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01 April 2017
William R.  Morledge

April's Nightlife News
Bangkok's Bars - 20 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us:  Texxan & the Lone Staar
Graffiti  #133 : "The Bat-Cave"

      Soi Than Tawan has had a number of Night Entertainment Venues over the years, but has not at any time come anywhere near to reaching 'critical mass'.   Further, as a predominantly (but not all) gay area, it has had to compete with both Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4) and Soi Twilight (the Twilight Zone).   Nevertheless, this area should be recognized from an historical perspective.

Typical of the massage parlors found at the Soi 6 end of Than Tawan.

      Located near Patpong 1 (see map), it is a through-soi, starting at Suriwong Road and coming out at Silom Road.   Street signs are a bit confusing unless one is to read the fine print - on the Silom Road side, the street sign reads "Soi 6".

      Our interest in the area was re-kindled when it was mentioned to us by a number of others.   As we hadn't surveyed for several years, we were in hopes it had evolved into a self-sustaining Night Entertainment Area.   Although it had not, we did note that the Soi 6 Silom end had grown significantly.   Most of the newer venues were, however, massage parlors (today, where can you NOT find massage parlors....).

The Tawan, a long-standing gay venue at the Suriwong Road end of the Soi.

      We included in our map-making survey the surrounding sois connecting to Soi Than Tawan, which to our surprise, did have a few Nitespots (again, mostly massage parlors of various ilks).   Below, we have included a number of photos representative of what the visitor might encounter.

The Night Wings Cocktail Lounge is a 'straight' single-shophouse bar.

 Although Baruza is billed as a restaurant, later in the evenings it serves as a bar.

The Hong Jinhian Karaoke caters to Oriental custom - and does not have an English language sign.

The Ying Ching Karaoke, likewise caters to Oriental custom, it has no English language sign, and its Thai sign indicates it is a pochana.

The Thai Best Massage is one of the established Thai massage parlors on the Soi.   Located midway between Silom and Suriwong roads.


April's Thai Smile is a smokey-white dream.


Historical Minutiae Dept.

Texxan & the Lone Staar


       Do you have any old photos of the Texxan and George Pipas from early Patpong 1 days..?   Early 80s or so.   I was the fellow who gave George the buffalo that he set under for about 30 years.   The newer Lone Starr was good but nothin' like the fun had at the old Texxan.

Greetings D.,

       The only photo we could find of the Texxan from Patpong is attached (we thought we had others....?).   Also, you may want to follow this link -

- which has our brief obit on George Pipas' passing, and has a photo of him.   The pic (the only one of George we have on file) was taken at the Texas Lone Staar Saloon in Washington Square.   




Email  and "ASK US" - -   Click Here

         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 April 2017 Follies  begin-

            Radio City is sprucing up.   They have nailed up some new neon - becoming Radio City Lounge.   Same pleasant surroundings within.   Keep on keeping on....

            The venerable Crown Royal remains the Crown Royal - with an almost imperceptible change to their neon.   A pic for the archives.   May they persevere....

Got it?   Flaunt it.


            A quick peek at one corner of the Soi Cowboy neon.   One for the archives....

            One hopes readers have not underestimated the Penny Black 3rd level A Go-Go.   It is well-stocked.   Open 'till late...   The 2nd level karaoke has all the appearances of a gay venue, but the girls swear it is not.   Entirely deserted when we looked in, perhaps they should consider changing the name....   We'll leave it at that...

            As the last of the Playskool neon bites the dust - it is replaced by yet more Easy Lick signage.   Looking good.

            For the remaining time the Soi Nana frontage of the Rajah Hotel remains closed to the public (while snail-like construction proceeds within), The Mexican bar & restaurant and Annie's Massage can be accessed from Soi 2 Sukhumvit Road.

            The For Fun ran headlong into The Abyss this last month, as the Jupiter 2018 folks took over - and are now furiously renovating.   Opening date not confirmed - we hope it has not been 'telegraphed' in their name.... 2018....

            The A4 Gallery has been mis-promoted as an upstairs 'pub' - it is actually an art / photo gallery, as the name implies.   Worth a look, but not a 'Night Entertainment Venue', per se....

 SOI  22  
            The single-shophouse Mari Gold Massage opened newly this month in the just-closed (last month) Relax Massage digs.   May they continue to slip 'n slide....   Located deep in the Soi, across from New Cowboy Bar.
 SOI  22  (Sukhumvit) 

            The Alex (Bangkok) has opened newly in what was, up until recently, the Champions Sports Bar..   More-power-to-them, we say....

