Listen: Jerry Fat, President and CEO of the Fat Family Restaurants
One of Sacramento’s most beloved restaurants known affectionately as the “Third House of the California Legislature” will celebrate its extraordinary 80 years in business at the same location, owned by the same family just blocks from the California State Capitol. The milestone will be marked by a gathering of political leaders and longtime patrons and staff who have contributed to the success and longevity of Frank Fat’s.
When Chinese immigrant Frank Fat first viewed the property, once a former speakeasy at 806 L Street, he exclaimed “It was in such disarray that not even a rat would go there!” The odds were indeed stacked against him when he ventured to open his namesake restaurant in 1939 amid the Great Depression and the Chinese Exclusion Act. But as luck would have it, Frank’s integrity paid off when he secured a loan from a prominent state official who had left a winning keno ticket behind at a nearby gambling hall where Frank worked. Instead of pocketing the big payoff, Frank waited for the man to return. Moved by the Chinese server’s honesty, the customer provided the loan to help Frank purchase the lot.
Eight decades later, Frank Fat’s continues to flourish. The restaurant was recently awarded a coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand for outstanding cuisine and prior to that, a prestigious lifetime achievement “America’s Classics” award by the James Beard Foundation for “quality food that reflects the character of its community.” Indeed, longtime customer favorites remain on the menu, most notably the Frank’s Style New York Steak, Yu Kwok, Honey Walnut Prawns and of course, Fat’s famous Banana Cream Pie.
Some of the guests at the party at Fat’s Restaurant, 806 L Street, Sacramento:
Sacramento Congresswoman Doris Matsui
Former California Governor Jerry Brown
Former California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown
Former California Senate President pro tempore John Burton
Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen
California State Librarian Greg Lucas
Maeley Tom, California API community leader, former legislative chief of staff
Jerry Fat, CEO, Frank Fat’s
Kevin Fat, COO, Frank Fat’s
Fat Family members spanning 4 generations who grew up and worked in the business and carry on Frank’s legacy to be “proud of their heritage, proud of their culture, and to always give back to their community.”