Back in April,
MIDNITE HOUR noted that the hammers and saws
were flying in the recently closed G.T. Color Lab, and
that we would give you a come-back. Early this last June, the Xtra Time Bar rolled up it's green shutters revealing a very
comfortable Lounge Bar. Every time we have been by, it has been full - we
will have to test-drive the place this coming month. Also run by Vinai. Do what you do, do well....
For bar owners at
the Soi Zero Night Entertainment Area (Tobacco Road) ,
(and waiting, and waiting) is over. On 01 June, hours after
we went to press last month, the Department of Legal Enforcement posted
to all within the Soi Zero
premises to vacate forthwith, - (see 2nd photo, below). By
the 9th of June, all had complied - leaving the former Expat
Night Entertainment Area a ghost town.
"Tobacco Road" Zapped
BANGKOK's FIRST 'BAR BIER' AREA GONE
First In, Last Out
The last item remaining in this recently
bar is this Chinese 'Happy Buddha'
This Bar Beer Area, 'born' in 1988, was known
originally as Tobacco Road
, it was also known variously as Soi
Rot Fai, then Buckskin Joe Village
(at two different stages), Soi Machim
, the Bangkok Night Plaza Bar Beer
Center & Night Market (try telling that to a taxi driver),
and most recently, Soi Zero.
Perhaps the most common Sign Of The
Times in recent years is the closing down of another
Bar Beer Area.
summary, the above court order, from the South Bangkok
Civil Court, cites the original case from three years ago, and says that the
Expressway Authority of Thailand's suit to evict the defendants from Expressway lands
be upheld, and the defendants, (Sri Chamanant Ltd., a private individual,
and the Kasekorn Thai Bank), shall vacate the premises below the
Expressway at this location. It was posted conspicuously at Soi Zero on 01 JUN 2006 by the Division of
Legal Enforcement, Department of Justice.
Kasekorn Thai Bank ??)
But the handwriting on the wall at
Soi Zero had been there for a full 2 1/2 years - we had
received the buzz from several of the expat bar owners as early as December 2003, who asked if
we knew of other bar beer areas with properties available. (Our Rumor Of The Month in January of 2004 read:
has prepared a Photo Essay and added the final chapters
to our Thumbnail History of the Tobacco Road Night Entertainment Area. For
those who would like to read (and view) further, click on the link immediately below.
"When the current lease holder at Soi Zero
(Tobacco Road) is terminated in January 2004, the Government (owners) will close
it down instead of reissuing new lease documents."
AFTERNOON A GO-GOs
Pattaya's Nightlife Scene not only dwarfs Bangkok's in sheer numbers,
it has another dimension unseen in Bangkok - daytime A Go-Go
dancing. To be sure, only a small percentage of the A Go-Go bars are
opening in the afternoon (most open at 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.), but there are enough of them around - if you
know where to look - to indicate that the farang locals and tourists do in fact have an
appreciable "afternoon appetite" for what is otherwise referred to as "Night Entertainment".
Tahitian Queen is the "Grand-daddy" of them all when it comes to daytime
A Go-Go - which shouldn't be surprising, considering it is the oldest A Go-Go
bar in Pattaya. This bar sets the standard by which the other afternoon
A Go-Gos are compared. Located in Central Pattaya on Beach
MIDNITE HOUR has recently (last week)
completed a survey, for the most part, in the South Pattaya area, and we have selected a few
afternoon A Go-Go bars which might be of interest to the reader.
LEAVES BANGKOK BEHIND
As if further proof were needed that
Bangkok is in relative decay, The Roof,
recently opened on Walking Street
. Having taken a page out of the upstairs Russian Bar format across
the way, they have brought "window dancing" down to the Ground
Floor. -And, yes, they are 'coyote dancers', and if you buy them a drink,
they will dance at your table, or barstool until they collapse in a pool of their own
perspiration. For better, or for worse, this is an innovation that couldn't
happen in Bangkok - and it is gathering a lot of attention.
How Much Is That
Dolly In The Window? We don't know, but if you want to take her
out for a walk, you'll have to pay an 800 Baht escort fee to get her out the door.
Covent Gardens, already home to four A Go-Go bars, now has a 5th -
the Images A Go Go opened this
June. It is an upstairs-downstairs place, still smelling of fresh paint when we
visited. But this is not the
NEWS at Covent Garden this
month..... What is happening behind the scene -literally- is immediately behind and
adjacent to Covent Gardens, they are in the process of
demolishing about 15 - 20 homes and other structures to make way for an expansion project on the order of
twice the size of the original, now existing Covent Gardens.