     The just-opened Alex (Bangkok) has a refreshing, appealing frontage, which looks in on a 'central bar' reminiscent of the original Bourbon Street.   They have easily swept the "Door Art Of The Month" title this time around...

 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            The Check Inn 99 has closed down operations on the second floor of Zak's. They have plans, to include a possible reopening in Soi 33, Soi Dead Artists, which, when construction / renovations are confirmed, we shall herald from the highest...
 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            The popular Cheap Charlie's bar beer of many years' standing had its closing-night party on the 31st of March.   No confirmation as to a possible relocation.   The area is being redeveloped, and a number of Nitespots have closed, or are closing as we speak.
 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            Charlie Brown's Mexicana, located in the back, in Soi Cheap Charlie, has relocated to Soi 19 Sukhumvit (see map below).   So if you've a hankering for some Tex-Mex and margaritas, wander on over....
 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            The popular Stash Bar Bistro has also fallen victim to the redevelopment project in the Soi Cheap Charlie area.   We have seen nothing of a possible relocation, so we will keep our periscope up and get back atcha if we hear of same....
 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            The long-standing Foot Joy Massage closed at midnite on the 31st March - to be bulldozed along with the rest in the Soi Cheap Charlie area.   The only Nitespot not immediately closing down is the upstairs Domino Pub & Restaurant, which has an additional one-month reprieve.   As the oldest Nitespot on Soi Ambassador, we will be giving Domino a proper send-off in next month's issue.
 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            Whilst covering the various 'grand finales' of the bars in, and in front of, Soi Cheap Charlie, yours truly wandered over to have a chat with the owner/ operator of Climax Disco.   He says quite unequivocally, forget any stories you may have heard about Climax closing - it is positioned for an indefinite run.   So much for the rumor-mill....
 SOI  AMBASSADOR   (Sukhumvit 11) 

            Country Road has, as anticipated, rolled out the red carpet once again after a brief closure last month.   Located at the very back of Queen's Park Plaza.
 QUEEN's  PARK  PLAZA  (Sukhumvit 22) 

            The Five Star Bar, closed last month for what appeared to be heavy-duty renovations, has sprung back out of the crypt, and is once again rocking and rolling.
 QUEEN's  PARK  PLAZA  (Sukhumvit 22) 

            Up on the second level of the S 33 Compact Hotel, the recently closed Love & Service (Mitsue) has (after a one-month renovation) become the new Dozo Love & Massage.   Ostensibly for Japanese clientele, but all are welcome.   Welcome Dozo to the slippery slope.
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            The Senses Spa, located on the second level of the S 33 Compact Hotel, was closed well in advance of their stated closing time yesterday.   We will check back and see if this is a permanent condition, or....
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            The second-level 'S Cafe, located in the S 33 Compact Hotel, has re-closed.   This doesn't look healthy.   We will keep our eyeballs peeled, and if they should reopen, we will advise next issue....
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            The Pent 33 nightclub has added some new ground-level neon.   May they keep on rolling.   A pic for the archives.
 SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Sukhumvit 33) 

            One of the older bars, the Night Flight Beer & Pub have completed their renovations and are putting their best foot forward.   Looking good - a big improvement.   May they continue to prosper....
 SOI  EDEN   (Sukhumvit 7/1) 

            The Fresh Boys have reworked (updated...) their facade.   A pic for the archives.






With thanks to Cool Text -

Bangkok Eyes goes back in time to see
Who was new - And who was through
in the Expat Night Entertainment world.
How many of these old 'oases'
do you remember ?

Patpong I
April 1997
   *    The Underground Dance Club rereclosed after having just reopened the previous month.   It would not reopen again.   They were located just at the Surawong Road side of Mizu's.   Currently, there is no Night Entertainment Venue at that location.

   *    The Blue Sky Bar closed after a long run.   They had a long-running boxing show and a snake show where the 3-meter long python would bite the handler at least 2 or three times during the performance.   They were located near Surawong Road on the same side as Mizu's.   Currently, there is no Night Entertainment Venue at that location.

   *    The upstairs Chick reopened.   There is currently no Nitespot at that location.   It was located above what is today the Muzzik Cafe .

Patpong 2
April 1997

   *    Screw Pub closed almost immediately after opening - in what was the King's Love Boat digs.   Located on the connecting Soi Bookstore.   This location is currently home to The Club King's.

   *    Noi's Steps Bar expanded their name to Noi's Heavenly Steps Girlie Bar. They were located above today's Top Less Pool Bar. There currently is no Nitespot at the old Heavenly Steps.

