Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sea Dragon Club

Larry "Skip" Byler provided these menu pages from the Sea Dragon Club, which I think may have also been known as the Fleet Reserve Club. I don't believe that it was still there when I arrived in 1973, but I can't swear to that. He wrote:

The Sea Dragon Club (Navy Club) was several blocks south of the downtown Lin Kou Club, on the west side. I remember that the Suzi Wong Bar was across the street. A lot of R&R guys went there and they had a live band most nights. I can't remember the band leader's name, but I recall that they were all from the Phillipines.


Anonymous said...

What was the restaurant on the compound? China Pavillion, maybe? I remember seeing a huge rat (weren't they all huge?)scurry all the way across the restaurant while I was eating my fried rice. The place was packed, but I'm not sure anyone else saw it, as I didn't hear any shrieking.

Anonymous said...

I went to the Sea Dragon on R&R from Vietnam in 1970. When I went to Taiwan on assignment in 5/73 no one knew of it.
If anyone can give you directions where it was I would appreciate it.
My memory says in was towards downtown off of Chung Shan Road?

Don said...

If this was in fact the Fleet Reserve Association club, I'm told that it was located a few blocks south of the HSA compound.

I'm posting a note from Bill Thayer tomorrow morning in which he describes the place after it moved to another location.

Anonymous said...

Wow, look at those prices!

What year is the menu from?

Don said...

I believe that Larry said the menu was from 1969.

There's a quick calculator at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website that allows you to compare a dollar amount from years past and compare it to what it would cost you to buy the same thing today after years of inflation:

If you spent 35 cents on a cheeseburger in 1969, that would be about the same as paying $2.03 today. That would be a great deal at someplace like Applebees, but not much of a deal at McDonalds.

titojohn said...

The place was originally the Fleet Reserve Association Club, and commonly referred to as the Navy Club. From what I remember the Fleet Reserve Association Club lost its tax exempt status from the local authorities sometime around 1968, and had to cease operations of the club located at the end of Nongan St (right off of Chung Shan N. Rd.) At that time the operation was taken over by the Navy Exchange and renamed Sea Dragon Club. After having to close at the previous location, the Fleet Reserve Club restructured and relocated to Tienmu.
The Sea Dragon was going strong as one of the places for the Vietnam troops to go while on R&R in Taipei starting around 1969. I believe the R&R center and mini-exchange were located there. The last time I was in the club was in December 1971 while on R&R from Vietnam. I'm guessing the club closed around the time of our ceasing operations in Vietnam.

John Quinn
USTDC J-6 \63-64, 66-68

Anonymous said...

.15 cents for a beer in 1969 is equivalent to about .90 cents today....a bargain!

FreeAt60 said...

The band leader's name was Conrad,
a VERY good replica of Ricky Riccardo from "I Love Lucy". The
(prt-time) MC in '68-'69 was named Tom.

Don said...

By 1973, Conrad had relocated his band to the Club 63, which became the China Seas Club.