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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review


Copa Reprise

01 March 2013
William R.  Morledge

March's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 10 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us ! - The Old Good Beers
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #89


         Last month we published a few photos from the 1960's & 1970's, one of which was the Copacabana.   And while we were reasonably certain as to it's exact location on Sukhumvit Road, we were hesitant to publish without having a confirming source.   (If we do not have first-hand information, we will seek out two sources before publishing).

         It was only a matter of days after we published our article that we had several sources confirm that in fact the old Copa was at the same location as today's Check Inn 99.   Once again, we are indebted to our readers for this factoid gem - yet another piece to the puzzle of the mostly forgotten early years of Bangkok's Night Entertainment Scene.

Yet another look back in time to the old Copa Cabana.   Judging by the Formost sign, it would have to have been taken in 1968 or shortly thereafter.   Also in the distance can be seen the Manhattan Hotel sign.   This pic was sent to us by the current owner, "G.S.", of the Check Inn 99, who has been doing an ongoing, in-depth research project into the origins of the Nitespot.   We are most grateful.

We have included a couple of updated shots of the Check Inn 99 .   In the shot above, note the unmistakable match in the architecture to that of the original old Copa pic.   We went for a visit last week and we must say, given the small unprepossessing entranceway we weren't expecting what we found.   The place was SRO - I couldn't find a seat - and a live blues band was providing the entertainment.   A thumping good time was being had by all.   I will have to go back during a week day and hope I can find a seat....   Obviously, the 'Cabaret Bar' formula is working.

         (A footnote: the Check Inn 99 and it's predecessor, the original Copa Cabana, are not related to the mega-entertainment spa Copa Cabana on Rachadapisek Road.   This newer Copa Cabana (to be featured in an upcoming issue) has an approximate 100 meter frontage, and can best be referred to as an Inner-city Night Entertainment Resort.   "Big" doesn't describe it.)


Bright lights, big city, big smile...........

? Old

Any old PHOTOS of
Bangkok's Nightlife ?

Please CLICK HERE and send to us for publication.   

Many Thanks,
William R Morledge

 Historical Minutiae Dept.

Where is the Kloster ?

@ left Bangkok 1997 = is "Kloster Bier [Beer]" still being brewed there ?


Greetings, Bob,

Kloster, and Kloster Classic are no longer brewed here in Bangkok.   Neither is Amarit, or Khun Paen, which were the only other two locally brewed beers worth drinking.   The new locally brewed San Miguel Lager is not too bad, however.


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  •           We can answer virtually any (reasonable) question on the Expat Night Entertainment Scene in Bangkok - be it Historical or very recent.   Send us an e-mail and we will do our best to answer you soonest.
    'Boge' Hartman
    Historical Research
    * Zootramp Publications

    Let the March 2013 Follies  begin...
    BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene .

       PATPONG  I  
                The Muzzik Cafe, an open-sided music bar, usually has live music, some very good, some not so much.   However this last weekend they had a rockin' band - Standing Room Only.....
       PATPONG  I  

       PATPONG  II  
                Whether you call it Glamour or Glamour on Silom or Glamour Girl, it's one and the same Nitespot.   They have a new row of banners along the outside of the footpath acvertising ' happy hour' in several foreign languages.   Don't know what it is about the Glamour Girl, they have attractive staff, and the A Go-Go bar is well appointed - by any measure, they should be a lot busier than they are.....
       PATPONG  II  

    Two Plus Two

          This sign advertising available positions is quite typical of the new Night Entertainment Venue hiring signs we see out and about now - and quite frankly, we just don't get it.   They are now paying bargirls up to 30,000 Baht a month, excluding drinks and tips....    They are making as much as many mid-level Thai executives for just sitting there?   OK, say a bar has fifteen girls working there - and they each are earning 30,000 Baht a month - that's a base salary load of 450,000 Baht per month - right from the git-go.   What gives?   Two plus two doesn't equal four - are the bars really taking in enough every month to be able to do that?   Maybe I need to come into the 21st Century - perhaps 200,000 + 200,000 = 400,000 and I'm several of orders of magnitude behind the times....

