After months of rumor, it came as no surprise that the bars in Queen's Park Plaza have started opening new bars in other areas - in preparation for the eventual closing of that Night Entertainment Area. But what did come as a huge surprise to everyone was, at that same time, the area adjacent to Soi 7 Bier Garten was opening its doors as Bangkok's newest Nitespot Area...
SOI 7 PLAZA
The to-scale map of Soi 7 Plaza (originally, 'Square') - (4 pixels = 1 meter) will also have exits to Sukhumvit Road and to Sukhumvit Soi 5. Venues in parentheses were not yet open on 01 Dec 2019.
SOI 7 PLAZA
Let it be said that the phase-down of Queen's Park Plaza Night Entertainment Area is intended to be, at least at this writing, 'gradual'. Some of the bars within, such as Meaw Meaw Club, will be departing QPP for their new premises in mid-January (or thereabouts...everything being on 'Thai-Time'). A slower phase-down of the QPP will be welcomed by many of its bar owners who were planning to rush into the Soi 7 Plaza. It seems the new bar-restaurant licenses at Soi 7 are not being issued with any particular haste, causing a number of the bar owners the usual "Dis-Thailan'-You-Know-Suh' headaches.
The very first beer (the San Mig Light) sold to the very first paying customer in the very first bar (Long Shots) which opened (softly) in 'Soi 7 Plaza'. (27 November 2019.)
SOI 7 PLAZA
As the reader may have noticed from text so far, we are using the name, "Soi 7 Plaza' as a 'working title' of sorts, as no name has yet been officially assigned to the Night Entertainment Area. Some of the new, or new-to-be, tenants would like the name to remain Soi 7 Plaza, however the owner has chosen the name, "Nana Plaza Soi 7"....WTF?.... Virtually no one except the owner likes this name, so we are just going to have to wait and see what the actual signage will read...
Barring unforseen circumstances, Lucky Bar will be opening - full service - on 02 December.
SOI 7 PLAZA
It would be tempting, looking at the map, to believe the new Soi 7 Plaza is a small area. We originally stated we thought it would be home to up to 30 venues. This is highly dependent on how the existing structures are 'subdivided'. Note the large rectangular area facing Sukhumvit Road - it is currently being divided up into however-many small parcels, each to be separately leased out (not yet able to be shown). Again, time will tell.
SOI 7 PLAZA
The other consideration is that not all the units will be Nitespots (as already demonstrated by 'Midnite Squid' - which, unless they will have an expansive beer menu that we don't know about, they will be selling just that - grilled squid). It is even entirely possible (the heavens forbid) that the entire interior of the Sukhumvit Road area may be copy-watch, fake-Viagra and T-shirt shops.
Rumors, a successful Queen's Park Plaza bar is now poised to open in Soi 7 Plaza.
SOI 7 PLAZA
With Queen's Park Plaza phasing out, and with Soi 7 Plaza phasing in, we are going to be in for a lot of individual bar changes. Here we should interject - many of the bars in QPP will not be relocating to Soi 7 - for example, White Bar and Superior Bar (among others) will be relocating to other properties on Soi 22. We feel, at least as far as Soi 7 Plaza is concerned, the best way to keep track of the Soi 7 influx is to publish an updated map each month (at least for the first several months).
SOI 7 PLAZA
We note with interest both the location (proximity to high value Sukhumvit Road real estate) and the type of construction used in the Soi 7 Plaza structures. It would be optimistic to believe that this Night Entertainment Area will be considered a permanent and ongoing Nitespa - as is the case with Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy. It would be an 'unrealistic expectation' to believe that this new area is anything but an 'opportunistic' entertainment area. Sooner, but more likely later, this land will be redeveloped, just as is being done with Queen's Park Plaza.
SOI 7 PLAZA
Starting this month, MIDNITE HOUR will include Soi 7 Plaza as a separate Night Entertainment Area in our monthly 'Follies' below (even though it will not likely reach 'critical mass' for at least two or three months).
What also surprised me in scrolling through the last part of the article on the Mississippi Twins was that apparently a great many bars go out of business. As I am interested in small business and entrepreneurship, do you have any feeling for why so many fail?
I would have thought the hard part would be getting opened at all: finding a location at a reasonable rent, the liquor license, satisfying the police and government bureaucrats, i.e. bribes. But that once one could actually open, the business would be a no-brainer. Sure, lots of competition, but a huge never-ending demand from tourists augmented by some local customers too. So what is the recipe for failure here?
