Seattle's Beloved Dragonfish Asian Cafe Dies

There will be a lot more big businesses and a lot fewer small businesses once this is all over.

Comments

1

Charles, how are we supposed to take this seriously when you yourself admit you have absolutely no idea why (or even when!) Dragonfish closed?

2

If one of the results of this Pandemic means Rich People owning more of Downtown, I'm all for it! Maybe they'll have better luck flushing out the Social Justice Warriors out of City Hall and we can have a city for the rest of us, not just the vagrants and gangbangers.

3

why haven't well-heeled Billionaires
walled-off the City as of yet?
so many Undesirables
so little Time...

4

Wiki: Etymology:
From a literal use in cockfighting: a well-heeled cock was provided with sharp spurs* and could inflict maximum damage. From this developed the American frontier slang sense of being well-equipped, and thence the modern sense of being well supplied with money.

and psycophants!

*Cadet Bonespurs!
Still not missing him...

5

@2,

"the rest of us"

You're a billionaire?

6

@5 Hahah. I know. He's hardly even a "thousandaire."

7

So many fond memories from my relative youth. I feel like I outgrew it but I weep for the kids today, who will have to get their cheap eats ‘n’ drinks on in vastly less cool locales.

8

The rich already own downtown. Closed down restaurants and stores help no one.

9

@7, exactly. i also returned to it because my grown kids liked its vibe.

10

I remember Dragonfish (if it's the same place, it was not in the Paramount building when I lived in Seattle). Happy hour was definitely the best and the place was always mobbed. I can't even fathom being in that kind of space with that many people, ever again, honestly.

Every loss in this shit show is on Trump. And honestly, we're nearing 525,000 dead and people are mourning restaurants? Do I like restaurants? Hell yes. Do I care more about people than I do restaurants? Hell yes.

Despite what our society has become (a purely service industry economy - unless you're a tech bro - or "an essential worker"), restaurants are not essential. And I say this as someone with a sibling who has worked in the restaurant their entire life and who (the sibling) refuses to acknowledge the reality of possibly (most likely) needing to find a new line of work.

All the clamoring for restaurants to be open confuses me. Do people really believe that opening up and serving food to people during a pandemic is in any way a successful way to go? Will restaurants be popular and remain open when the people who work their get COVID? Spread COVID? When the people going there to eat get COVID? Spread COVID? I doubt it.

The only thing reopening all of these businesses before the pandemic is under control and I mean REALLY, TRULY under control as in no longer a serious public health risk involving DEATH will do is spread the virus, sicken and possibly kill people, and require the businesses close and/or go under anyway. Businesses can also do things that people can't. They can come back from the dead.
Period.

11

*work there

12

The future is only speculation. Will office workers return and make downtown Seattle the bustling place it once was? Opening stores and all those restaurants again? You get numerous opinions from everywhere on what our recovery will look like. The only thing they agree on is change. And that might not be right.

Businesses can come back from the dead only if someone feels their worth resurrecting.

13

too bad gov't couldn't Pay restaurants to
serve the Hungry as well as the famished

14

@12 -- so it's a Choice?

way Harder
if you're Dead.

15

@12 -- so it's a Choice?

way Harder
to choose
if you're
Dead.

16

@12 Yes, they're only able to come back from the dead if someone feels they're worth resurrecting. People cannot come back from the dead at all. This country is being forced to value human life above profit, human life above everything. So far we're failing. My bet is we ultimately fail. And that's pretty fucking sad. I have places I liked to go to that are no longer in business and will never be resurrected. I will miss them. I bet the people whose loved ones have been killed by COVID miss their loved ones more. You and I are definitely not going to agree.

17

That's a very bleak and cheerless vision you carry around in many of your posts. I can't wait to see what the future brings whether my personal view of utopia is there or not.
Depressing outlooks on life, if allowed to entrench deeply enough, will become true but only to you.

18

@17 LOL yeah you TOTALLY know me because of things I write on SLOG. It always becomes personal when there's nothing else to say. I mean FFS all I did was discuss my personal opinion and say to you that you and I were never going to agree.

Do you live in this world? In this country? Do you see what is happening? What has happened? I mean there is reality and there is denial of reality.

I don't know what is going to happen, I'm just basing my opinion on the centuries of human history that precede this moment in time. Humans have learned nothing. Humanity has gotten more craven, depraved, cruel, and inhumane.

