SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento restaurant famous for hosting powerful political figures is celebrating 80 years in business.
Frank Fat’s is still owned by the same family, and Wednesday night some famous faces turned out to help honor their achievement.
Chinese lion dancers, drummers, and political dignitaries helped Frank Fat’s celebrate a major milestone.
“My dad started in 1939 and I don’t think he envisioned that we would be here 80 years later,” said Jerry Fat, CEO of Frank Fats.
The restaurant opened in a former speakeasy on L Street, just blocks from the state capitol. Back then, if you paid a quarter for a slice of their popular banana cream pie, you’d get change back.
“Frank Fat’s really epitomizes everything that’s good about Sacramento. It brings everyone together,” said Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento).
The restaurant rose to prominence in the 80s when it was often used as an after-hours hang out for lobbyists and lawmakers.
“They dropped their campaign advocacy when they walked through that front door,” former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown said.
Brown famously helped broker one law on the back of a napkin in the restaurant and it still hangs in the front lobby.
“At some point after people I think had too much to drink, they were really ready to settle and they did,” Brown said.
Times have changed now, politicians are no longer allowed to accept lavish meals from lobbyists and there’s more restaurant competition, but the Fat Family says they have plans to continue serving the community for decades to come.
“We’re in our fourth generation of Fats that have worked in the business, I think we’re maybe good to last to 100, we’ll see what happens after that,” Fat said.
The Fat family also has restaurants in Roseville, Folsom, and Old Sacramento.