There are a great many reasons why bars go out of business. Bar owners, or should I say lessees of the property, who called themselves bar owners, don't have a decent business plan, having unrealistic expectations of income vs outgo. Some bars go out of business because one partner or perhaps the cashier, cheats the other owner. Some bars don't get their leases renewed, or when the new lease comes up it's much more expensive and they can no longer afford it.
Some bar owners go into business with a couple of friends just, they claim, to have a place to go drink with friends - which never works out for long. Some bar owners, like the owners of the Mississippi Queen in the story run afoul of the law. Some bar owners just die from old age or from cirrhosis of the liver, and no responsible person takes over from them and it soon goes broke. Some bar owners just get tired of "the life" and want to get out of it. The occasional bar owner will do very well, make a lot of money and want to retire, and sell the bar to somebody else for a huge profit - this is rare, and the new owner will change the name of the bar. Some entire bar areas or districts are built on what is called "opportunistic" properties (land in a choice area potentially able to generate high income) and two or three years down the road the owner of the land, not necessarily the buildings, decides to redevelop and put up a high-rise or a shopping complex.
There have been a couple of incidents where the bar owners have been murdered by their Thai wives, whose names appeared on lease document or the property document, and the wives are caught and the bar closes down. And the list goes on. The difficulties in doing business, such as the bribes to officialdom, are easily handled by just understanding that it is a "cost of doing business" .
Your article on the Mississippi Twins was a very moving tribute to the two sisters. It also captures a period in Bangkok that is gone. Those who experienced that brief period acquired a lifetime of memories.
The article was penned by producer / documentarian Peter Du Cane based on years of research - I will most certainly onpass to him your thoughts.
Twilo, the open music lounge, has done itself up in some very impressive dynamic floor-to-ceiling signage. While we prefer real neon, we must admit the new lighting is certainly eye-catching May they continue to rock 'n roll...
When we first walked past, we said out-loud to a friend, "What's wrong with this picture?" Then it dawned on us - this "King's Castle" was, up until last month, the long-standing King's Corner. (Name-change only - still a King's Group bar.) Modus operandi unchanged. May they persevere... Note: the King's Corner 2 is still in operation on PP2.
The King's Castle 2 has already started its "Christmas Season" with an out-front Christmas tree. ...That's the spirit....
King's Corner 2 has moved.... its front door. Previously accessed from Soi Bookstore (connecting PP1 & PP2), it has now cut a new door and is accessed through Patpong 2 only. Keep on slidin'...
The instantly-popular Patpong Museum continues to improve its external signage. We are on our fourth visit, and planning our fifth - we keep finding more items of historical (and current) interest. As Bernard Trink would say, "'Nuff said."
Oasis, the Nitespot that opened in the now-relocated Sahara digs, had its official opening only days after our last-month's survey. It looks to be an 'instant success'. A two-level, indoor / outdoor lounge, bar beer, quick-diner, pool bar, sports bar, it attracts all those not seeking an A Go-Go or HJ bar. May they roll only 7's and 9's...
The DecemberDoor Art Of The Month is earned, easily, by Oasis. Its appealing swaths of signage are complemented when one visits the 2nd level pool bar and 2nd leveloutdoor balcony (yes!). - the view of Soi Cowboy from above is unparalleled in other bars on the strip...
Below a quick pic from our smart phone. Why "quick"? Because the Plaza'sMen In Black feel it is their sworn duty to shine red laser lights into the eyes of those taking selfies. It cannot be stated often enough - and we at MIDNITE HOURcan personally attest: the Nana Plaza operated since it opened in the early 80's and for successive decades without these paramilitary types standing around doing nothing except pen-lasering customers and jeeping the distaff door-pretties. Bars and Bar Areas emulating the European and North American 'Bouncer' mentality should know, if they don't already, this is not only a big 'negative', it is an added and entirely unnecessary expense.
The Parador (a massage parlor) has replaced the PM Bangkok Massage in Sub-soi Lemongrass (just past the Marriott). May they continue to slip 'n slide....
The Lan Massage stayed open almost an entire month before shuttering up again. Located at the very end of Sub-soi Titanium. Has someone not been reading their "Business Plans For Dummies" ?.
The Longhorn BJ Bar Massage has opened newly in Sub-soi Lemongrass. We don't know how there would be any more room for another specialty massage on that short sub-soi, but perhaps they will be able survive, what with their advertised services... Welcome to the slippery slopes...
