Six years ago this week I got into a car with Campagnolo co-owner/chef Robert Belcham and drove to 566 Powell Street on the Downtown Eastside. Together with partners Tom Doughty and Ted Anderson, Robert and designer Marc Bricault would soon turn it into a restaurant called Fat Dragon.
The concept was Chinese food hybridized with a Southern US “lick of smoke”, which sounded awesome to my ears back then, just as it does now. I knew the location came with risks, but I thought it would likely work really well, especially given the reputations of all involved.
Sadly, Fat Dragon didn’t last very long, serving its last fat-laced noodle bowls, delicious baos and bright pink Junmai Sour cocktails just eight months after launch. Oh well, it was delicious while it lasted!
The address is now occupied by Dosanko, a homestyle Japanese restaurant — entirely fitting given the old Japantown address. Anyway, this is what the space looked like to me that night as I paced the interior, wondering what would come of it. Note: you can find The Fat Dragon’s old signage hanging from the ceiling at Campagnolo Upstairs.