The Sales Office is open, and 12-year leases are going for
6.5 million baht - and the buyer will have the option as to whether it will be an A Go-
Go. Expected completion - mid-2007. Get 'em while
ASK US (ALMOST)
Has that .... massage parlour 'Bangkok Teen',
closed down? Now the website shows the message
Closed'. Does this just refer to the website, or the (God Forbid) parlour itself?
The Teen Massage (old website name 'Bangkok Teen') on
Soi Dead Artists has not closed
down, But they do have a new website address
( http://www.geocities.jp/bkkteen/ )
and a brand new bit of neon - both of which are more Japanese
oriented. They also now have a new branch on Sukhumvit Soi 24.
? ASK US
(ALMOST) ANYTHING !
answer virtually any (reasonable) question on the
Entertainment Scene in Bangkok - be it Historical or very
us an e-mail and we will do our best to answer you soonest.
- In the LAND OF SMILES -
This month the MIDNITE HOUR awards the "Thai Smile" to a young A Go-Go dancer working near
Walking Street, South Pattaya.
WALKING STREET, SOUTH PATTAYA
IDNITE HOUR presents our monthly
recap of the
Bangkok's Expat Night Scene.
Let the July 2006 Follies begin...
A couple of months ago, we included a photo of the
Patpong II sign, which looked like it was on it's last
legs. This month we include a photo of the
Patpong I sign, which is in almost as great a state of disrepair. We
thought it worth including in the Historical Archives before someone takes it down, or replaces it.
Back in February of this year, the King's Lounge (2nd fl, Soi
Bookstore) closed for the umpteenth time - a perpetual failure for all the right (wrong)
reasons. A few days ago, the Tip-Top
2 Restaurant opened there and they may have a winning
combination. Although advertised as a "Restaurant", it is not - it is a
Poolbar Lounge, with music quiet enough to carry on a conversation. There are
hostesses, but no hustle, no hassle. Oh, and if you are hungry, you
can order from the regular Tip Top menu, at regular prices. On asking the
manager the obvious, he confirmed that the original Tip Top is in fact a King's Group property.
SuperStar's Tiger Beer rep escapes the raucous rock 'n roll by stepping out onto
the sidewalk for a moment to make a quick call.
King's Castle I A Go-Go is the latest King's
Group Nitespot to spruce up it's neon. Lookin' good.
Well, the wait is over - the Bar & Pub The Pink, which you knew as The Pink Panther, has been reopened as just plain Pink. No A Go-Go, however there is a
wooden dance floor, and there are hostesses in hotpants, halter tops and boots who either are, or
are not coyote dancers, depending on who you ask. There is also no
"upstairs" any longer - at least for public use. Although it is open-sided, and open
fronted, it is still being air conditioned - a growing tendency these days : how economical can that be....
A comfortable lounge, with the subtle Pink
Panther graphics worked into the decor. We were told, quietly, that they would
be reverting to their original name in the near future (in spite of the Thai signage which confirms the
name to be "Pink".)
This is a shot of their new corner doorway (there are two
others), showing off the new "Pink"
Immediately next door, is another brand-new and very
well-appointed Poolbar Lounge, also open-fronted and
air conditioned (using air curtains to help contain the cool air). The owner says he will
name it either Bangkok Bar or Vodka. He says he is leaning
toward 'Bangkok Bar', nevertheless, we
thought 'Vodka' was the catchier
name. Wait and see.
A view across the front of the bar from the lounge area.
the single pool table at the far end.
Looking out the open front at the sidewalk, and
beyond. A PR hostess waits to greet incoming customers.
PATPONG I I
It looks like the fat lady has sung at the
(4th fl., Cosmo's stairwell)
. Open in December 2003, it was a late night (mostly local) venue - never really
that busy. Just to be sure, we will check back this month to see if they have reopened
- as sometimes happens with these quieter, out-of-the-way
PATPONG I I
We swore we would not mention the
bloody World Cup
, but to ignore
it would be to ignore the significant impact that it has had on the Night
. While many of the bars have suffered, others
hastily found an English
language broadcast by which to draw expat
customers out of
their homes. Other Night Venues
such as pubs, have done a land-office, SRO business on the night of the big
games. Below, the Tilac Bar
entertains outdoors with the England-Argentina
Kanjana Bar Beer's
entire frontage on Soi
is blocked by motorcycle taxis
-And as can be
seen, by the motorcycle louts
themselves. It's a wonder the bar
is still in business. We don't know why the authorities haven't done
something about this ! (Yes, we do....)
day-and-night bar beer
is giving a boost to the Hillary Bar II
, just down the soi, who will be hosting the
"Folk" group Carabao
this Sunday (2 July).
