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A History In The Making

Bangkok, 01 October 2002
William R.  Morledge

     Every month Midnight Hour reviews the changes in the "Night Scene" in each of Bangkok's major Night Entertainment Areas.   In these reviews, we cover those entertainment venues that have newly opened, recently closed, or that have just changed names during the month preceding.   We often include other related information about these Night Entertainment Venues, such as - where they have moved from, where they have moved to, and if they are affiliated with any other clubs, lounges or bars in the Bangkok area.   Also included are other items of general interest to our readers, to include what type of entertainment might be expected to be found within.
           But in addition to providing topical discussion on Bangkok's Night Scene, there is an underlying motive for Midnight Hour's monthly updates.   One of the conceptual cornerstones in the founding of Bangkok Eyes was to provide - via the Internet - a record, both historical and ongoing, of the Night Entertainment Scene.   The Midnight Hour hopes and intends to provide an accessible and permanent record, not only of the birth, growth and passing of the individual Venues, but of the Night Entertainment Areas themselves.   These updates can be found herein in our "Archives" on our main page, and serve as the incremental updates to our Thumbnail Histories of each of Bangkok's Night Entertainment Areas.  
           While not wishing to aggrandize the importance of an otherwise 'trivial pursuit', Bangkok Eyes  /  Midnight Hour has taken note of, and will continue to respond to, our readers' enthusiasm in these historical presentations.  

     Without further preamble, MIDNITE HOUR presents Bangkok nightlife's '
history-in-the-making' for the month of September, 2002 :

       A mini- 'Patpong 1 saga' -       As reported in other media, the dust has finally settled around the Queen's Castle bars' relocations.    Follows is a detailed chronology of these 'musical chairs' machinations:  
      It all started over a year ago.    Last August, when the original snit of Purachaiian zeal closed several 'expat' bars in Bangkok, one of the first to fall to temporary closure was the Queen's Castle (I)
      Following almost immediately, in early September 2001, the Pussy Collection name was resurrected, this time in a new location (the old Club Habanos next to Randy's Gold Finger's).   The Pussy Collection, conveniently took the 'overflow' of girls from the Queen's Castle I, which was all the while claiming it was being "renovated".
      In January of 2002, the Queen's Castle I reopened in its original location, and the Pussy Collection stayed put - but now no longer the 'overflow' bar.
      In July of this year, the upstairs Pussy Galore ceased operations, never to reopen -at least under that name...   Staff said the girls went to the Pussy Collection; it once again becoming the 'overflow' bar.   The ex-Pussy Galore stayed open briefly without a sign as "part of the (downstairs) King's Castle III", but closed soon thereafter.   This upstairs portion did, however, reopen in September of this year (2002) as the Queen's Castle I.
      But what of the original Queen's Castle I ?    It is now (since September) called the "New Queen's Castle".   Its not over yet, however.     Ground crew at the New Queen's Castle advise that the name will change again this October
      The Queen's Castle II, which is on the other side of the street, above SuperStar, has been unaffected by this round-robin of name changes, closures and resurrections.  
      Some of you will remember that this is not the first time the King's Group has done this sort of thing.     A little over 10 years ago, similar shenanigans relegated the internationally renown, original King's Castle bar to a lowly King's Castle III and made two of its other bars across the street the King's Castle I and the King's Castle II.   No one ever came forth with a logical explanation for that one.       If you can understand all of the above you have a superior attention span.     The net effect on Patpong 1 of the Purachaiian attempt to legislate tourist chastity is one additional King's Group bar.  

       Meanwhile, on Patpong 2 a pair of lounges are under construction between the Thai Room and the Le Bouchon Restaurant & Pub.   If we are to judge from the rate of construction, they should be completed in October.

        Clinton Plaza continues to crumble before our eyes.   The grounds, slated to become a major hotel -someday- is looking more like a construction site all the time.   September saw the fall of 3 more bars:-
          Charlie's Angels (which was originally SuperStar Frank's Tivoli Bar & Grill) has turned its lights out for the last time.  
          Likewise, Checkpoint Charlie's, has succumbed to the dust and debris.   Originally called Exhibition, it was one of Clinton Plaza's 'charter' bars.  Later, as Checkpoint Charlie's, it would have live blues on the weekends.  
          Also disappearing in September was the You & Me bar beer:- lights out, stools upturned on the bar.

