Bangkok's Night Scene in review
Sukhumvit Square Smashed
- Pre-dawn Mafia Blitzkrieg Destroys All
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This writer has been busy since 26 January preparing stories found elsewhere here on Bangkok Eyes, but as time moves on, and the trashing of the Sukhumvit Square passes from "News" into the realm of "History", I have for the sake of convenience provided the below internal links for those who have not yet read our input to this gangland atrocity. So, - *CLICK here, and Go, -or read on below...
• January's Follies Begin Here... •
• SUKHUMVIT SQUARE •The Square itself may be closed down, but two nights ago, Ms. T --from the now-defunct Made In Heaven bar beer within-- showed up on the sidewalk with a new stainless steel noodle cart costing 20,000 baht. She and three of her staff had brought some folding tables and plastic stools which they set out on the sidewalk beside the noodle cart. Cold beer, soft drinks and cold bottles of Bacardi's were available for the usual prices. Ms T says that a string of Christmas lights, costing 180 baht & some more tables and chairs, are on the way this week, to be followed by a small barbeque to make pork sate to eat with your beer. Since then, at least one other ex-bar owner has set up along side her. The judicial system may be in shambles, law enforcement may be a cartoon, and we may have got more than just a glimpse of the other side of Asian Values' face, but Free Enterprise is not to be beaten down.
• SUKHUMVIT SQUARE •
• PATPONG II •The Top Less Sport Bar has updated its name to the Top Less Pool Bar. Everything else remains the same. Keep on truckin'.
The on-again, off-again lounge next to the Wun Pub was open at the end of January. It still doesn't have a name - a 'name' being one of those basic requirements you'll need if you intend to market your product... Just thinking outloud...
It looks like the Ramp's Dome Juniority Club has switched the lights off and slipped the key under the door for the last time (this is the second time in three months). No customers - maybe no one knew what a 'Juniority' was...
Also on the Ramp, one of the 'Originals' - the Three Ladys Cocktail Lounge has sprung back into action. Welcome back to the battlefield.
• PATPONG II •
• NANA PLAZA •The Three Roses Bar, one of the three vanguard bars that 'opened' Nana Plaza, is closed for renovations. Suspect it'll be reopening around the end of February.
• NANA PLAZA •
• SOI COWBOY •Tony's, which was closed with a 'For Lease or Sale" sign on it in September '02, opened up again in December. The end of January saw darkened doorways and shuttered windows once again. The "For Sale" sign is back up. Hope they had a good New Year's Eve.
December's crack-down on Soi Cowboy got the Long Gun. Perhaps taking a lesson from The New A-Go-Go Duck down the road, they are now sporting both signs again. The unlit sign on the marquee says Lucky Star , the neon one reading; 'Long Gun '. Now, they won't have to change their website. Keep on rockin'..
Likewise, the December crackdown netted the After Skool Bar for using other than the registered name. They complied with a large (unlit) "Sunshine " sign up on the marquee - in time to open for New Year's Eve - however now they have also hung a smaller plastic sign out reading, "After Skool Bar ". Business as usual here, too.
• SOI COWBOY •
• COWBOY ANNEX •In the 8-Pak, the Unit Bar has changed names to the Siamese Twins. This bar beer changes names about every 2 months or so. It looked busier than I had previously seen it, so maybe it will be around for a while. Welcome to the fray.
In the adjacent 4-Pak, Fantasy Thailand bar beer has reopened (again). Welcome (again).
Also in the 4-Pak, the previously unoccupied fourth bar has now opened up as 'Lady Bar'. They are expecting they will earn enough during the coming month to buy a sign. Good luck, gang.
The tiny pool bar next to the Funny Bar, which has been there since May 2000 has taken on a name at last; 'Funny Pool Bar '. Yes, it's related.
• COWBOY ANNEX •
• SOI DEAD ARTISTS •The Chelsea bar is closed, and renovations are proceeding furiously. An 'employees wanted' sign is in the window, so there are signs of life. Look for it to open at the end of February.
The up-market As Found bar/restaurant is closed. Windblown leaves collect on the doorsill. Uncollected newspapers stacking up on the lawn (just kidding). 'Sale' signs taped to the inside of the glass doors (not kidding). Opening only in August last year, it had a very short run. It did, however, mark the start of Nighttime Entertainment development on the last stretch of the Soi, starting at the last sub-soi, going back to the cross-street; since its opening, a couple more restaurants have opened up a little deeper in the Soi.
The Kosu Mosu Japanese Club was closed tighter than a new keg of sake. Lights on inside (it's usually dark), looking very forlorn. Closure may have only been for the Lunar New Year however, so will let you know...
• SOI DEAD ARTISTS •
• WASHINGTON SQUARE •A new Japanese club, the Tochu Chakaba, opened up next door to the Texas Lone Star . Welcome to the Square.
Crystal Bar in the center section, has reopened. Business as usual.
• WASHINGTON SQUARE •
• QUEEN'S PARK PLAZA •The O.B. 1 Bar, closed last month (ostensibly for New Year's) is now open again. Welcome back to the tussle.
Likewise, the Divas has switched on its Christmas light sets and neon sign again. Good to see you back.
One More Bar a tiny bar beer that was next to the O.B. 1 Bar closed last month but never reopened. It looks like the O.B. 1 has absorbed its real estate.
The Maxx sports bar is up and running once again after a New Year's closure. Back to the fray.
• QUEEN'S PARK PLAZA •
• SOI KATOEY •Rumor out on the Soi (entirely unconfirmed) is that Tony (Tony's in Pattaya) will soon begin renovations on the old Rome Club, which has lain fallow, mysteriously, since October 1999. No one knows whether the new place will be both sides of the Soi or not. The new place, as yet unnamed, will not cater to any particular persuasion.
• SOI KATOEY •
• CLINTON PLAZA •"Case", one of the original developers of Clinton Plaza, is said to be expanding Bush Gardens (above the Thermae). Expansion will be outward on the ground floor to give him more street frontage. The photo shop will move to the other side of the entrance way. The second stage to his expansion plan, or so the rumor goes, will be the identical area on the 2nd floor, making Bush Gardens his second 2-storey pool bar.
• CLINTON PLAZA •
The wildest and most persistent of the rumors on Sukhumvit these days is (entirely unconfirmed) that "somewhere" on Sukhumvit Road, a complex will be built to rival Nana Plaza, and that one of Nana's major players intends to monopolize the ground floor of this as-yet-nonexistant bar area. Sounds like Pie-In-The-Sky, but then, only time will tell.
• The No-News-Is-Good-News Dept.•It's status-quo-ante for the following Night Entertainment Areas:
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