A partial rendering of the interior of The Fire Hub, a 5,900 square foot, multi-purpose building. Courtesy FireKeepers Casino Hotel
A casino in the region is constructing a multi-purpose “hub” in a former fire station — featuring a restaurant, bakery, meeting space and food pantry.
FireKeepers Casino Hotel said yesterday construction crews are moving ahead with The Fire Hub in Battle Creek, located in historic Fire Station #4, at 175 S. Kendall St.
The "multi-million-dollar" hub will be a 5,900-square-foot structure. Additionally, a 4,920-square-foot garden located at the Pine Creek Reservation will grow food designed to create a free salad bar at local schools.
A grand opening is planned for next spring.
The Fire Hub
FireKeepers production cook Jen Ozolins was recently named head chef of The Fire Hub and is overseeing all aspects of the restaurant, including menu design, food development and staffing.
She's developing an "upscale" and "affordable" menu, featuring breakfast items, soups, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, pizzas and desserts.
Hiring for kitchen and wait staff is expected to begin in early 2017.
The goal of The Fire Hub is to give back to the community, and as such, FireKeepers’ owners, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, intends to blend the restaurant with a food pantry, as well as gardens to provide a free salad bar for Battle Creek schools.
The rear section of the building will become home to The Kendall Street Pantry, serving as an agency of the Food Bank of South Central Michigan.
Additionally, 80 percent of restaurant profits and 50 cents from "every restaurant check" at The Fire Hub will go to the creation of a fund with the intention of supporting local charities. The remaining 20 percent of profits will be re-invested into the property.
Lansing-based Mayotte Group Architects is the project’s designer.
Holt-based Moore Trosper is the contractor on the project.
FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, at 11177 E. Michigan Ave., opened in 2009.
The casino features 2,900 slot machines, 70 tables games and a live poker room and bingo room.
The resort-style hotel has 243 rooms, a multi-purpose event center, six dining options and multiple lounges.