   *    On Soi Bookstore (connecting PP1 and PP2) the upstairs Go Go Girl closed.   There is currently no Night Entertainment Venue at that location.

Soi Cowboy
April 1997

   *  No changes that month / year. -

Nana Plaza
April 1997

   *    The 2nd level Spider's Web closed.   That real estate is currently occupied by Temptations.

   *    The second-level DC-10 reopened after a 2-month closure.   They are still at that location today.

Soi Katoey
( Silom Soi 4 )
April 1997

   *    The upstairs Airbus closed.   They were located just on the Silom Road side of the Telephone Pub.

   *    The upstairs T-Bar closed.   They were located above Helene's Place.   Now home to the new Hugs.

   *    The Rome Club extension reopened.   (The original Rome Club never reopened.)   The 'extension' was located where the For Fun now stands.

Buckskin Joe Village
(~ April 1988 to April 2006)
(Also known -originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai or, 'The Tracks', and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)
April 1997

   *    As Buckskin Joe Village continued its relocation away from the railroad tracks - to the new facilities under the Expressway, a number of changes, several completed relocations - and 'relocations-in-progress', and other openings / closings occurred.)

   *    Sexy Night Det. 5   reopened.

   *    Play Bar   opened newly.

   *    Bart's Bar   opened newly.

   *    Susie's Bar   opened, taking over from Noi's Bar.

   *    Love You Bar   closed.

   *    Jungle    closed.




Click Here



*Click Here*
Christopher G. Moore















































But is it ....ART ?

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

"The ART and the CONTROVERSY"   

Check out Bangkok's dedicated page at "BKK" <link>


The Bat Cave

      In a time long forgotten (up 'till 1956), the Brooklyn and Queens Transit Corporation operated several streetcar lines in Brooklyn borough.   And the main source of electric power for those streetcars came from the coal-fired generators of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Powerhouse (constructed in 1904) - located on the banks of the Gowanus Canal.

      Of course, no more street cars, no more need for a power generation station, and the three buildings comprising the powerhouse facilities fell into disuse.   In the ensuing decades, various waves of vagrants, hippies and graffiti artists used the abandoned facilities for their own purposes.   The location became known to the 'underground' as The Bat Cave, - a place for wild drug-laced parties, and a haven for graffiti (multiple layers of graffiti covering the entire interior and much of its exterior).   Inevitably the mood shifted to one of violence and drugs - which didn't seem to deter the graffiti artists at all...   Those not a part of said 'underground' labeled the facilities a 'punk squat'.

      Out of the blue, a patron of the arts (hard to find these days) by the name of Joshua Rechnitz purchased the property in 2012 and founded the Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation.   His original vision for the 'Powerhouse' project was to convert the facilities into art studios, however he now envisions a 'micro-factory' format for various artistic disciplines, to include but not be limited to metalworking, sculpting, woodworking and ceramics.   He intends as well, to reserve space for an exhibition hall, which will include (of course) graffiti.

      The Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation has retained the internationally renown Herzog & de Meuron, a 'Pritzker Prize' winner, which is already familiar with structures of such typology, to provide the architectural know-how, and to get bids out on the street.   Renovations to The Bat Cave, to include the sparing of as much of the existing graffiti as possible, should be completed by 2020.

      It appears that while the controversy over graffiti (Graffiti is bad-Graffiti is art) continues in our societies, the graffiti 'middle ground' continues to expand.   More and more cities around the world are providing public areas for graffiti artists to throw-up, art galleries are showing graffiti works of 'known' artists, graffiti works are being auctioned at famed auction houses, graffiti art reproductions are for sale on street corners and the Internet.....   The Bat Cave is, and will be, yet another example of graffiti finding a place in mainstream art.

Graphic excerpts above are from Internet sources, and are, under current legal precedents and prevailing interpretations
considered 'Fair Use' under Copyright Law.

With thanks to Cool

Graffiti #946
7 ft high x 8 ft

Graffiti #947
8 ft high x 23 ft

Graffiti #948
6 ft high x 5 ft

Graffiti #949
7 ft high x 9 ft

Graffiti #950
Chrome Eagle
8 ft high x 10 ft

Graffiti #951
Fishing License
8 ft high x 38 ft

Graffiti #952
8 ft high x 10 ft

Bangkok's original site !

