FHGP in the News

by Jessica Waffles (original article at KTX 91.7)

Billy Law & the Baby Boys perform at State Fair Records Day @ Firehouse Gastro Park. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Firehouse Gastro Park opened on May 11, 2019 through a partnership with the City of Grand Prairie, after the city requested proposals to preserve the 1949 fire station, which had been inhospitable and empty for 2-3 years.

Actors Jason Alan Smith and his wife Carlee Smith put in a bid of the property, working with Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen, City Manager Tom Hart and head architect Andy Henning to plan and execute the vision for Firehouse Gastro Park.

“We need to do something that is visually pleasing,” Jason Smith said of the initial planning for the site. “The city enjoys coffee and artisan shops, but didn’t have a craft cocktail bar.”

The Smiths’ LA-based specialty cocktail business, Mama’s Medicine, resides inside of the building, while the outdoor space is home to a music stage, large open seating area and shade coverings.

“We’re trying to change the narrative of of Grand Prairie,” Smith said. “There’s tons of young passionate artists in town. We’re constantly trying to push the envelope. At this event we had live music, wrestling, live tattoos and artisan shops.”

The couple met State Fair Records artist development and distributions rep Jeff Ryan while they were at Americanafest in Nashville this past September, and began to collaborate on an event that would ultimately become State Fair Records Day

“We were super inspired by everything we saw there,” Smith said of the State Fair Records artists being showcased during the festival. “It felt like a natural fit.”

Cameron Matthew Ray, who may be better known to music fans as a singer-songwriter, but he’s also the venue’s music director and has been an integral part of production. “He’s helped take it to the next level,” Smith said.

Bookings with Ray have included David Ramirez, Matthew Logan Vasquez, Cas Haley, and Grady Spencer & the Work.

Smith would like for this venue to become something of a cultural epicenter for the city of Grand Prairie, in collaboration with city leaders.

“We have a shared vision for Main Street,” said Smith. “We’d like to see Main Street become more like Marfa, TX – fringe, funky, hip and artisan. Our own melting pot.”

The venue owners look forward to New Years Eve, which is planned to be a local lineup. Artists playing are TBA.



By Lauren Drewes Daniels (original Dallas Observer article)

The Uptown Theatre is a historic downtown Grand Prairie landmark that was restored to its 1950's look along Main St., Thursday, June 25, 2020.

Jason and Carlee Smith opened FireHouse Gastro Park a few years ago after moving from Los Angeles to Grand Prairie (Carlee's hometown). Before leaving the West Coast, however, they grabbed chef Zaida Johnson, whom they'd met through their work in event planning in Hollywood, to help them open this restaurant. And we're all better for it. Not only is this restaurant, bar, coffee house and outdoor music venue a vibrant fun place to waste an afternoon or two, but Johnson's Nashville Bird chicken sandwich is worth a trip out to central GP alone. You can also order this sandwich as a giant mound of fries to share with your besties

By Sarah Bahari (original Dallas Morning News article)

The Uptown Theatre is a historic downtown Grand Prairie landmark that was restored to its 1950's look along Main St., Thursday, June 25, 2020.

Grand Prairie will be designated a Music Friendly Community on Sept. 11 by the Texas Music Office. The city will celebrate on Saturday with a certification ceremony and live music. Performers will include local singer and songwriter Cas Haley, who won second place on Season 2 of America’s Got Talent, and Remy Reilly, a Dallas-based indie pop singer. Grand Prairie Firefighters Pipes and Drums will also perform a special tribute in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Community members are encouraged to attend the ceremony, which begins at 6 p.m. at Firehouse Gastro Park, 321 Main St. with the first 50 guests receiving a commemorate guitar pick. Tickets for the concert that will start at 8 p.m. are available to purchase online. The Texas Music Office seeks to foster music-related economic development in Texas cities and communities. Other music friendly communities include Arlington, Fort Worth, Denton, McKinney and Austin.