      Bart's Bar, one of the few air conditioned bars on Tobacco Road has called it an evening.   It was just too deep in the soi:- not enough foot traffic.  This is more than a one-off occurrence; over the last year, the Tobacco Road Night Entertainment Area has slowly been withering from within.   Business on the soi is down over times past.   Let's hope the upcoming tourist season will see a reversal of the trend.

       On Soi Katoey, the Om Trance Club is closed for expansion and renovations.   Expect to see them back open for business around the end of October, possibly with a name change.

       On the one hand, Sukhumvit Square is the fastest growing Night Entertainment Area in Bangkok; on the other, very few of the ongoing changes were finalized in September.  The center 77 Sunset bar beer area is completed and two bar beers are preparing to open within, but neither will be completed until sometime late October.   The two A Go-Go bars under construction at the rear are also progressing well, but not yet complete.  
          The House Bar, which actually had its soft opening in August is up and running 'full-steam'.   Welcome aboard.
          The Little Shinjuku Bar Beer looked like it was buttoned down for the long haul.   Lets see if it has reopened on our next trip by, or if it has become another footnote in the history book.  

        There were a couple of changes in September in Soi Cowboy:-
          Tony's has called it a day; lights off, hatches battened.  
          The Dundee opened up abruptly where the Honey Moon used to stand.   Neither a gain nor a loss, this was just a name change.   It looked like business had picked up substantially.   So, what's in a name?

        It was a mixed bag in Cowboy Annex for the month of September:-
          The Bottleneck reopened after a month's renovations.   I must say it is much improved.   It lies in the narrow pathway between the Asoke Corner and Asoke Plaza halves of the Annex .  Welcome back.
          The Princess Bar at the 'Annex' corner nearest Sukhumvit on Soi 23 has closed for renovations.   They should be back in October.
          Fantasy Thailand, a small bar beer in the 4-Pak (yes, still in the 'Annex') has reopened, also after a one month layoff.  No explanation given for the shut-down.
          The Isisdur, which also resided in the 4-Pak has called it a day after only a few months.   It didn't seem like they ever got with the program - they never even got around to putting up a sign.

         Richard Z's Spider's Web on the second floor of Nana Plaza has closed in September, and is currently undergoing renovations.

        After a long run on the 2nd floor of Nana Plaza, the Hollywood Stars Bar closed this September, --only to reopen as the Secrets.

        On Soi Dead Artists (Sukhumvit Soi 33) we saw a few changes, all for the better:-
          The Suika has changed its name to the Anego.  Located inside the 33 Complex, it is, as the name might suggest, oriented toward Japanese customers.
          The similarly named 33 Center's only nighttime venue, the 33 Center Pub has lost its sign, but its business as usual.  
          The Bar Za Bar on the small sub-soi next to the Santana Club reopened this month after a brief closure the month before.

         There were a number of changes in Queen's Park Plaza (Sukhumvit Soi 22) in the month of September - mostly for the good:-
           Top Secret bar beer, recently from the imploding Clinton Plaza, has completed its relocation.   They brought their 'regulars'; we wish them luck.
          Queen's Park Plaza's seminal No ! Bra and the relative newcomer Why Not ? are combining.   The new, larger, longer bar will retain the No ! Bra appellation and bar beer format.   While renovations are going on in front, they are still serving cold ones in the rear.  
          Two shop-widths deeper into the Plaza, the One More Bar bar beer has just opened.   They don't yet have a sign, so they have drawn the name on a piece of paper and stuck it up to one side.   They say the sign will be ready in October.   Welcome aboard.
          Monkey Bizness has reopened without fanfare.   In this game, consistency is a virtue; opening and closing is not the way to impress the regulars.   Welcome back - hope you stay open for a while.  
          Coconat (sic) has closed yet again.   This time, there is a 'For Sale' sign in the window.   As I was just saying about opening and closing....  
          In the rear, the Hideaway has taken over the reins from Queen's Park Plaza's long-established Long Island Club.   Welcome aboard.  

 Datzit Fernow.

2002, Bangkok Eyes /

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