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


"The Archives" - All Our Back Issues Here

- 2017 -
01 JAN -   Soi 22 - the Survivor
01 FEB -    Hua Hin Nights
01 MAR -   Hooking-Up

- 2016 -
01 JAN -   Railway Bazaar
01 FEB -   Sukhumvit Square Justice
01 MAR -    Paint the Neon Night
01 APR -    Udom Suk Reviste
01 MAY -    Soi Thaniya
01 JUN -    Soi Thonglor Re-up
01 JUL -    Massage Parlor Row
01 AUG -    Check Inn 99
01 SEP -    Pattaya A Go-Go
01 OCT -    Bangkok's Nitelife Maps
01 NOV -    Nitespot Demographics
01 DEC -    Pattaya's Soi 6

- 2015 -
01 JAN -    A Go-Go Bar Ratings
01 FEB -    Are Cops Gouging Nitelifers?
01 MAR -   Bad Company
01 APR -    LK Metro - Pattaya
01 MAY -    Soi 33 goes East
01 JUN -    Rachada Fades
01 JUL -    Freelancers
01 AUG -    Nana Plaza Map 2015
01 SEP -    Soi Nana Map 2015
01 OCT -    Walking Street - Pattaya
01 NOV -    Rachada - The Giant
01 DEC -    A Go-Go's Story

- 2014 -
01 JAN -   Bangkok's Got The Blues
01 FEB -   Soi 26 - Stayin' Alive
01 MAR -    Nightscene rues Mob
01 APR -    My Friend owns a Bar...
01 MAY -    Soi's 3, 5 and 7
01 JUN -    Curfew's Costly Cut
01 JUL -    Soi 13 Makes It's Move
01 AUG -    Pattaya Does The Twist
01 SEP -    Soi's 18 & 20 - Quieter is Better
01 OCT -    Soi's 10 & 14 - Lesser known Sois
01 NOV -    A Good Old Boy...
01 DEC -    Lang Suan & Sarasin

- 2013 -
01 JAN -    Not Fade Away - The Survivors
01 FEB -    Rare Old Photos
01 MAR -   Copa Reprise
01 APR -    Arise, Soi 22
01 MAY -    Where to Next ?
01 JUN -    Bangkok Noir
01 JUL -    MAPS - The Major Update
01 AUG -    Lamai Lamai Lamai
01 SEP -    Tim 'Wanchai' Young
01 OCT -    Soi Wall Street
01 NOV -    Little Thonglor - Soi 11
01 DEC -    Mississippi Queen

- 2012 -
01 JAN -    Mama-San
01 FEB -    Our 10th Anniversary Issue !
01 MAR -    How Gay Nana ?
01 APR -    Sukhumvit' Soi 23 - The Big Picture
01 MAY -    Khao San Road - Unique Bazaar
01 JUN -    Ekamai - It Used To Be Too Far
01 JUL -    Nightlife Pioneers
01 AUG -    The New Puritans
01 SEP -    Nana - On It's Own
01 OCT -    FAIL - War on Nitespot Drugs
01 NOV -    Patpong Unbroken
01 DEC -    Drugs & the Nightscene in History
- 2011 -
01 JAN -    Patpong's 'Glory Days'
01 FEB -    Nightlife In A Digital Age
01 MAR -    Co-Co Walk Plaza
01 APR -    Soi 33 Apriles On
01 MAY -    Nightlife Permissiveness
01 JUN -    Ghosts of Nitelife Past
01 JUL -    STATE - The Cinema, Soi & Area
01 AUG -    Soi Darling
01 SEP -    Sri Nakarin South
01 OCT -    Soi 8 Reprise
01 NOV -    Floodless in Bangkok
01 DEC -    Soi Udomsuk

- 2010 -
01 JAN -    Street Bars II - The triple-Dip
01 FEB -    Our Kind Of Art - II    - Chris Coles
01 MAR -    The Dead Artist Bars - Soi 33
01 APR -    "Soi Ginza" - Thaniya Road
01 MAY -    Night Scene Blues (Red Shirts 1)
01 JUN -    Nitespots Recover Slowly (Reds 2)
01 JUL -    World Cup Special
01 AUG -    Those Old Photos
01 SEP -    The German Invasion
01 OCT -    Racism & Prejudice
01 NOV -    Soi 11 Revisited
01 DEC -    Soi 22 Updater

- 2009 -
01 JAN -    The Santika Fire
01 FEB -    Salt & Pepper
01 MAR -    Nana Plaza - Update & Maps
01 APR -    Soi Nana Update
01 MAY -    The Nightscene & The Riots
01 JUN -    "19" Re-Focus
01 JUL -    Rain Dogs - The Underground
01 AUG -    Soi Thonglor - A bridge-too-far
01 SEP -    Ban Chang - Our Little Secret
01 OCT -    The "Ginza Effect'
01 NOV -    Royal City Avenue (RCA)
01 DEC -    Sutthisan & The Inthamara's

