The Seven Seas
Location: Edmonton, AB
Owned by: Eight Partners
The Seven Seas restaurant in Edmonton was the largest restaurant in western Canada.
It had a staff of about 100 and seated approximately 750 people in its three dining areas. Eight business partners – George Derwee, Der Cyl, Der Fong, Jim Louie, brothers David, Harry and Louie Fong, and Dr. George Wong - opened the restaurant in 1948. Derwee and Der Fong ran the kitchens, while the other partners looked after the dining rooms and front of house. Each dining area had its own kitchen–one serving Canadian food, another Chinese food, and the third salads and desserts. Food for each kitchen was prepared in the basement.
Diners entering the Seven Seas walked into a café that sat up to 150 people. A dining room accommodating 200 opened off to the right. It featured ocean-inspired décor and a full menu of Canadian and Chinese-Canadian dishes. A large banquet room at the back seated another 200. It hosted many wedding receptions, community group dinners and banquets.
The Seven Seas was not just a really big restaurant. It offered a number of theme rooms, including the Waikiki Dining Lounge, the Outrigger Lounge, and the Crow’s Nest Lounge on a mezzanine floor. The restaurant was a popular hangout for the Edmonton Eskimos in the 1950s and hosted many dinners for student groups from the University of Alberta.
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