The 3rd floor
Hollywood Strip Rock & Roll
has refurbished it's neon. It now
reads, Hollywood Strip Dance Theque Coyote
. We stuck our heads in last night, and we saw the same old
- guess you could say, "Same-same, only same-
" The term "coyote dancing
" is going the way of "Sky-
" - no one really knows what it means, but everyone likes to be seen using it....
has gone sideways again. According to a flash report from
Dave the Rave
, the partners are feuding yet
again. Let's hope Pretty Acts
their act together sooner than later.
Arsom Sabai Thai Traditional Massage has gone on the advertising offensive - they have 3
prominent new bits of neon to guide customers unerringly to their doors. As with
most traditional massages in this area, there is sufficient ambiguosity to keep a wide variety of
customers coming by They are located on Sub-soi 4, almost all the way
down Soi Dead Artists, then turn
right. Keep on a-slippin' and a-slidin'.
SOI DEAD ARTISTS
It took a while for the old Lucky Luciano Club digs to get off the dime, but someone is in
there with hammers and saws creating a hell of a din. The sign
(below photo) taped on the window is advertising for oil masseuses.... We'll
lay a marker down on this one and get back atcha.
SOI DEAD ARTISTS
Mojo's has just finished a rather large expansion - they have taken over the next door
premises (ex: Jina 33 Club) and drug all sorts
of pool tables into it - we hadn't seen a round pool table before.... When those
Night Entertainment Venues first opened along that row, the
leases/ rentals were outrageously expensive; the rainy-season realities have probably started to settle
in..... May they continue to prosper at the feet of the night-gods.
SOI DEAD ARTISTS
A has arrived (in the basement, next door to
The Londoner Brew Pub in the old
Matrix digs). The good news is that it is not the Matrix. The bad news, is that the "house
band" (our use of the term, 'band' here strains credibility to the breaking point) was so loud
that the waitress kindly, thoughtfully, suggested we order before going in. If you
decide to go, take her suggestion to heart. The black-light bowling alley is still in
operation, and at the back, the restaurant has a decent menu (where you should go in any case, if you intend
to retain your hearing). Nevertheless, welcome to the briar patch.
SOI DEAD ARTISTS
The big news on the Soi
this last month was the closing of Roxy Bar &
Club. From all appearances they were on a roll, what with
farang DJs, a 'cabaret' show, and their unique outside floor-cushion
seating. Nevertheless, tank, they did. We hope they find things
more to their liking a little further on down the road a piece.
Xcentrix has given up any ghost of a chance they had of reopening after their January (this
year) closure, and are once again making a concerted effort to sublease.
Moe's has changed hands, but it has changed from good hands to
good hands, so if you are a Moe's
regular, you can expect the same raucous times. The rock still rocks, and the roll still
The DC-10 II
(2nd floor) has fired up the boilers and rolled out the red carpet once
again. But this is a new mob behind the bar, so we can expect a change of neon in the
very near future. Break a leg, ladies.
SUKHUMVIT 1 PLAZA
You just can't keep a good bar beer down. No
sooner had Morgan Bar finished cleaning up
the scraps across the way at Tobacco Road, than they
dragged the sign over and up the stairs and continued to march. They had their
opening night party on the 29th June and are welcoming all their old customers back to the
trough. Let 'er rip, then...
SUKHUMVIT 1 PLAZA
Also gone, but not gone, is the
Classic Bar Beer (those of you who frequented Tobacco
Road will recognize the neon shingle). They have also picked up the
manageress from the Wanida while they were
at it. Pool Bar is also the modus operandi at this 2nd floor
bar. Welcome to the other side of the tracks - you'll find the piranha-pool here much
the same though....
SUKHUMVIT 1 PLAZA
Thai Thai Karaoke is definitely for Thai clientele - it looks
more like a local restaurant than a karaoke lounge. It is located on the 2nd floor in the
old Friends Bar
digs. We understand they are under the same ownership as the Junk Pub, across the walkway and next
door. Wish them well as they step into the line of fire.
SUKHUMVIT 1 PLAZA
Assuming the helm from First Avenue (which failed as a coyote dancing joint, then as a pool
bar) is the Infinity.
Pool Bar remains the operative descriptor here (1st
floor). Welcome to the big uphill.
SUKHUMVIT 1 PLAZA
If you've seen less of the flower-selling, pickpocketting Brat Pack on Sukhumvit Soi 4 lately, it's because they have set up Field
HQ at the top of Soi Eden
. We snapped this photo moments after about a dozen urchins finished up their
bowls of noodles, and started out from their dinner break onto Sukhumvit Road.
