Fat’s Asia Bistro; a local tradition since 1939By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
Started in 1939 by Frank Fat, the Fat family has been serving the Greater Sacramento Area with quality Cantonese Chinese food at Fat’s Asia Bistro.
Seventy-eight years ago, when Frank opened Frank Fat’s, the restaurant located in Downtown Sacramento was known for being a political hangout. Notable politicians spent their lunch hours there as well as people from all walks of life.
Frank’s son Jerry Fat, current president and CEO of the Fat Family Restaurant Group, said his father started the restaurant to serve quality Chinese food to everyone, no matter who they were. He treated everyone equally as if they were all important.
Jerry talked about how his father was a strong believer in education and had all of his children go to college.
“None of us were going to come back to the restaurant business. My father didn’t even push us to come back,” Jerry said. “One sibling is a dentist, another is an attorney, and I have a degree in computer science.”
In the early 70s, one of Jerry’s brothers went back to the family business and wanted to expand what his father created, Jerry said.
“I went back too, and I knew that if the expansion didn’t work out, I could always go back into the corporate world,” he said. “But it ended up working out.”
In 2000, the Fat family opened their Roseville location and in 2005, the Folsom location opened, Fat’s Asia Bistro.
“Folsom was a very logical location to put one of our restaurants,” Jerry said. “At the time, Folsom was a growing area. Harry Elliot of Elliot Homes showed us the parcel and sold it to us. There was no Palladio, but we knew there was a shortage of quality family restaurants in the area.”
The Fat family is a household name in the Sacramento area for having high-quality Chinese food. Not only does the family restaurant have a full menu of Chinese items, but 20 percent of the menu consists of different Asian cuisines including Thai, Filipino, Vietnamese and more.
Among many delicious and popular items on the restaurant’s menu, the honey walnut prawns is at the top and is served all of the Fat’s restaurants, Jerry said.
Jerry mentioned that many customers have asked for items on the Frank fat’s menu to be incorporated into other menus, but the family has been against it, except for the banana crème pie for dessert.
Jerry said his favorite thing about the family business is that all his siblings grew up working in the business.
“We started washing dishes, bussing, waiting tables – we worked our way up,” he said. “I also enjoy seeing generations of families who keep coming in. I like that we did a good enough job that families are continuing to bring in many generations of their families.”
Fat’s Asia Bistro in Folsom is located at 2585 Iron Point Road and can be reached at 916-983-1133.