Thursday, April 5, 2012

Golden Dragon Then & Now

Here's a photo that should bring back a lot of memories for longtime Lorainites. It's from the files of the Black River Historical Society and, of course, looks south at the Golden Dragon restaurant (and its next-door neighbor, the Corinthian Grill). The photo was undated, but appeared to be one of a series of shots from the late 1960s/early 1970s.

That particular trackside location had hosted a variety of businesses since the early 1920s.

The first business to show up at the 1120 Broadway address was the Nickel Plate Restaurant, in the 1924 city directory.

A billiards hall took over the address in the 1926 edition, followed by a tailor in the 1931 book.

Then, the Nickel Plate Restaurant made a comeback in 1933 with different proprietors, and it continued at that address (sometimes listed as the Nickel Plate Tavern) until the 1964 city directory. In that edition, a business with an inscrutable name – Oriental Restaurant – showed up as a harbinger of things to come.

Perhaps at the time of the city directory was getting ready to be printed, the restaurant didn't have a name yet, because on May 1, 1963, this ad appeared in the Lorain Journal announcing the opening of the Golden Dragon.

I had no idea that the Golden Dragon was Lorain County's only Chinese restaurant in 1963. It was really ahead of its time.

The Golden Dragon continued to appear in the city directory until 1983, when the whole block's addresses were vacant, in preparation of the construction of the railroad underpass.

Today, sadly, there is no evidence that any of those businesses ever existed at that stretch of Broadway (below).

I never ate at the Golden Dragon, but I do remember getting terrific egg rolls at their annual booth at the Lorain International Festival during its glory days at the May Company location.


ge13031 said...

And nestled in there was the AlItalia Market. Genuine imported Italian food and goodies. Quite a United Nations of retail in that short section.

Anonymous said...

i remember a striking blonde that drove a gold cadillac? convertable, who, owned, managed???? GD and lived on E Lake road?? or is it a flashback?

Dan Brady said...

I'm still haunted by the memory of a gentleman who looked kind of like a scruffy Santa Claus who seemed to be always in that vicinity by the GD whenever I rolled over the tracks!

Anonymous said...

We called him Aqua Lung! Stash Box was across the street.

-Alan D Hopewell said...

I never ate at the GD either, but I loved going to the Corinthian; the girl who gave me my first kiss lived upstairs of it. Also, they had those photos of the aftermath of the '24 tornado in the entrance.

jack said...

I remember across from the Golden dragon was the gateman that controlled the RR gates in his little tower. and the back of the Golden Dragon was once a Railway Express Station

wr said...

So glad to see this! I remember going there as a child. My parents knew the owners. They always gave you banana candy (hard candies wrapped in brightly colored tissue paper).

Meilin Fields said...

That striking blonde was Lillian Zeba, wife of the Golden Dragon's silent owner, Edward Zeba, long residents of East Lake Rd.