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What’s Been ‘Round and Fat and Loved All Over?

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Frank Fat’s Restaurant Announces
Its 70th Year as a Legendary Capitol Dining Host

Fat Fact: Frank Fat’s, a state Capitol hangout since 1939, was founded by the late Frank Fat who took over a former speakeasy at 806 L Street in downtown Sacramento and turned it into a thriving Chinese-American restaurant where dinner could be bought for 65 cents and lunch for 35 cents. When customers asked him about his secret to success, Frank maintained modestly that he was “only an ordinary restaurateur who worked hard and had a bit of luck.”

Fat Trivia: How did the restaurant get its start?
As luck would have it, back in the 1930’s when gambling was still legal in California, the basement of Hong King Lum restaurant offered Chinese Keno games. Frank waited tables at the restaurant where a prestigious state official came in for lunch and asked to buy several Keno tickets. He marked the tickets and Frank went to the basement to pay for them. A 50-cent ticket won $900 for the patron, but the official left before the game started. Frank held onto the winnings until the man came back next time for dinner. The thankful customer awarded Frank the business loan he needed to open Frank Fat’s as a reward for Frank’s honesty.

Fat Trivia: What’s with the funny last name?
Frank’s Chinese name was Dong Sai-Fat. Dong is his real surname, but when he immigrated to the United States, Fat, his Chinese middle name was established as his family name. As it turns out, the character “Fat” in Chinese means to prosper or flourish, making Frank’s surname a fortuitous choice.

Fat Trivia: When exactly did Frank Fat’s open?
A Fat’s combo meal of walnut shrimp, Frank’s New York steak and banana cream pie will be awarded to the first person who can correctly state when the doors opened for the very first time. What is known is that Frank Fat’s opened in 1939 and 70 years later, it lays claim to
being the oldest restaurant operated by the same family in the same location potentially in the Capitol City and beyond.

Fat Fact: When’s the party?
Save the date. The party will be held 9-9-09, Wednesday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the garage next to Fat’s at 806 L Street. Both Frank and his son and fellow co-host, Wing, treasured family and the importance of family in achieving success. In their memory, the 70th anniversary celebration will benefit the Sacramento Crisis Nurseries, which has supported families during times of great stress by providing safe havens for their babies and children. For more information and reservations, visit www.crisisnurseryonline.com.  The party will be open to the public in support of charity.


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