Firehouse Gastro Park is changing the narrative of Grand Prairie

Six piece band performs on stage in front of American flag for seated crowd.

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.

Middle aged man in baseball cap standing in front of large plant and bar area.

Firehouse Gastro Park owner Jason Alan Smith stands inside main indoor space where Mama’s Medicine serves up craft cocktails. Photo: Jessica Waffles


Two men lay on plush pink bunk beds inside of an airstream, smiling at the camera.

Robert Anderson & Isaiah Evans from The 40 Acre Mule casually hangout in the green room for Firehouse Gastro Park, which happens to be an Airstream. Photo: Jessica Waffles


A man applies a bull skull tattoo to another man's inner right bicep.

Suffer City tattoo artist Christopher Breland applies an American traditional bull skull tattoo on event patron Rick Garcia during State Fair Records Day at Firehouse Gastro Park. Suffer City Tattoos is located in East Dallas near White Rock, celebrating 25 years of business in January. Photo: Jessica Waffles


A band performs with high energy on a stage.

The 40 Acre Mule performs at State Fair Records Day @ Firehouse Gastro Park. Photo: Jessica Waffles


Two women smiling sitting at a picnic table.

Nicole Watkins and Melissa Scribner enjoy the music during State Fair Records Day @ Firehouse Gastro Park. Photo: Jessica Waffles


Six men stand together smiling in front of mural.

Billy Law & the Baby Boys. (left to right) Michael Martin (keys), Marshall Pruitt (drums), Billy Law (frontman), David Forsyth (electric guitar), Marco Pisterzi(electric guitar) and Richie Owen (bass). Photo: Jessica Waffles

A man and a woman dance together, a young man and a little girl dance together while band plays on a stage.

Event patrons dance during the Squeezebox Bandits set. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A young woman holds her small toddler daughter for the camera, smiling.

Marisa Latham and her daughter Lucy enjoying the concert in the family-friendly outdoor space. Many children and dogs were running around during the event. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Outdoor stage wide shot with event attendees sitting at tables looking at the stage.

Jackson Scribner starts the music at the State Fair Records Day event in the spacious outdoor area of Firehouse Gastro Park. Photo: Jessica Waffles

The 40 Acre Mule frontman Isaiah Evans closes the show at State Fair Records Day @ Firehouse Gastro Park. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 

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