- 2008 -
01 JAN -    2007 - Looking Back
01 FEB -    Owning A Bar
01 MAR -    Expat's Bangkok
01 APR -    Nude Dancing
01 MAY -    After Midnite
01 JUN -    Night Scene In Flux
01 JUL -    Our Kind Of Art
01 AUG -    trendy Plaza Reprise
01 SEP -    The Elephants Are ....Back
01 OCT -    Grand Prix Intro
01 NOV -    Grand Prix - Rick's Story
01 DEC -    "Old Bangkok Hand"

- 2007 -
01 JAN -    Bombs Blast Bangkok
01 FEB -    Bangkok's Nightscene Websites
01 MAR -    Prasitipol Dance Bar To Fall
01 APR -    Soi 5 Neon Review
01 MAY -    A Go-Go Bangkok
01 JUN -    Arise ! Soi 11
01 JUL -    Anatomy Of A Bar Area
01 AUG -    Soi 26 - Too Far ?
01 SEP -    Chuwit Guilty
01 OCT -    Daytime Nana Plaza
01 NOV -    Cowboy - All Of It
01 DEC -    Another Nitespot Area Falls

- 2006 -
01 JAN -    Pattaya Ascending
01 FEB -    A Go-Go Then & Now
01 MAR -    ' Madrid '
01 APR -    White Heat
01 MAY -    Politics & Nightlife
01 JUN -    Fagin's Bratpack
01 JUL -    King Bhumibol's 60th Anniversary
01 AUG -    Soi 10 - The Final Shaft
01 SEP -    Pattaya's Soi Bua Khow
01 OCT -    Rachada's Other Face
01 NOV -    Soi 22s Other Bars
01 DEC -    Soi Eden Goes A Go-Go

- 2005 -
01 JAN -    Asoke Plaza Crushed
01 FEB -    The 'Nana Scene'
01 MAR -    Asoke Plaza Smashed Again
01 APR -    Sukhumvit 1 Plaza 'Arrives'
01 MAY -    Welcome 'Soi Eden'
01 JUN -    Bangkok's Bareback Riders
01 JUL -    Soi 22 - A Macro View
01 AUG -    Nana's Slide
01 SEP -    Cowboy Street Scene
01 OCT -    The Pattaya Run
01 NOV -    Soi 19 In Focus
01 DEC -    Bad Girls

- 2004 -
01 JAN -    Bangkok's Darkest Year
01 FEB -    Where Is trink ?
01 MAR -    Soi 33 Just Won't Stop
01 APR -    Cracks In The Crackdown
01 MAY -    In The Zone
01 JUN -    "Night-Scene Jumbos
01 JUL -    Easy Square 'On The Map'
01 AUG -    Soi 1 Entertainment Plaza
01 SEP -    Khlong Toey Revisited
01 OCT -    Koh Samui's Night Scene
01 NOV -    Soi 1 Opens
01 DEC -    The Bangkok Pub Scene

- 2003 -
01 JAN -    Cowboy Crackdown
01 FEB -    Sukhumvit Square Smashed
01 MAR -    Soi 10 Survivors
01 APR -    War & The Night Scene
01 MAY -    Entertainment Blues
01 JUN -    '13 Night Market' Reborn
01 JUL -    Clinton Plaza Falls
01 AUG -    Soi 24 Nightscene Review
01 SEP -    Does Soi Nana Measure Up?
01 OCT -    Patpong - Legend & Myth
01 NOV -    Easy Square 'Launched'
01 DEC -    Soi Cowboy Urine-Swoop

- 2002 -
01 FEB -    January: Big Changes In Bar Scene
09 JUN -    Sukhumvit Square 'Explosion'

20 JUN -    Soi 22's Queen's Park Plaza
01 JUL -    Clinton Plaza - Already Dead?
01 AUG -    Bar Beers Now "Major Players"
16 AUG -    July: Bar Beers Gaining Ground
01 SEP -    A Go-Gos A-building
17 SEP -    Virtual Bars
01 OCT -    A History In The Making
01 NOV -    Pool Bars Come Of Age
01 DEC -    November's Night Follies
15 DEC -    Genesis: Sukhumvit's Night Scene
- 2001 -
20 NOV ( The Seminal Emails )

Copyright 2002 - 2017    BANGKOK EYES -