My personal reality is full of joy and sadness. My personal reality is going to end sooner rather than later, so humanity's bleak future will not include me. I got my first COVID vaccine shot today (after being inside my home for 350 days), so there's hope I will see next year and see what our country looks like when it emerges and reforms (or reverts).

19

@12,

Downtown can absolutely bounce back. There are enough people that either can't or don't want to work from home to keep it vibrant. It'll take a hit for sure, and no doubt a good number of those business closures will be permanent, but certainly not all of them. Seems like an important factor will be whether wealthy landlords and property management firms will acknowledge that they may need to lower rents to attract new tenants. Doing so would in turn draw more visitors and foot traffic into the area, which would (in theory at least) slowly re-elevate the overall reputation, vibrancy (and subsequently the value) of downtown. Don't know that I'd wager on all or even any of that's happening, but it could and should.

20

I would not count on anything returning to “normal” for years. If ever. There is now, like it or not, a yet to be determined new normal.

Will businesses bounce back? Maybe not the same businesses, but of course. And those that can adapt to a new normal will thrive. There will be a growth boom because how could there not after such a depression? But that boom will occur in the context of several looming crisis bubbles.

If we do not elect a political class to consciously attempt to change how our corrupt capitalist system works and give “essential” workers a stake and confidence in economic progress then, no, the American myth of middle class existence is functionally dead. The lies of normality are dead. There can be no normal.

This will not be the last pandemic or global crisis. And if Americans do not wake up and understand that we are one people that need robust institutions that require collective good faith then the next crisis will knock us down even further. And the next one. And the next one. Death by a thousand cuts.

First and foremost the cult of American far right and billionaire media class that enable them must be utterly discredited, reformed, or exiled from public life or we will not be able to shape our institutions to withstand the future.

Second we need a federal sick leave policy and universal or single payer healthcare system for all Americans. One main reason the pandemic exploded so ruthlessly was not just because of incompetent and malevolent Republican governance, but because people could not afford to miss work when they got sick and were terrified of seeking treatments they could not afford.

You want to stimulate the economy? Take the burden of healthcare costs out of employers hands and regulate the corrupt private health insurance markets.

Third, we must create a culture where the very idea of becoming a multi-billionaire should fill Americans with nothing but contempt and disgust. And we need tax policies to enforce it.

I hold out little hope any of this will happen.

21

Dragonfish was a vital institution for those of us who needed to grab a meal in downtown on the cheap. Sure we could have picked up food at the McD's on Pine, but not all of us wanted a knife fight with our McNuggets. As such, my coworkers and I were constant patrons of the place. Their afternoon bartender James remains one of my favorite in all of the Seattle hospitality scene.

James, if you're reading this: Steve and all his fellow stagehands salute you and your coworkers for many years of good meals and great service. We'll miss your establishment, but hope you'll go on to find another place to call home. May you help make it as wonderful as Dragonfish was to us.

22

Thanks Steve! This really is James btw. Thanks for all the$5 cash tips over the years.

23

@20 FTW

24

The markets are all predicting a total bounce back in 2022.

Not a partial one.

A total bounce back.

25

A few modest observations....

1) A hotel with a too-boisterous bar/restaurant is almost certainly hoping to rid themselves of it. In the old days, hotels prided themselves on their dining and entertainment options. They prided themselves on having a nightclub or "show room", even though it was a loss leader. For the last thirty years or so, the trend has been to sublet dining space (no labor costs!), and if the bar/restaurant attracts a lot of people who are there for cheap food and drink, the hotel wants nothing to do with it, because of the additional security costs.

2) Downtown Seattle has been owned by the rich since about 1880.

3) I'm sure that there were a bunch of our Slog predecessors sending telelgrams to each other about how society would never overcome the "Spanish" flu pandemic. People are people, whatever generation. The need to congregate, to see-and-be-seen, is timeless.

26

I helped open Blowfish as one of the first crew that worked there, later they changed their name to DragonFish. Worked there my second summer back in the mid 1990s. Leslie was running the menu, some coked out wannabe comedian was bartending.

The state got all mad that they put in Pichinko machines, as it was gambling machines. Even though they weren't used for that.

Sad to see them go. 25 years or so for that place is a long time in restaurant years. I'm closing in on 50 now, and was just a young punk skater back then.