The beautiful and critically acclaimed Firehouse restaurant, located inside of an historic 20th Century Italian Renaissance-styled firehouse in Northeast Portland, has new owners. According to an email from the restaurant, Matthew Busetto, who has been operating the wood-fire-cooking-obsessed Firehouse for the past eight years, has sold it to Joel Carson, Kitling Lum, Jarrott Moonitz, and Miles Kusch — the team behind Northwest Portland's Pope House Bourbon Lounge. In his goodbye letter, Busetto writes:
This group is looking forward to continuing the traditions that we’ve established at Firehouse and has a great respect for what the restaurant has become to its staff, and to all of its guests — past, present, and future. They are dedicated to maintaining the warm, friendly atmosphere and high quality food that Firehouse is known for.
For the next couple of weeks, Busetto will remain cooking onsite to help with the transition. His last day in the kitchen will be October 30, 2016. So far, the owners have not announced any major changes to the restaurant. Busetto says he decided to sell Firehouse to spend more time with his family. Here is Busetto’s complete farewell:
To our Firehouse friends and supporters,
When Firehouse Restaurant opened 8 years ago, it fulfilled a longtime dream of mine. But over the last year or two I have realized that while I have been so unbelievably fortunate to have the support of so many Portland diners and friends, I have deeper and more meaningful good fortune on my side as well….and more dreams that I hope to realize. And that is why we have decided to sell Firehouse Restaurant and its historic home at 711 NE Dekum. While Firehouse has provided a place for me to do something that I love very much, it has also kept me from enjoying to the fullest some things in my life that are far more important, namely an unbelievable love and friendship with Kate and the sweetest seven year old son I can imagine. This is the deeper, more meaningful good fortune that I have and I can’t reasonably resist the opportunity to live a fuller life borne from it.
That being said, with a heavy heart but with bright eyes and a restless mind on an exciting future, we will be turning Firehouse over to some very good folks. Prospective owners Joel Carson, Kitling Lum, Jarrott Moonitz, and Miles Kusch currently own and operate The Pope House Bourbon Lounge in Northwest Portland. This group is looking forward to continuing the traditions that we’ve established at Firehouse and have a great respect for what the restaurant has become to its staff, and to all of its guests, past, present, and future and they are dedicated to maintaining the warm, friendly atmosphere and high quality food that Firehouse is known for. I will be at Firehouse for the next couple of weeks to help in what we are sure will be a seamless transition and after that the new ownership, with new energy and years of experience will take over along with our current Firehouse Family. So a few new faces, but mostly the same smiles, warm greetings and good humor of our very loved and dedicated staff. Though October 31st will be my last day at Firehouse, my last night behind the grill will be the 30th. There will be plenty that I’ll miss about Firehouse. Working with The Woodlawn Children's Garden, events at The Sauvie Island Center, saving the lives of any sick, feral cats that came our way (most notably Polar Bear and Fluffer), any fundraiser, and most dearly, the staff. I have had the immense pleasure to work with some incredibly loyal and truly wonderful people who have given so much for our continued success at Firehouse and I’m forever indebted to them. But it’s time to go now. A big thank you to my mother for her love, introducing me to good food at a very young age, and allowing me to play in her kitchen; thanks to my big brother for a lifetime of support; and thanks to Kate for opening my eyes to a whole new world.Kate and I will be back and we look forward to feeding you! And, of course, thanks to Portland and all of you, our guests,