Ghosts of Carson: Golden Dragon

Everything I know about the Golden Dragon is in my memory, and it’s not much. Nobody has written an extensive history of the building, like they have for Jack’s Bar. It’s a bit out of town, it’s set back from the street, and most people probably drive by it without even knowing it’s there. But it’s one of Carson City’s most persistent ghosts.

The Golden Dragon, at 2600 N. Carson Street, was a Chinese restaurant once upon a time. It closed long ago, probably in the late 80s although you could convince me that it was open into the early 90s. Ever since then it’s just sat there, ignored. Dennis Hof, of Bunny Ranch fame, bought it several years agoand kicked around the idea of reopening it. He even had the sign replaced with an electronic reader board. The project didn’t get much further than that, though he still owns the apartment building behind the restaurant, which apparently is used as employee housing for the Bunny Ranch.

I think the Golden Dragon is destined to sit for eternity, forgotten. Another restaurant with the same name opened off College Parkway a few years ago, so it can’t reopen under that name. Hof in 2001 was talking about turning it into a tequila bar, but 10 years later who knows how his tastes may have changed. I’ve found the name “Moonlite Road House” attached to the property, but who knows how many years ago that was from. This is one of those ghosts that we just accept nothing is ever going to happen with, and we keep driving by it. Maybe one day we’ll be surprised.

2003 Pictures

I surveyed this building for the original Ghosts of Carson page. Not much has changed since then. They boarded up most of the windows, and blacked out the ones they didn’t board up. Aside from that, it’s hardly changed at all. Here’s the pictures from back then.

8 comments

  1. Way back when, before the Golden Dragon closed, I went there with my girlfriend and we ate there. We were the only customers in the restaurant. The service was good and the food even better. I haven’t a clue why it closed. I heard from the grapevine that the owner or someone connected to the place passed away. It was a neat place.

  2. When Hof purchased this property his intent was to get the codes changed so he could open a topless club there, house the strippers in the apartments and drum up more business for the Bunny Ranch. Needless to say he was unsuccessful and was made aware by now retired/fired/kicked to the curb civil servants that it would take more than him trying to throw his weight around to get the codes changed. I was there and witnessed it first hand.

    He was too stupid to buy property way out on the east side where the codes allow for it and he could have possibly made that club happen. Be thankful he didn’t succeed on either front. If he had he would have had the girls turning tricks out of those apartments ASAP. He is a chickenhawk of the highest order, a lousy businessman and regularly breaks Lyon County law/code every chance and way he can.

    Don’t believe it? All it takes is a trip to the north side of the Bunny Ranch to see how the county codes and laws have been circumvented. He once tried to expand the “X” area of the Bunny Ranch which legally only encompasses the trailers and is the ONLY legal place for a brothel in Lyon County. The people of Mound House stood up and let the County Commissioners know in no uncertain terms they didn’t want expansion. Now, while the oh so grand politicians and regulators of Lyon County look the other way, he has done exactly that, without so much as a special use permit or paying any additional expansion taxes.

    Trust me, you don’t want this clown in your town!

  3. I moved to Carson City from rural northern Nevada in 1982. My parents, when they came to town to vist my children and I,loved to take us to dinner there. They enjoyed chinese food and at that time I don’t think there was one chinese restaurant in Humboldt County. I have a great recollection of ordering our food and I ordered my youngest son(6yrs)milk to drink. He was insistant that he could not have milk with his dinner. When pressed for an explanation of why, he insisted that he did not like chinese milk. I still think of that when I drive by there. My parents are both gone and my son is grown with his own children, but I still have a sweet memory of that place.

  4. Wife and I ate there a few times in the early 90’s it had wonderful food and a very interesting decor. I think it’s still owned by the folks at the Bunny Ranch. The apartments out back were used as a dormitory situation for a few years for Ranch staff. Owners had some battles with NDOT a few years back over proposed median turnouts which when denied stifled Westside commercial development – a staff member of Dennis’ said.
    Saw pretty much the same interiors as you did in your most excellent photo tour. I was acquianted with one of the employees who lived there and worked to put together the NV 50 operation, he was nice enough to give me the same tour of the old resaurant.
    Dennis Hoff had some off beat ideas that could have added some snap to our moribund little community. He and his staff have always been ‘community involved’ and helped us promote some of our events in Lyon County. I’ve always wondered how he might have influenced commercial development in North Carson City.

  5. I remember the Dragon from when we moved here in 1991. I thought it was terrific having a Chinese restaurant so close to home. The decor was elegant and the food wonderful.
    I wish George and Carrie could move their Bamboo Garden restaurant up to the north end from the Raley’s center. They could put some quality life back into the poor building and still not tread on Panda Kitchens territory!

  6. The Golden Dragon was opened in the early 70s by Teddy Chew. He used to run the old Pine Cone Restaurant which was located where Jimmy G’s is now at Carson and Proctor. My Mom loved to go to the Pine Cone so when Teddy Chew opened the Golden Dragon, we went there often. I believe he had a small area in the back of the old Enrico’s Restaurant which was at Carson and Bath. He then built the building on North Carson next to old Flamers Chevrolet. As I recall, The Golden Dragon closed when Teddy Chew died.

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