November's Night Follies
-Bangkok's Night Scene in review
Bangkok, 01 December 2002
William R. Morledge
Every month MIDNITE HOUR reviews the "Night Scene" in each of Bangkok's major Night Entertainment Areas. In these reviews, we provide topical discussion on the Areas in general, and the Entertainment Venues within, to include coverage of those Venues that have newly opened, recently closed, or that have just changed names during the month preceding. But there is an additional underlying motive for MIDNITE HOUR's monthly updates. One of the conceptual cornerstones in the founding of Bangkok Eyes was to provide - via the Internet - a permanent, periodically updated historical record of the Night Entertainment Scene. We have taken note of our readers' enthusiasm in these historical presentations, and will continue, through this column, to provide current, independent and authoritative reporting on Asia's hottest Night Scene.
MIDNITE HOUR presents the Bangkok Night Scene 'history-in-the-making' for
the month ending 30 November, 2002 :
• PATPONG II •Midnight Hour is pleased to advise that the Thai Room, one of the oldest restaurants in one of the oldest Night Entertainment Areas, has reopened after extensive renovations. The Thai Room , one of the 'mollusks' of Patpong, dates back to the Plaza Hotel era and when it originally closed for renovations in September of this year, rumors abounded that had given up the ghost and would soon be transformed into Night Entertainment Venues. The rumors were not without some truth, however, as the north end of the old Thai Room was given up to make way for 2 new lounges (see below). Nevertheless, we welcome the Thai Room -what's left of her- back to the fray.
The first pub to be carved out of the Thai Room, the Wun Pub, is still going strong, however the second, northernmost pub, which had it's soft opening in October of this year has already closed. Never having even hung its shingle out, it shall remain forever nameless.
The 4th floor "Songs of Life" Bua Luang (opposite Foodland) has reopened to join the other Bua Luang outlets on other floors. Karaoke remains the format. Welcome back to the (mostly Thai) scene.
The Ramp seems to have taken a beating this last November. The first of The Ramp's denizens to fall was the DOME Juniority Club. Lights out, doors locked.
The 'Jack Pub & Karaoke was the next one of The Ramp's residents to fall. Only darkened doorways greeted night-time revellers. It even had its own lao-kao drunk asleep on the doorstep. Surely, something can be done about that.
Meanwhile, next door at the Royal Salute Cocktail Lounge there were signs of life, but no signs of any customers. Dust and debris had gathered on the porch area. This is not a healthy sign for a swinging Saturday night...
• PATPONG 2 •
• CLINTON PLAZA •The Plaza's last a-go-go bar, The Doll House closed this November, entirely without fanfare. This was a long term inevitability based on the eventual closure of the Plaza, but its early closure was purely a financial consideration - no customers due to the closing off of many of the areas within, and the Plaza's dwindling ability to draw nighttime crowds. The owners, having foreseen this, opened its sister A Go-Go bar, The Dollhouse on Soi Cowboy in February of this year.
• CLINTON PLAZA •
• TOBACCO ROAD •The front-most bar beer, the Meena Bar was abandoned and littered with windblown trash at the end of November. The tiny bar beer cum pool bar had at best a marginal run since its opening in April under the tentative name Rak Oi.
Bart's Bar, a bar beer-sized air conditioned lounge at the end of the soi, has reopened. Welcome back to the toil.
• TOBACCO ROAD •
• SOI KATOEY •The upstairs bar g-4 Club has reopened after renovations. Welcome back.
Likewise, the Om Trance Club also reopened in November. Welcome back.
Earlier bars on the soi, Speed and Hip Hop were assumed dead and buried, however their resurrection as Speed Hip-Hop R&B was completed in November. From all appearances, the back-and-forth name changes are still ongoing, so let's wait and see how they sort themselves out.
• SOI KATOEY •
• SUKHUMVIT SQUARE •While some of the wind seems to have come out of the Square's sails, this Night Entertainment Area remains the fastest growing Night Venue location in Bangkok. The first of the new arrivals on the scene, U 2 Place has put its barstools out and switched on the colored lights. The 'entrance' is on the Soi 10 side. Bar beer the format. Welcome aboard
Superior Bar also joined the melee in November. Pool Bar is the format. Welcome to the fracas.
