100 Years of History
“The Firehouse” as it is called by locals, is one of Rapid City’s most unique and interesting landmarks. Housed in the original Rapid City firehouse, a structure built in 1915, it is listed on the National Historic Register. The bar is adorned with authentic South Dakota firefighting memorabilia from the days of Rapid City’s first fire brigades – including the original fire pole, ladders, patches and more. Rapid City’s early fire department consisted of three hose companies organized in 1881, and a hook-and-ladder company. The department became formally organized in 1907, and in 1915 this fine new fire hall was built. The two-story building, constructed of brick and Fall River sandstone, exemplifies the Chicago School style. Following the practice of urban fire departments in those days, this one was built with living quarters for firemen, as well as offices, on the second floor. The fire trucks were downstairs, and the firefighters slid down a smooth brass pole when the fire call came in. Now home to Firehouse Brewing, the building still has its fire pole.
South Dakota’s first brew pub
The Firehouse Brewing Company, South Dakota’s first brew pub, is the creation of a group of Rapid City locals who developed the idea of creating an onsite microbrewery after frequenting one of Denver’s downtown pubs. The idea was to return the building’s interior to its original fire-hall glory with the added feature of a brewery visible from behind glass enclosures. The new decor included polished brass and fire fighting equipment to adorn the walls, the bar, and even the ceiling. The Group of partners walked in the door on the evening of September 3, 1991 with sledge hammers and crow bars in hand. The project, now a part of history, was completed 93 days later. The Firehouse Brewing Company opened its doors to an eager throng of patrons on December 5th, 1991. Today the Firehouse is a favorite with locals and tourists alike and features a brewery, an indoor restaurant and bar, an outdoor patio complete with band-shell for live music, a Theatre, a winery and mercantile.