      PATPONG  II  

      SOI  COWBOY  
    Door Art Of The Month

              In amongst all the mirrors and Las Vegas glitz of today's Soi Cowboy, the Suzie Wong has some classic neon - well worthy of note.   Good job, gentlemen.

       SOI   COWBOY  

      NANA  PLAZA  
                The ground floor at Nana Plaza has their new permanent awning roof over the ground floor 'terraces', however the new roofing has caused a few of the Nitespots to rethink their exterior neon.   The Lollipop is one of those - lets wait and see what they will replace this 'temporary' signage with - if anything....
    NANA  PLAZA  - (Sukhumvit  SOI  4)

                Likewise the Pretty Lady - their very temporary signage is likely to be replaced in the near future - but with what?   "Pretty Lady" or "Nana Main Station" of recent vintage?   We'll get back atcha one way or the other.
    NANA  PLAZA  - (Sukhumvit  SOI  4)

      SOI  NANA  
                The 99 Karaoke has closed it's doors, and we didn't see any renovations going on - so it looks like they won't be making it up off the stool for the next round.   They were located in the Rajah Hotel grounds at the far end.
      SOI   NANA   

    Getting Your Kicks..

          In our 'investigative' meanderings around-and-about Soi Nana, we strayed down Sukhumvit Soi 2, only to discover that the old Atlanta Hotel is still there, and looking busy at that.   We have only one nagging little question - is their sign at the front door another way of saying they have a "No Guest Policy" ?

      SOI  2  ADJACENT SOI   NANA   

      SOI  KATOEY  
                We've noted it before, but the For Fun has some very professional 'mixed' musical entertainment most nights.   Drawing reasonable crowds during the weekends.   Keep on rockin'.
    SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4)

                A "for-the-archives" shot of Soi Dead Artists.    It appears that in the long view, the Soi has plateaued, with about the same number of bars closing as new bars opening.

                Gone, but not gone, the Baccara Massage has changed it's name to the No. 1 Massage.   We understand all your favorites are still working there.....   Keep on a slippin' and a slidin'.   Located on Sub-Soi 4.


                Washington Square has been slowly closing down as a Night Entertainment Area for the last several months due to a major land redevelopment by the owners.   Most of the Nitespots have already either closed or relocated; the Area has dropped below the "critical mass " required to sustain customer interest.   Midnight Hour will no longer report on this Night Entertainment Area on a monthly basis.   However we will continue to track that area and report any additional closures of the remaining bars as they occur.

                   Bundy's Bar (Bangkok) has opened in the right side of what was briefly (until last month) the Boom Boom Pub.   Welcome to the Bangkok night circus.

      SOI  EDEN  
                The Tarntip Massage and Spa - as noted last month, has moved across the Soi to their new digs.   For a brief period, they were keeping both places open, however now the old one has closed down for good, and the decorations at the new venue are all in place.   Looking good.   Keep on truckin'.
    SOI  EDEN  -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

                 Next door to the Tarntip at what was looking to become the Hanoi Restaurant and some kind of outside bar beer has now become the Allanda Bar, complete with a couple of pool tables.   We note they also have rooms for rent - not unlike many of the venues in Soi Eden.   Welcome them to the Big Uneasy.

    SOI  EDEN  -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

                Gone, but not gone, the Dr BJ's Budget Bangers (which noted last month that they would be closing for 12 days), has reopened as part of their joined-at-the-hip next door neighbor Dr BJ's Nuru.   Not that anyone is noticing, but if you take a careful look at the Thai writing on some of their signs, you will see 'Boo Sa Bar'.   Sound familiar?   The Boo Sa Bar was, after the Eden , the first bar on the Soi.
    SOI  EDEN  -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

                Not much going on in the Twilight Zone vis-a-vis the changing of the guard - pretty much status quo ante.   Below is a for-the-archive shot of the Bonny Massage.   May they persevere.



