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From Firefighter to Restaurateur

Greg Sisoy Celebrates All Things Firefighting at The Engine House

Authentic firehouse doors that look ready for a firetruck to pull through. Firefighter memorabilia adorns the walls. Fiery cauldrons hanging over the bar. This unique environment may not be an actual firehouse, but the spirit of firefighting lives in the building itself and the story behind The Engine House, a restaurant and bar located here in Mount Clemens.

“It started with my friend John Gusmano,” says Greg Sisoy, who along with John founded The Engine House in 2007.  “He was a retired firefighter with experience in the restaurant industry and was looking for a partner to get back into the business. I was looking for something long-term after my career as a firefighter would eventually end, and it needed to be something that wasn’t physically demanding. By partnering with John to open The Engine House, it opened a connection to the community that I never expected.” 

Greg’s career as a firefighter began in the late 1980s. “A friend of mine actually brought me in,” he recalls. “He told me back in 1988 that the Detroit Fire Department was hiring, and truthfully, I was in need of a career. I’ll be retiring this December after 35 years in the Department,” adds Greg. Reflecting on the decades he spent fighting fires, Greg says, “As for the experiences, it’s not a job like any other, it’s a way of life. You have to love what you do. After 35 years in the department, because I loved it, I feel like I haven’t worked a day in my life.” 

In spite of the authentic touches, the building wasn’t actually ever a firehouse. “John and I purchased an out-of-business bar that we thoroughly had to renovate,” says Greg. “With both of us being firemen, the idea came up to remodel it in the image of a firehouse. We continued with the theme from the doors on the outside to the space inside, with pictures and other items decorating the walls.” An antique fire hydrant and fire alarm, photos of firefighters, model fire engines, and more add interest to the atmosphere.

By celebrating the legacies of their careers, Greg and John set out to build a place where locals and firefighters alike can feel right at home. “We take pride in that we’ve cultivated a warm, family friendly atmosphere for everyone to come in and enjoy themselves,” says Greg. “The memorabilia and decorations give our patrons a unique dining experience that makes you feel welcome. We’ve had firemen from all over the Metro Detroit area that have heard about us and shared their stories and brought their families to have a meal with us.”

As for the meals, adds Greg, “The menu is a classic American cuisine with an Italian influence. We offer a rotation of specials throughout the week, including a new Tuscan chicken dish. Our pizzas are very popular locally, and they speak for themselves. The Engine House Special, served with pepperoni, bacon, tomatoes, and topped with parmesan cheese, is both a house and fan favorite.” Rounding out the menu is an array of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and appetizers, including steak bites tossed in house-made Cajun spice and served with pita bread and Cajun ranch. At the bar, guests will find a generous selection of craft beers and wines, along with your favorite cocktail.

While fall brings cooler weather, The Engine House is ready with its newly renovated patio, says Greg. “Our customers can now enjoy a heated outdoor space to enjoy their dinner, watch the game, or have a few drinks with some friends.” Sports fans will delight to the large projection screen and numerous televisions that promise to deliver the big game.

Whether you want to stop in for lunch, an appetizer sampler and a beer for the game, or dinner with the family, The Engine House is waiting for you, with a side of firehouse excitement.


 

“We’ve had firemen from all over the Metro Detroit area that have heard about us and shared their stories and brought their families to have a meal with us.”

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