The Yuuka Snack Bar (Japanese 'Snack Bar', not Western...) was just 'playing 'possum'' - they have sprung out of their dark cave and are back in business full-bore... Welcome back to the vicissitudes...
Of the many Venues under construction in Soi 7 Plaza, and the several being fitted out, only 6 have their name signage up:
*Long Shots - Seminal bar - first opened. (27 November) Photo & video immediately below.
*Lucky Bar - To open 2 December.
*Rumors - Likely the next to open.
*D-Nice Bar - Now being fitted-out.
*Crazy Cats - No relation to Cowboy's. Looks ready to open.
*'Midnite Squid' - (Thai sign only.) Selling grilled squid only? Open mid-December.
SOI 7 PLAZA
A quick swing through the Long Shots - Soi 7 Plaza's first bar open to the public (soft opening while awaiting operating license) on 27 November.
The Five Star Bar looks to be closed down, and not ready to come out for the next round. It would be more likely they are relocating to new digs in advance of the eventual closing of the QPP. We'll keep an ear to the ground, should they pop up elsewhere...
QUEEN's PARK PLAZA
Likewise, the long-running 3-Sisters Bar looks to have seen its last - at least as far as the QPP digs are concerned. A popular mini-pool bar, look for them to reincarnate elsewhere.
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 ?
* The SuperStar re-establishes its right to use that name, after having been forced to change back to the legal name P.P. Super / PP Superstar by the Sign Gestapos. It is still at that location today.
* The tiny second-level Pou-Pee reopened (to everyone's surprise). It was located above today's Bangkok Massage. No Nitespot exists at the Pou-Pee location today.
* No changes that month / year.
* The second level Titty Twister opened newly in what is today's Rainbow 3. (We are guessing expat residents and long-term returnees forgot where the 'Twister' name came from...)
* The tiny 3rd level Mai's Bar closed down.
Soi Katoey ( Silom Soi 4 )
* The 2nd level Tom Boy A Go Go closed. Today those digs are occupied by Hugs.
*Beyond opened newly in the old Film Mix digs. Today the BAS Living Room calls it home.
*White Latin ceased operations that month. Today those digs are occupied by G's Bangkok.
*Helene's Place reopened. Today those digs are unoccupied.
Soi Dead Artists ( Sukhumvit Soi 33 ) ( -NEWLY REPORTED- )
*-NEWLY REPORTED ALL-
*Christie's Club *Napoleon Club *Our Lounge (Peep Inn Bldg.)
*Blue Sky (Peep Inn Bldg.)
*'Entertainment Club' (Peep Inn Bldg.)
*Blue Power Shaft (Peep Inn Bldg.)
*Phoenix Lounge (Peep Inn Bldg.)
*Vincent Van Gogh *Mai 33 Massage *Renoir Club 1841 (Seminal bar - 1986.)
*Degas *Martini *Luciano's Club *Monet *Leo Club Bangkok *Chelsea Bar *33 Center
Buckskin Joe Village (~ December 1988 to 9 June 2006)
(Also called Tobacco Road, Soi Rot Fai, 'The Tracks' , Machim [Thai] & Soi Zero)
* No changes that month/ year.
(Total Nitespots that month: 19)
Washington Square (~ April 1999 to April 2014)
* No changes that month/ year.
(Total Nitespots that month: 15)
(Originally ''Entertainment Plaza'')
[ ~February 1999to June 2003 ]
*New York Pizza Pub - NEW - Outside against outer wall.-
*(Unnamed Lounge Bar) - NEW - In the large warehouse.- *(Unnamed S/T Hotel) - NEW - In the large warehouse, 2nd floor.
(Total Nitespots that month: 24)
''13 Night Market'' Entertainment Area"
(Originally 'Old Thermae Compound')
[ April 1999 - March 2005 ] (dates corrected this month)
*Elephant Bar - CLOSED - renovating *Rib Shack - REOPENED
8 ft high x 18 ft
8 ft high x 15 ft
Give Me A Sign
12 ft high x 21 ft
Bangkok Eyes is an historically based news outlet, and as such, all graphic excerpts herein are considered,
under current legal precedents and
prevailing interpretations, 'Fair Use' under Copyright Law. Copyright of any original artwork resides exclusively with the artists.
Bangkok's original site !
The MIDNITE HOUR Graffiti Page is prepared by Staff Contributor "Boge" Hartman.
(Boge's photo, above, is not a graffitiper-se, although there are those who have insinuated....