Princess Bar has also opened; - without fanfare, but seems to be attracting its share of night-crawlers. Welcome.
October's opening of the Square's first A Go-Go bar never eventuated. Progress has been exceedingly slow, but they have managed to get a tentative sign nailed up out front: Studio 54. It appears that in addition to A Go-Go, they will have pool tables out front. Denizens on the ground there are saying opening day will be closer to the end of December. Seeing is believing.
Last month the Green House was 'under construction'. This month, while activity is still evident, progress is not. We wonder when, or if it will ever open.
In the 77 Sunset bar beer area, the two bar beers under construction in October were demolished during the month of November, never having been completed. However at the front of the area, the new Ninety Nine Bar (99) has put its barstools out and switched on its lights. Hostesses are enthusiastically welcoming passers-by. Pool Bar is the format. Welcome aboard.
Hot Shot appears to have been created out of some of the area belonging to one of the adjacent bars. It faces Sukhumvit; very accessible to passing foot trade. Bar beer is the format. Best of luck.
Also facing Sukhumvit, the renovating Rushour reopened in November, but became another Suzie Bar, sister to the Suzie Bar- just inside, along the west wall. Lets not etch these names in concrete, as Suzie has been doing a lot of name changing since her migration from Suzie & Crazy Bar (now defunct) in Clinton Plaza.
• SUKHUMVIT SQUARE •
• SOI COWBOY •The Las Vegas and the Wet Lips Bar, which both closed in October are being combined into an all new, double-shophouse-wide Cowboy 2 A Go-Go to be the format. Look for it to open around the New Year.. Another example of what goes around, comes around; the original Cowboy 2 closed in June of 1999 to become the Wet Lips Bar.
In October the My Lady Bar changed formats from A Go-Go to Pool Bar. Last month, they knocked down the wall between it and the Country Road, combining the two into a 4-shophouse-wide bar. Keeping the Country Road name, they offer pool, live music and a lounge bar. Another case of deja-vu all over again; in October 1997, Country Road absorbed the old Butterfly to become the Soi's largest bar. Later, in January 2001, the My Lady Bar opened in the same two-shophouse area the Butterfly used to occupy.
• SOI COWBOY •
• COWBOY ANNEX •The Oasis II beer bar has changed names to Lucky Bar. Residing in the 8-Pak, it is now one of two bar beers of that name. After reviewing the name changes in the 8-Pak over the last year, one would not be blamed for suspecting a kind of 'musical chairs' involving bar 'ownership'.
Also in the 8-Pak, the Sanuk 2 has sold out to the new Suay Bar Beer. Welcome aboard.
The Ton Son bar beer at the driveway entrance on Soi 23 has a new sign. It now reads Ton Sone, but this name change is only an attempt to improve the phonetics. Business as usual.
The Hole In One bar beer, which never had a sign, is rumored to become the Sweet Home bar by the end of the year. They are even promising they will put out a sign. Keep on truckin', whoever you are.
The Isisdur, a bar beer in the 4-Pak, also never having had a sign, has sold out to the Honey Bar, which does have a sign. Welcome to the party.
The Request, closed in October, has reopened. Bar beer remains the format. Welcome back.
• COWBOY ANNEX •
• NANA PLAZA •The Lollipop Mermaidium, closed since August 2002 reopened this November with a foreshortened handle: it's now called only Lollipop. This reversion to its pre-August 1996 name seems appropriate now that they have removed its once renown 'mermaid tanks'. It remains A Go-Go indoors, but unless there are changes to the master plan, the previous outdoor bar beer area will be pool tables before the New Year. Welcome back.
The bar that once was the Spider's Web has reopened after a 2 month renovation as the Temptation. Sporting a much improved layout and decor, A Go-Go continues to occupy center stage, as it were. Welcome to the circus.
• NANA PLAZA •
© 2002, Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com
To print this page: