Bangkok's Night Scene In Review
Soi 19 in focus
- A LITTLE SOI, A LITTLE ACTION
Coyote Dancing - Oh, ya !
Tsunami Backwash -How Bizzarre
The GRAFFITI Page - New !
Rumor Of The Month
NOVEMBER's Follies in review
....continued.... Return to our feature story,
'Soi 19 in focus'
- A LITTLE SOI, A LITTLE ACTION
There was a time when you said 'Soi 19', you meant the Honey Hotel. They were synonymous. In the late '60's and early '70's the Honey Hotel was the only thing on that soi to attract the expats. The "The Honey" is one of the few remaining mollusks on the Bangkok 'scene'.
(MIDNITE HOUR will not have a Rumor Of The Month for the month of NOVEMBER 2005. -Ed.)
MIDNITE HOUR presents the NEWS on the Bangkok Night Scene; - the 'history-in-the-making' for all major Night Entertainment Areas - for the month ending 1 NOVEMBER, 2005 :
PATPONG IThe "Why Would They Bother?" Department; the Camelot Castle has been just that: Camelot Castle since they bought out the old Butterfly Bar videotheque A-Go-Go in January of '95 and opened their doors that February. Now, all of a sudden, they would like it -thank you very much- if you would call them King Camelot. Whatever makes them feel warm and fuzzy.... Like we said, why would they bother? PATPONG I
The King's Lounge (on Soi Bookstore) re-re-opened in March this year, and we were wondering how long it would be before they started pushing the "Disco" thing again. Well, in August, they changed the sign and had an "everybody welcome" night - once again a "Disco". Apropos earlier comments on Bangkok's Sign Gestapos , it looks as though the King's Lounge "Disco" was paid another visit. The bureaucratic gremlins have made up their collective micro-mind - they do not want to see the word, "Disco" anywhere at all. (And we thank them for sparing us the moral indignity of having to see that repulsive word appear in public.) We passed by the other night to see their umpteenth brand-new signage.
Mike's Place (Spanky's), located, deeply, beside Foodland, has reopened, but a peek inside would have you shaking your head. It looks like Hurricane Andrew had been through and back again. Might it be they are concentrating on their Spanky's pool bar out on Patpong II's thoroughfare? Keep on keeping on. PATPONG I I
The bar beer just out in front of Bar & Pub The Pink (Pink Panther) that we reported closed in August has reopened. They have done a good job on the renovations - a first-class interior. But the newly renovated bar beer makes no bones about it - they are the "Pink Panther Bar" and they don't care if it hare-lips the Pope. With all the recent cracking down by Bangkok's Sign Gestapos, let's see just how long this rather hard-to-miss bit of neon lasts... (We note that they have been pounced upon by the authorities several times before for use of this particular copyrighted name.)
PATPONG I I
And while we are on the subject of Bangkok's Sign Gestapos, the Coyoty Spicy Girls, which opened their newly renovated doors in August, are now, and once again, displaying their old name, Tik Ko (but defiantly keeping the new Coyoty neon up as well.) We like their illegitimi non carborundum attitude - keep it up, ladies. PATPONG I I
NANA PLAZARoadhouse bar beer renovated and reopened in August - sans neon. To date, they have yet to come up with any signage whatsoever, but like their sister bar Alibi, just next door, this hasn't seemed to slow them down any. Keep on rockin'. NANA PLAZA
Obsession A-Go-Go is down for the count - this is no ordinary "closed for renovations", as we were told by the owner. It has been closed since July - somewhere, there is a dirty little secret - and if you know, please don't tell us. We note their outside bar beer is as busy as ever, however. NANA PLAZA
SOI COWBOYPop quiz: When is the Five Star 2 not the Five Star 2 ? Answer : "When it is closed yet again by the Men In Too-Tight Uniforms on yet another trumped-up infringement." We received notification from the Five Star 2 (Deja Vu) management which read, in part: -
"Can we believe it?" - oh, ya. Lest we forget - if the tiny minds in high places want you, they will find a way to get you. Let's hope that this will be the last of the Deja Vu's torments at the arbitrary hands of our mostly-bent Men In Tan...
SOI DEAD ARTISTS(Soi 33)The Richmond opened it's doors in December of 2000, amid one of Soi Dead Artists' mini building booms. They appeared to be holding their own against the competition, so we were a little surprised when we passed by mid-month and not only had they failed to make roll call that night, there were strangers in there making modifications to this and that... Greener pastures, guys. SOIDEADARTISTS
...But as soon as the sawdust cleared from what was the Richmond, we saw that new tenants were already ensconced and leaning forward in their foxholes, waiting to roll out the red carpet for what would be Bangkok's newest Irish pub. When we passed by last night, the Shamrock Irish Club had already hit the ground running. May there be a four-leafed shamrock, or two, there amongst them...
