Food, Music, and Friendly Faces Draw People to Christine’s Firehouse

Published by Pete Dulin on

People often call Christine’s Firehouse (2012 Swift, North Kansas City) about the pork tenderloin sandwich. Rightly so. The large platter comes out nearly covered with a massive fried pork tenderloin that deserves its own zip code. Regulars at Christine’s order a second bun so they can make two sandwiches out of the generous portion. 

Owner Christine Seymour bought The Firehouse in 2014 from the previous owner, Dave Love. “I like people and running a bar,” Seymour says. “I care a lot about people and stayed in the area because I know so many people here.”

Owner Christine Seymour with Dave Love at the original Firehouse location
in the old Oak Tree Lounge building off 20th Street.

Seymour expanded the bar appeal of the original Firehouse. She focused on serving quality food and drink at affordable prices. From the start Seymour decided that the Firehouse would have a signature dish on the menu. Each pork tenderloin is cut, pounded, and fried to order. The sandwich is the star of a menu filled with value-driven eats, such as the reuben sandwich, that attracts regulars and newcomers alike. Guests show up for the five-dollar lunch menu, daily specials like one-dollar beef tacos on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the budget-friendly happy hour menu. 

Friendly service is also a draw. Seymour employs 18 people on her team. “Our employees have a lot of followers,” Seymour says. “I have a great staff. We’re like family.”

Christine's Firehouse exterior

 Guests drive in from St. Joseph, throughout the Northland and Greater Kansas City, and other areas. People who work in nearby retail, offices, blue-collar professions, North Kansas City hospital, and Cerner fill the bar and tables. North Kansas City residents, firefighters, police officers, and veterans also trade banter with the bartender.

Live music four nights a week also fills the house with all ages. Musicians play blues jams on Thursday and Sunday. A rotation of local bands play on Friday and Saturday. Artist Billy Ebeling performs solo on Wednesdays. 

Seating is occasionally at a premium. Seymour advises, “Be patient. Sometimes it is standing room only on weekends. People eat and leave so tables open up. And people share tables, too. We also have food to go.”

While eating, drinking, or trading witty remarks with the bartender, it’s easy to spot some of the funny plaques hanging on the wall by the bar. Beer: Because No Good Story Ever Started With a Salad. Working 9 to Wine. I Love You More Than Bacon.

With humor, patience, and a sincere love for her work, Seymour oversees the bar and grill as a treasured gathering place in the community. She keeps busy running the kitchen and supporting her staff when not saying hello to guests. “I like working here– I don’t know what else I’d do,” Seymour says. “I like the atmosphere here and staying busy.”

Check out the live music schedule for Christine’s Firehouse and 3 other full-time live music venues within walking distance at rivernorthkc.com/events

Categories: FoodMusic

Pete Dulin

Pete Dulin is a Kansas City-based writer who covers food, craft beer, wine, and business. His work has appeared in Zócalo Public Square, NPR, Feast, The Kansas City Star, River Front Times, Visit KC, Flatland, The Boston Globe, Thinking Bigger, and many other publications. He is the author of Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries Across the Heart of Kansas and Missouri, Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland, and KC Ale Trail.

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