Photo tour of the new Firehouse Restaurant, now open in Sound Beach


The new Firehouse Restaurant and Bar in Sound Beach honors the life of fallen FDNY firefighter Joey DiBernardo.

“His favorite place in the whole world [was the firehouse],” the elder Joseph DiBernardo, a retired FDNY deputy chief, told Greater Long Island.

In tribute to Joey DiBernardo — who died 12 years ago today, Nov. 22, from the lingering effects of injuries suffered during a 2005 “Black Sunday” fire in The Bronx — his family has combined two of his passions with The Firehouse Restaurant & Bar in Sound Beach.

[Keep scrolling for photos.]

The family opened the restaurant earlier this month at 30 New York Ave., which previously housed The Hartlin Inn, a landmark bar and grill that closed in 2021 after being in business for more than a quarter of a century.

Joseph DiBernardo and wife Barbara of Miller Beach decided to buy the nearly 90-year-old building after The Hartlin Inn shuttered during the pandemic, with plans to open a new restaurant in what had long been a popular draw in Sound Beach.

“My wife and I used to go to The Hartlin a couple of times a week,” he said. “We used to go there after Joey’s passing.”

The younger DiBernardo, who started out as a volunteer with the Setauket Fire Department in 1989, joined the New York City Fire Department as a fire dispatcher in 1993.

Two years later, he became a probationary city firefighter, following in the footsteps of his father, who retired in 2001 after more than three decades with the FDNY.

He was working for Rescue Co. 3 in The Bronx in January 2005 on what became known as “Black Sunday” — when three members of The Bravest died in fires in The Bronx and Brooklyn on a single day.

DiBernardo was severely burned and fractured both feet, among other serious injuries, after he and three other trapped firefighters jumped out of a burning building on East 178th Street. Lt. Curtis Meyran of Battalion 26 and Lt. John Bellew of Ladder 27 died after leaping from the building, while Firefighter Jeff Cool and DiBernardo survived with massive injuries that kept them hospitalized for weeks.

FDNY Lt. Joey DiBernardo

At the time, the FDNY did not equip firefighters with personal safety ropes that could have helped them escape the burning building, a policy reversed after the 2005 fire.

DiBernardo succumbed at age 40 on Nov. 22, 2011 — “from injuries in the fire,” his father said — and his family established the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation to raise money for personal safety equipment and training for fire departments.

It’s one part of DiBernardo’s legacy, with another coming in the form of The Firehouse Restaurant & Bar. 

After more than two years of major renovations — which included building an extension for wheelchair-accessible bathrooms that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act — the family began welcoming patrons in April.

The menu features burgers, pasta, fish and sandwiches, along with some firehouse favorites. There is also a full bar with signature cocktails.


Reporting with Jose Martinez

Top: Inside photos courtesy of Firehouse Restaurant & Bar’s Facebook

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