We’ve already seen this building on here before. 11 years ago, I did a Ghosts of Carson article about the Golden Dragon Chinese restaurant. This restaurant was located at 2600 N. Carson Street, roughly across the street from Wendy’s and KFC in north Carson. Many people have good memories of the restaurant, as you can see in the comments of the linked article. But the other thing about this restaurant is that it closed in the early 90s, and the building has been empty and abandoned ever since. 30 years of being closed and empty, collecting dust and property tax bills. A few proposals were floated about reopening the restaurant, most notably by Dennis Hof of the Bunny Ranch fame, but nothing ever came of any of it. The windows were boarded up around 2005, that was the biggest change to the building in the three decades.
The Golden Dragon was opened in the early 1970s by Teddy Chew, who also ran the old Pine Cone restaurant downtown. It was custom-built to hold the restaurant, which had previously operated out of the back half of Enrico’s restaurant at 1801 North Carson. It closed down when Teddy Chew died in the 1990s. The pictures I took in 2012 of the building don’t look fundamentally different from the pictures I took in 2003 or 2005.
So imagine the surprise I felt over the last few months when I would drive by and see that there was work being done on the building! Real, actual work! It started with work on the parking lot and then extended to the building itself. Something was definitely being done, which could only mean that a tenant had been found for the building. And this week Carson Now did a story about the new tenant, Roger’s Carpet One, which is moving here from Topsy Lane.
The building has been remodeled, repainted, the front has been spruced up with larger windows and stone columns. It is looking better than it ever has.
But it’s still recognizably the same building. The form of this building has always been unique. With the pitched roof dining room in the center, and the symmetrical lower sections in the front and back. The remodel didn’t seek to change any of that, it just spruced up the look. And just knowing that there’s activity inside is such a strange thought, as is driving by and seeing cars in the parking lot. Even the sign is still the same sign that has been standing guard out front for the last 30 years, waiting to display something new.
Roger’s Carpet has been in business nearly 40 years, so I feel like this isn’t going to be one of those cases where a new tenant flames out and the building becomes empty again. The period of this building being empty is in the past, and it can be stricken off of the list of ghosts.