    Bangkok Eyes jumps back in time to have a look at who was new - and who was through.   We'll be willing to bet that many of you "Old Bangkok Hands" will be reminded of some bars you'd almost forgotten.   (We also will be willing to bet you WON'T EVEN REMEMBER an even greater number....)

    10 YEARS AGO  :

    Patpong I
    No changes that month / year.

    Patpong II
       *    Up on The Ramp the Dome Juniority Club changed to The Rock - Dome Junior.   The Peuan now resides in those digs.

    Soi Cowboy
       *    The Joy Bar reopened after a brief closure.   The Cockatoo now holds down that property.

    Nana Plaza
       *    Up on the second floor, the seminal bar Three Roses closed it's doors for good.   It would soon be Spankys, which is still there today.

       *    The Casablanca opened new that month.   That area was eventually absorbed by today's Rainbow 3.

    Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4)
    No changes that month / year.

    Washington Square
    No changes that month / year.

    Soi Dead Artists (Soi 33)
       *    The Anego Club in the rear of 33 Complex closed it's doors.   There is no Night Entertainment Venue now at that location.

       *    The Cave, the first S&M simulation bar in Bangkok opened it's doors for the first time in the old Chelsea digs.   The Demonia now occupies those premises, and is of the same format as the Cave.

       *    The Japanese Club Karaoke opened newly in the old Kosu Mosu digs deep in the Soi.   No venue is currently at that location.

    Queen's Park Plaza (Soi 22)
       *    The Maxx Sports Bar closed again and finally.   Today the Lek Massage is at that location.

       *    The Banana Bar closed in now what are the Classic Club digs.

    Clinton Plaza (Closed down on June 2003)
    No changes that month / year.

    Tobacco Road (Soi Zero) - (Closed down on June 2006 )
       *    The Friend Bar moved into Soi Zero from the then recently destroyed Sukhumvit Square.

       *    The Hello Bar moved into Soi Zero from the then recently destroyed Sukhumvit Square.

       *    The Wombat Bar opened newly at the rear of the compound.

    Cowboy Annex (Asoke Corner/Asoke Plaza) - (Closed down on Feb 2005)
       *    The CJ Pub & Restaurant closed it's doors for the final time.

       *    The Lemon Bear bar opened up in the old Corner digs.

       *    The Keng opened up in the previous digs of Name Pa bar.

       *    The Say Hi bar opened new from their relocation from the Sukhumvit Square disaster.

       *    The New Lady Bar opened new in the old Sweetheart bar property.

       *    The Black & White bar opened up in the 4-Pak in what was previously the Lady Bar.

    Historically Speaking March 2003



    But is it .... ART ?

    New to the world of 'Graffiti'?   See our "INTRO "


    [ Check out Bangkok's dedicated Graff iti page at " BKK"  <link>.  ]

    - And now to Midnight Hour's own brand of Bangkok Graffiti ....

    Graffiti #617
    The Binger
    4 ft high x 12 ft

    Graffiti #618
    Mister Hyde
    7 ft high x 21 ft

    Graffiti #619
    6 ft high x 13 ft

    Graffiti #620
    Pain Tango
    3 ft high x 13 ft

    Graffiti #621
    Radio Act
    6 ft high x 9 ft

    Graffiti #622
    7 ft high x 7 ft

    Graffiti #623
    7 ft high x 73 ft

    Graffiti, Graffiti , and more Graffiti - Bangkok's original graffiti Site !

       The MIDNITE HOUR Graffiti Page is prepared by Staff Contributor "Boge" Hartman.

    (Boge's photo, above, is not a graffiti per-se, although there are those who have insinuated....   - Ed)

     --- Datzit Fernow

    William R. Morledge

    Copyright 2002 - 2013,   BANGKOK EYES /

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