space will be as asset to the community and compliment the other restaurants and businesses at that end of town.

Comment by Kelley Kraft Casey on January 18, 2014 at 8:04pm

Won't be sad to see it go.  It had so much potential, but the food and service and noise level made it mostly ho-hum and sometimes unpleasant.  I love that that block has some quality restaurants now.  Looking forward to the new one.  

Comment by Erin Grady Brown on January 20, 2014 at 9:57am

I am so excited to see what they do with this space! My family absolutely LOVES teppanyaki, so I am looking forward to see how this evolves. Awesome!

Comment by Wendy Birnbaum on January 20, 2014 at 10:14am
Sounds good to me and we welcome something new on the island.
Another venue we would LOVE to see would be a soup plantation type restaurant.....healthy salads baked potatoes veggies soup etc no reservations, self serve and quick for lunch or dinner. Have been waiting many years....
Comment by Jim Rohn on January 20, 2014 at 12:42pm

I went to the grand opening gala and the food was awesome. Subsequent visits showed a steady decline in the food quality ... I still have coupons for there that I never used, I just couldn't bring myself to go there anymore ... I cook now most every day I am there rather than pay too much more mediocre food and service ...

Sadly, I do not see myself patronizing the proposed new restaurant ...

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