We must admit the Casablanka (sic) had a bevy of beauties out on the front steps the other night. Our night vision lense caught them out - waiting to entice the (mostly Japanese) custom into having a drink or two.
The Karaoke Sakura 33, which recently (February) opened just above the Oliver reed's Club (R Club) has given up the dream. They have been absorbed by the downstairs R Club - from which they originally spawned. -Ashes to ashes - so be it, then.... SOIDEADARTISTS
The My Typewriter Made Me Do It Dept. Part I. Last month, I made a meticulous note to myself so I wouldn't forget to inform one and all that the Arsom Sabai Massage on Sub-soi 5 had gone walkabout. I then meticulously forgot to put it in last month's column. In that I don't make mistakes, this is largely the maid's fault.... SOIDEADARTISTS
SOI KATOEYLast month, we noted that the Roxy Bar & Club had some brand new neon - not to replace the old, but in addition to the old. Inasmuch as we promised to get back to you, we hear -from the horses mouth- that this is the name of the in-house dance troupe. We also note that they have gone back to mostly all cushions on the outside wooden sidewalk - and the place looked full once again last week. Like they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. For those wondering... the clientele, like the waiters, are mostly gay, but hetero couples and straights seem to enjoy the outside cushions while they sip their drinks and watch the passing parade. Let it rip...
The Hip Bar has pulled up stakes, pulled down neon, and pulled out. The doorway that once led to their upstairs premises has been closed down and neighboring venues have put their paraphernalia and whiskey signs up in what once was the Hip Bar's sidewalk area. Like it was never even there.... SOIKATOEY
The "My Typewriter Made Me Do It - Part II" Dept. Last month we dug up a file photo of Orchid Massage with a mind to publish it - along with a note that it had gone the way of the dodo. Well, somehow demons invaded my computer and erased it - at almost the exact same time my dog ate my homework, so we will publish it this month, instead. The good news is that Orchid Massage has popped up out of their crypt and have continued to march without missing a beat.
The Balcony have made it at least semi-official - they have installed permanent signs across the street in the area they have been using for some time as expanded bar beer space (in front of the old Rome Club). Or should we call them "Balcony The" ? -Have you noticed the artsy phartsy way they write the name on their neon?
QUEEN'S PARK PLAZA
As we stood and watched, The Captain's Inn reeled in the red carpet and threw the upturned chrome barstools onto the bar. -And it wasn't even midnight. Next, a quick lockdown, and they vanished into the night. Was it something we said? Should we change our mouthwash? We'll put a marker down on this one and check back - surely they weren't closing closing, like, doing the chicken? QUEEN'SPARKPLAZA
SUKHUMVIT 1 PLAZAOK, you wannabe Asia Hands, if you're really as worldly as you're putting on, tell me what "Coyote Dancing" is... You don't know, do you, you raggedy bunch of left-footed Bangkok hillbillies? Suffice it to say, we had no idea what it meant, either. The newly opened First Avenue (in the old Chemo 01 digs) now has Coyote Dancing. The best way to describe it is: - Coyote Dancing is to A-Go-Go as soft porn is to porn. This may not interest us hard-cores, but the intended market will be tour groups, mostly Asian, who will be brought in by the busload - should all go to plan. And if all does go to plan, it could be good for the rest of the Plaza as well, which according to all accounts, is still a little slow. We wish First Avenue all aces and faces as they cast their lot with the rest...
SOI EDENEveryone on the Soi seems to be getting into the act - the massage act, that is. Now the Blue Star offers strong hands, lots of aromatic oil - and perhaps even suds. Keep on a-slippin' and a-slidin'.
The newly expanded World Kitchen -an adjunct to the World Hotel- is an indoor-outdoor cafe cum bar beer. The bar beer part kicks into high gear after the main restaurant shuts down. The sole waiter and waitress beckoning customers over to have a drink have an uphill run ahead of them, however, as virtually the only people doing business on the Soi -as bars- have hostesses. Perhaps the World Kitchen should have first observed the underwhelming amount of business the Maxim Bar Beer isn't doing... Nevertheless, we wish them luck as they lurch into the Nightlife maelstrom. SOIEDEN
OTHER NIGHTSPOTS OF NOTEIn case you've missed it, this is the restaurant that has been at the center of all the notoriety. The Tsu Nami Japanese Restaurant has been alternately cast as "in bad taste", "sick" and "committing entrepreneurial opportunism". A little harsh, don't you think? Restauranteurs aren't out to capitalize on the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, only journalists stoop to that sort of thing....
NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS DEPT.
--- Datzit Fernow
William R. Morledge