It’s the Godzilla of nightlife in Thunder Bay. Well actually, it’s the three headed dragon that is Godzilla’s arch enemy— bigger and golden. The new King Ghidrah that is located above Sovereign Room, (ya I always wondered what was up that magical, twisty staircase as well), is a super sleek lounge that combines sultry Asian design elements with a relaxed energy and style.
The intimate, modern space, that you might have known as the Dragon Lounge back in the day, is bathed with Sakura accents, emerald blue bench seating, and exposed original gold walls, giving guests a circa 1950’s vintage vibe with a touch of mystery.
The project has been three years in the making, lead by owner Scott Arnot and the Sov team, along with a very recognizable chef in the city. As soon as you step up through the iron gates into the lounge, you will experience a place much different than any other location in Thunder Bay, with multiple tables, bar seating, a raised lounge area, complete with a Maneki-neko waving cat. “It’s a place you can come after work and stay all night. I want people to come in and relax, feel like they are in no hurry and be able to do it all—eat, drink, talk, and even dance. I fully encourage the dancing;” explained Marie Skaf, Front of House Manager (and one of the visionaries behind the entire location, but is far too humble to say so).
Equipped with turn tables and a dance floor, DJs will perform regularly in the back of the space (which is most likely where you’ll find me- dancing up a storm). King G serves up not only a fun and tasteful ambiance, but has also concocted a playful yet refined cocktail list for you to indulge in, with my favourite being the Sweet Pea. The brilliant drink that has a hue of bright purple, is a butterfly pea tea infused with gin, lemon juice, Thai basil syrup and soda. I would also recommend the Moon Rabbit that not only tastes heavenly but looks the part as well, or my go-to —a glass of wine. The wine list, specially curated by local Sommelier Cale Graydon (how cool of a job is that), includes a unique variety of international vinos. “It features more lighter to medium reds and whites, with a lot of character and acidity to match the spice and eclectic flavours on the menu.” said Graydon.
Speaking of menu, another real appeal to this late night hot spot is of course the FOOD. Staying true to the location’s roots, King Ghidrah adds to the culinary landscape in Thunder Bay, bringing a Pan-Asian inspired menu to the heart of the city. Using novel flavours and texture combinations, Head Chef Jennifer Sauve (who you may know from Lincoln Street Eatery), has created a variety of unique small plate dishes with Sous Chef Riley Marsh, that are bound to bring you back for more. With these two at the helm, there’s guaranteed creativity that they refer to as the “Ghidrah twist” (which I think can also be a new dance).
Highlighting the menu are items from the Yakitori grill, the ultimate finger food. “Yakitori literally translates to skewered chicken. It refers to the process of grilling over smokeless charcoal that is quite traditional in Japan. Lamb, duck…Yakitori bars are getting really creative about the items they put on the grill,” said Sauve.
You can also customize your experience by creating your very own Omakase platter, choosing your skewers and sides that makes the ultimate sharing dish and date night, and I think really puts the fun back into dining. (If you are feeling really adventurous, just let your server order for you.)
“The food is completely different from anywhere else. The Shrimp Bao—I’ve been making those buns for twenty years on my own, and I finally found a home for them. They belong on this menu,” continued Sauve. “Other items like the Loco Moco, a traditional Hawaiian dish, is also getting a lot of attention. It features a five-spice short rib patty, mushroom gravy, house made klik and a fried duck egg, which happens to be a very common lunch that people eat all of the time in Hawaii.”
Insanely delicious cuisine, stunning interior design, a great hip hop album, and a passion for quality cocktails …All hail King Ghidrah! Open Thursday (6:00 pm- 1:00 am), Friday and Saturday evenings (6:00 pm – 2:00 am), with the kitchen serving up dishes until 11:00 pm.
Mostly all photography by DZ Photography. Some by me 🙂