They are still up to their old antics, by the way - the smaller children grab and hang
on, while the bigger kids angle in to see how close they can get. A word to the wise -
do not tolerate being touched - insist that they keep their distance. Yes, they do very
plainly understand that, if told forcefully.
Lover Shot Bar is either being renovated or it is falling apart. Perhaps
both. As we walked up onto the wooden 'porch" to check for signs of life, we nearly
fell through the rotting wooden planks. Not even the street touts had any inkling as to
Beer Garden, formerly
Bier Garten, has finished it's renovations (the first since they opened
late 1970's) - and all is for the better. Keeping the same
menu, they have raised the ceiling height, left the roof open at the rafters and provided
strategically located ceiling fans - and while they haven't stopped people from smoking,
have virtually negated the effects of secondary smoke. (The only
when a monsoon squall hits, a fine spray finds it's way under the eaves and sifts down on
custom.) And although they stayed open for most of the
them back to the sharkpool.
Check out the old and new
neon. But as
to whether or not it is Bier Garten
Beer Garden, we need only go to
both signs) to see that the legal name is (and was) "
The new upstairs (rear) bar and
Beer Garden is air
noisy - for a quieter drink or meal, this is the place to be.
Downstairs, the Beer Garden
modus operandi remains 'chicken farm' - it's
that it is a
lot more pleasant to be there now with the new open layout and improved ventilation.
Gulliver's Traveler's Tavern (just say 'Gulliver's'), the younger brother of the one on Khao Sarn Road, is finally 'on the map
'. We visited soon after they opened, and things were quiet (yeah,
too quiet), and we thought we saw all the ominous signs of negative Location, Location,
Location. But that seems to be behind them now - they are staying busy day
and night. With virtually unlimited real estate, they have the space to
properly run half a dozen pool tables, operate a dining room and of course
the main sports bar area at the entrance. They even have a
Although they have several bits of
this one is
the most prominent - and the same as their neon on Khao
With the exception of Bangkok's
Season this year, Gulliver's
drinking area, (Soi-side as you are going in) is a most pleasant experience - even if only
watching the passing parade.
Looking at the front Sports Bar
centrally located pool area. Although
Gulliver's is a day & night 'chicken farm', it also offers an
Night Entertainment format.
NEWS IS GOOD NEWS
--- Datzit Fernow
William R. Morledge
GRAFFITI IN THE NEWS -
As 'Fine Art'
PRANKSTER 'GETS UP' IN
British graffiti writer "Banksy
evaded tightest security and hung several of his 'works of art' in four of New York's
prestigious museums. All told,
made his covert bequeathals to the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of
(MoMA), the Brooklyn Museum and the American Museum of Natural
Banksy's own painting titled: "
Give Peace A Chance", which depicts a military officer holding
anti-war graffiti in the background, was clandestinely put on display at the Brooklyn
going entirely unnoticed -at least by museum staff- for more than a week.
Banksy", who has never revealed his true identity, has laid claim to carrying
four unique smuggling operations all within a single day, and all within normal museum
hours. Some of the pieces went undetected for several days -
outrageous painting of a flying beetle with missiles strapped to it's
(Titled : "Hi-Tech Bug", he hung it, appropriately, amongst other pieces at the
History Museum's "Hall of Bio-diversity").
modestly allowed, "I decided to spare the Guggenhiem
I would have had to appear between two Picassos, and I'm not good enough to
that." Asked how he was able to evade security checks, Banksy said he used a false beard and was assisted by friends
museum security staff. He assumed, correctly it seems, that,
their eye a lot more on things leaving than things going in, which works in my favor."
has staged similar 'covert ops' in the past, managing to spirit some of
into Britain's Tate Gallery and the Louvre in
told Reuters news agency that his primary inspiration was his sister, who at an
juncture threw away several of his paintings, saying they would never hang in the world-
Although we are not
sorties qualify as "graffiti" in the classic sense of the word (Banksy didn't actually deface anything), we do find the pranks
Another sample of Banksy
's less ambiguous outdoor graffiti excerpted from his website...
- And now to
Bangkok's own brand of Graffiti....
9 ft high x 25 ft
Wild Rubber Duck
6 ft. high x 14 ft.
Dark Star & Co.
5 ft. high x 16 ft.
6 ft. high x 7 ft.
Down & Crazy
6 ft. high x 9 ft.
P's & Q's
7 ft. high x 20 ft.
3 ft. high x 2 ft.
is prepared by Staff Contributor "Boge" Hartman
photo, above, is not a graffiti per-se, although there are those who have
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