Clinton Plaza - Already dead?
Bangkok, 01 July 02
William R. Morledge
In the 9 June (2002) edition of Midnight Hour, it was noted that;
"Clinton Plaza seems to have stagnated. Original efforts to populate the upstairs with an assortment of Night Entertainment Venues have failed. Plans to ring the parking lot - first with bar-beers, then with 2-storey A-Go-Go bars have never taken off. Existing A-Go-Go bars are lying dormant. I suspect a shake-up is needed, if indeed that is even possible at this juncture."
On 28 June 02, Midnight Hour noticed a large sign posted outside the front of the Clinton Plaza main building. The sign is in Thai, however the summary translation is as follows:
"Notice: Ritchie Center and Supply Company Limited are the sole legal owners of this land and all the buildings on it. Individuals may not enter without first obtaining permission. Failing to do so is breaking the law, and Ritchie Center and Supply Co, Ltd will prosecute those violators to the extent of the law."
It was also noticed by Midnight Hour that the rear parking area (inside the old godown) was closed off, and construction had commenced inside - specifically earth coring works. These engineering works had caused the close-down of the long established Chan's Corner Restaurant. Construction equipment and materials had also surrounded the Suzie & Crazy Beer Bar in front of the godown parking area, although they were still operating - albiet without a sign. (Midnight Hour suspects the sign has already been moved to Suzie & Crazy's new bar across the street at Sukhumvit Square.)
Other bars in Clinton Plaza which were open at the first of June 02 were still in operation on the 28th, and customers, apparently unheeding of the sign, were coming into the premises as usual.
There are a slew of rumors about Clinton Plaza, mostly to the effect that, "Smart money says Clinton Plaza, as a Night Entertainment Area, is a dead man walking." Well, maybe, - and maybe not - however, until verified, Midnight Hour will resist putting anything into to print.
But, rumors aside, there is too much actually going on already - it is certain that Clinton Plaza as we once knew it has already started to undergo considerable change.
Should the "worst case scenario" come to pass and Clinton Plaza does die, it would be the first of the Night Entertainment Areas that sprung up on properties idled by the crash of '97 to succumb to the new rash of construction starts in Bangkok.
Time again for the Midnight Hour monthly roundup of bars "In Transition". Follows is a summary of "births" and "deaths" of bars in the month of June, 2002.
The Pink Piano Bar & Lounge located above Bar & Pub The Pink (old Pink Panther) on Patpong 2 has reopened after a one month closure.
Still on Patpong 2, the Target (a Bua Luang bar) has opened the second floor as a Karaoke.
In Clinton Plaza, the Chan's Corner Restaurant, located in the parking lot, has been closed down due to construction works. Chan's Corner goes way back, before the area was "Clinton Plaza", -even before it was "Entertainment Plaza". Originally, a bar-beer, it changed to a restaurant when the A Go-Go bars came into being - forcing it from the rear of the main building to the rear of the godown parking lot. Only time will tell if Chan's Corner will resurrect itself somewhere else.
In Sukhumvit Square's 8-Pak, Wan's bar-beer has taken over from Eddy's (which never got around to putting up its sign).
Also in Sukhumvit Square, the Oasis has closed; its entire building and outdoor area now being transformed into what could only be called a "multiplex" of bars under a single, large roof. Set to open on or about 1 August, it could be home to as many as a dozen new bar-beers.
Jo Jo's in Sukhumvit Square has completed renovations, however opened up as the Bar Chemo 02; the original Chemo (pronounced; "chay-mow") being next door in the 'Happy Today' 8-Pak.
Just adjacent to the above-mentioned Bar Chemo 02 is the newly opened After Work. Welcome aboard. ( Sukhumvit Square)
The Harry Potter of Sukhumvit Square was to have moved to Sukhumvit Soi 4, however there appears to be some problems. It has reopened in its old location, and is not sure when or even if it will actually relocate.
Still in Sukhumvit Square, the Mooney bar-beer appears to have called it an evening - they have turned out the lights - shutters down and locked.
Bobby's Arms new premisis (5 shophouses wide, ground AND mezzanine floors) on Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4) are now open for business. They were open in time to pack crowds in for the showing of the last few World Cup football matches at their "Long Bar".
The Play on Soi Katoey appears to be open now, but then it has appeared that way before. When are they going to make up their minds?
The Boom bar-beer has reopened in the 8-Pak in Cowboy Annex.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the Cowboy Annex, 'Lolita's Corner' appears to be suffering. Originally intended as a 6-Pak of bar-beers, it now has only two functioning bar beers, one unnamed, and the other the To Day. The boxing ring, which has usurped most of the space under the rooved area, seems to be dead. At least one hopes so; the gambling and sleaze and early demise of its predecessor should have sent warning signals all-round that this type of 'entertainment' does not promote the Night Entertainment business.
The Princess bar-beer in the 4-Pak (Cowboy Annex) has faded into the night, with no one immediately available to take over the premises. The other Princess Bar in the corner of Cowboy Annex is still open, and doing well.
Spanky's Bar 1 has called it an evening. However, the original Spanky's which is just across, on the opposite side of the Cowboy Annex parking area is still open for business.
The Hole In One has just opened in the area previously occupied by the Your Friend. They are still working on putting up the sign. Welcome to Cowboy Annex .
In Nana Plaza, the Sugar Beat bar-beer has closed, and has been demolished. It remains to be seen what will take its place.
On the second floor of Nana Plaza, the Silver Dragon has called it an evening; lights out; shutters down and locked.
Obsession -the inside A Go-Go portion- has reopened (Ground floor Nana Plaza). Most of its transgenderite dancers have returned.
The Cascade on the third floor, Nana Plaza, looks like it has reopened for real this time - with waterfalls working and all.
On Soi Dead Artists (Sukhumvit Soi 33), the 33 Center Pub has reopened after almost 2 months of down-time. Welcome back.
After a relatively long incubation period, the Coconat (Globe Bar) has opened in Queen's Park Plaza on Soi 22. Welcome aboard.
© 2002, Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com
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