FIREKEEPERS CASINO HOTEL ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING OF THE FIRE HUB RESTAURANT AND FOOD PANTRY IN DOWNTOWN BATTLE CREEK
(Battle Creek, MI.) April 19, 2017 – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder joined the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Tribal Council, owners of FireKeepers Casino Hotel, along with a large contingent of elected officials and key Michigan business partners today to commemorate the Grand Opening of The Fire Hub restaurant and Kendall Street Pantry.
The Fire Hub is a unique, multi-million dollar casino community reinvestment, with FireKeepers Casino directly purchasing, redeveloping and creating a downtown restaurant concept, plus adjacent food pantry to assist those less fortunate in the community, all housed in a restored historic city firehouse. Eighty percent of profits will be pooled to benefit local charities, while twenty percent will provide maintenance capital dollars. Another major element of the project is the development of nearby tribal lands to farm and grow vegetables, with a goal of delivering a free salad bar to students in area communities.
The opening ceremony featured a Tribal Drum song, speeches and building reveal, with featured guests including Governor Snyder, Battle Creek Mayor, Dave Walters, NHBP Tribal Council Chairperson, Jamie Stuck, FireKeepers Vice President of Food and Beverage and Fire Hub visionary, Michael McFarlen, and Food Bank of South Central Michigan Executive Director, Patty Parker.
“The Fire Hub will help meet basic needs for people and is a great example of community revitalization and working together to help one another,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “Strong, vibrant communities require teamwork and a shared commitment to a brighter future.”
“The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi is honored to lead this amazing community initiative,” stated NHBP Tribal Council Chairman, Jamie Stuck. “We can deliver the region’s best casino resort product while simultaneously improving the lives of local residents. Supporting the local community has always been a priority for us and today’s Grand Opening is the successful collaboration of the tribe’s community focus, Chef McFarlen’s vision and the dedicated efforts of the Food and Beverage team at FireKeepers Casino Hotel.”
“It’s very exciting to celebrate the grand opening after nearly a year of construction. This is the culmination of our plan to simultaneously create a successful restaurant product and help the community in an impactful way,” stated Michael McFarlen. “We’re going to use The Fire Hub as an instrument to extinguish hunger in Battle Creek.”
The Fire Hub restaurant will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant features an upscale, yet affordable, menu with a delicious selection of freshly made breads and muffins, breakfast items, soups, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, an array of pizzas and, of course, scrumptious desserts.
The Fire Hub’s most important goal is to give back to the community and this will be accomplished via multiple programs. First, The Kendall Street Pantry, located in the rear section of the building, will work in conjunction with the Food Bank of South Central Michigan, distributing food from shelves to those less fortunate. Secondly, a large greenhouse on nearby tribal land will be utilized to grow food, with the goal of providing a free salad bar for downtown schools in Battle Creek. The third element is the creation of a fund to support local charities, with eighty percent of all restaurant profits providing the monies. The remaining twenty percent of profits will be reinvested in the property.
The location is Fire Station #4, located at Kendall and Dickman streets in Battle Creek. This fire station, which opened in July 1904, was designed by Hubert C. Scofield and was one of the last to still use horse-drawn equipment. After nearly eighty years of service the fire station closed in January of 1983. The city later sold the fire station to a private resident who made it his home of over 25 years and assisted in its restoration over that time period.