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Images: Historic Atlanta firehouse is transforming into BBQ joint

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Two-story Westside structure dates to 1915

A new barbecue concept coming to Westside Atlanta.
No shortage of outdoor seating along Marietta Street.
Renderings: 4 Rivers Smokehouse

A former Atlanta firehouse in the Marietta Street corridor that’s stood for more than a century will soon be dishing items like the Texas Destroyer and Brontosaurus Beef Rib with a side of downtown views.

4 Rivers Smokehouse, a Florida-based barbecue chain, is transforming the old two-story firehouse into its first restaurant outside the Sunshine State. Recognized by the Georgia Historical Society, the 822 Marietta St. building stands next to Thumbs Up Diner, near Georgia Tech.

In a press release, 4 Rivers claims the building was home to Atlanta’s first African-American firefighters, but other sources (including the firefighters themselves) indicate that barrier was broken in 1963 at a different Station No. 16 in northwest Atlanta.

The firehouse undergoing renovations now was in service from 1915 to 1963. It was most recently used as offices.

The firehouse property in November, prior to renovations.
Google Maps

4 Rivers founder and CEO John Rivers issued a statement that should bring solace to Atlanta preservationists: “An extensive amount of care in maintaining the integrity of the original building while modernizing it with today’s conveniences has been the highest priority during the entire design and construction process.”

When finished, the roughly 5,300-square-foot eatery should have no shortage of indoor/outdoor seating (166 seats, in fact), with garage doors downstairs and an upstairs patio with skyline views.

It’s on schedule to open in May, officials said.

Google Maps

In this gallery, see screen-captures taken of a video fly-through of the property that give a good idea what to expect: