For thirty years, Fire Station No. 8 was the home of Market Street Broiler, situated near the University of Utah in the renovated fire house. Utah’s culinary evolution began here in addition to countless business deals, budding relationships and memorable moments. It’s a building steeped in historic memories—for individuals and for the community at large.
Listed as a Utah Historic Site, Fire Station No. 8 is the second oldest visually intact firehouse in Salt Lake. The National Register reads, “…it is historically significant in documenting the expansion and development of the firefighting service in Salt Lake City. It was constructed in 1930 to serve the ‘outlying’ east bench area, one of the fastest growing residential areas at the time. The building’s residential appearance reflects the careful attention given to ensure compatibility with surrounding houses.”
Historically, the property was last used as a firehouse in 1980 when it was subsequently renovated by Gastronomy, Inc. and became the home of Market Street Broiler in the early 1980s.
In May 2014, Canyon Culinary Inc. (more familiarly known as the entity that owns Porcupine Pub & Grille and The Dodo) owners Byron Loveall and Bryan O’Meara purchased the property. “The firehouse was appealing not only because of its location but also because we love old cool buildings that have some ambience and history,” explains Stacey Deittman, marketing director for Canyon Culinary. “We fell in love with the charm the framework had to offer and took every effort possible to keep original materials and features, even when the expense outweighed the concept.”
Originally slated for a nine-month renovation to become a second location of Porcupine, the project stretched over 17 months as one structural trouble spot after another emerged throughout the nearly 9,000 square foot, two-story restaurant.
To preserve its space in Salt Lake’s history well into the future, Wright Engineers designed a system of structural reinforcement that included steel beams and posts in the basement footings and a ceiling of steel and timbers which also added stunning visual appeal. Along with Beecher Walker Architects, Sundberg Building & Design, and Loveall, the renovation team has cemented the beginning of a new era for the firehouse that the owners take immense pride in.
“We were very excited take on the renovation of Fire House No. 8, so we built this building to last,” Deittman continues. “What an honor to preserve a [nearly] 100-year-old piece of Salt Lake history.” The space now highlights touches of the original Porcupine location in Cottonwood Heights, too, in the dramatic stairway to the second story and railings throughout the restaurant
“We are now almost at our one-year mark of nestling into the University neighborhood and we have come to welcome some great regulars including students, faculty, families, hospital workers, military and local business owners as well,” says Deittman. “Game days at the University of Utah are always alive and bursting with energy, and theater nights are lovely for art lovers. We welcome all to come and see the awesome restoration of a 100-year-old firehouse.”