Six Years Ago This Week, Inside the Very Short-Lived ‘Fat Dragon’

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.

  • The Fat Dragon | Exterior
  • The Fat Dragon | Signage
  • The Fat Dragon | Kitchen window
  • The Fat Dragon | Front flanking banquettes
  • The Fat Dragon | from the front right
  • The Fat Dragon | Ceilings (they aim to keep them this way)
  • The Fat Dragon | from the kitchen
  • The Fat Dragon | ceilings
  • The Fat Dragon | front right
  • The Fat Dragon | The Bar
  • The Fat Dragon | Front left
  • The Fat Dragon | Tables
  • The Fat Dragon | Chairs
  • The Fat Dragon | Kitchen walk in
  • The Fat Dragon | kitchen
  • The Fat Dragon | kitchen
  • The Fat Dragon | grass-clothed wrapped washrooms
  • The Fat Dragon | The bar
  • The Fat Dragon | Hoops for entrance installation
  • The Fat Dragon | Bar to back
  • The Fat Dragon | The street, looking west toward the city

.

There is 1 comment

  1. Fat Dragon was wiacked awesome. Incredible food and drinks despite the off put location. Smoked pig head? Oh yeah I’m down with that.

Five Years Ago Today, Main Street Brewing Company Arrived in the Heart of Mt. Pleasant

For this #TBT, we present a photo series from when the neighbourhood brewery was getting ready to receive its first customers.

Looking Back to the Beginnings of One of Vancouver Island’s Best Restaurants

These photos were taken five years ago this month, long before Wolf In The Fog was celebrated as the best new restaurant in Canada.

Sneaking a Peek Inside What Would Soon Become the West Side’s Best Pizzeria

For this edition of Throwback Thursday, we return to the very beginnings of Kerrisdale's much-loved, 55-seat Bufala.

What Canadian Weather Reports Once Looked Like

Long before green screens and computer graphic representations of radar, CBC weatherman Percy Saltzman used chalk.