23 March 2010

Inside the Dragon Seed!

A few weeks back I blogged about the lost Jackson Heights tiki restaurant The Dragon Seed Restaurant, which once sat at the corner of 37th Avenue and 86th Street. It closed in the 1980s, but the legend of the funky place, a fav of Louis Armstrong and sport car enthusiasts everywhere, lived on.

One reader told me that, even though it is now a Colombian joint, two tiki figures still stand on either side of the entrance. This is true. But a couple other readers mentioned that the Dragon See tiki decor remains intact inside! Including an elaborate fountain. I had to go see.

And Shazam! It's all true. The Dragon Seed still exists, at least in form! Except you can only eat Columbian food (and fries and fried chicken) there now. No Mai Tais. There are more tiki figures inside, and bamboo hut-like booths. The bar is also a vision of tropical escape. And the lighting is very dim.

Best of all is the tiered, sculpted fountain which greets you on the right as you come in. It depicts, in great detail, what I take to be a rural Chinese landscape. There are houses, people, a fishing hole, bells, cliffs, trees. I couldn't take it all in in one go.

The waitresses are not dressed as tropical maidens. But their costumes are something else, and worth a trip in itself. The owner has them in a sort of South-American version of St. Pauli Girl laced-corsets and extremely short skirts. It's very sexist, quite hilarious and the women don't seem embarrassed at all. I'm sure they get plenty of tips.


Ken Mac said...

fantastic find

EV Grieve said...

Wow, this is really incredible... I'm glad to know this is here... Great find, Brooks....

Son Of The Dragon said...

For more interesting photos of the Dragon Seed Restaurant, visit George Bow on Facebook. I owned and ran the 86th street Restaurant since the 1960's. My family opened that Restaurant in 1949.

Audrey Skipas said...

March 8, 2011

Thank you for the information. My husband and I have been married 32 years and in 1979 we were married at the Queens Court House and had our reception dinner at the Dragon Seed. Now that I know it still exists I'm going to take my husband there as a surprise.

Thanks Again
Audrey Skipas

Unknown said...

Why doesnt anyone cook like that anymore? Now they put peas and carrotsin the fried rice. That us not Chinese to me. Yuk.