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Soi 1 Entertainment Plaza

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01 August 2004
William R. Morledge
Japanese Kerb-Service
The AIDS Conference Disaster
Rumor Of The Month
August's Follies in review
Breakfast at the Oasis


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        Late last year, MIDNITE HOUR first heard the rumors - the old gas station at the top of Sukhumvit Soi 1 was to be the site of a large building which would be home to the next Nana Plaza-style Night Entertainment Area (see our November 2003 Rumor Of The Month).   The rumors quickly subsided, but then again in May of this year, (2004) Khun A. of Bar Chemo 04 at 13 Night Market mentioned that she was one of a hoon that was investing in the building on Soi 1, which by this time had risen well above the foundation levels.   At that time, she also mentioned that the 3rd floor was going to be a "Thermae-style coffee shop" that would stay open until the wee-hours of the morning.   We remained more than a little skeptical, and once again made the 'Thermae-style coffee shop" story our May Rumor Of The Month .

         Nevertheless, the 'rumor' was obviously far from dead, and although it had morphed from a "Nana Plaza" style format to a bar beer format with a coffee shop on top, construction on the Soi 1 building seemed to progress at an ever-accelerating pace.   -It looked like MIDNITE HOUR was to have the first of its Rumors Of The Month come true.   Original completion estimates last November had a construction completion date of March 2005.   By this last May, when the 'Soi 1 rumor' resurfaced, the construction completion date had moved up to November 2004 - but with no solid confirmation that it would be a Night Entertainment Area.   However, this July banner signs were stretched across the still-incomplete structure (by then 3 storeys high) advertising bar-beers for lease, along with contact numbers, and even a contact email address and website URL.   Obviously these "Soi 1" rumors were, now, more than just rumors.

        We went to visit the construction site late last month (July) and by chance met the local owner 'Tome' (rhymes with 'home').   Khun Tome was kind enough to give us the 'Cook's Tour' of the premises.

        The front area downstairs will be the main bar beer area (several bar beers already have construction crews making modifications in preparation for the opening - to include tearing down brand-new walls to make double-wide venues).   In the rear there will be a coffee shop and a Thai Karaoke.   Khun Tome was careful to point out that the kitchen for the coffee shop is actually going to be in a building to the rear, so there will be no cooking odors wafting through the Entertainment Area.   Although there will be 36 loc available, some venues will be taking more than one area, and the upstairs allocations have yet to be made - probably based on who comes in the door first with the lease money - remembering that the Thai language sign in front also says the building is for 'commercial' use.   Khun Tome did not make any mention of a 3rd floor Thermae-style coffee shop.

         This brings up a critical issue - although there will be 36 loc available, it is likely many of these spaces will be combined into single Night Entertainment Venues, and others likely going to other type shops /offices.   It is therefore going to be a game of "Wait And See" as to whether the new Sukhumvit Soi 1 Entertainment Plaza building will actually qualify as a stand-alone Night Entertainment Area.   Will it attain that magical 'critical mass' - the ability to be self-sustaining in terms of being able to draw -and keep- custom?

The architect's concept sketch of Sukhumvit Soi 1 Entertainment Plaza, as seen on their new website -

         We mentioned to Khun Tome that the full name, Sukhumvit Soi 1 Entertainment & Plaza was too long - longer than any other Night Entertainment Area in Bangkok ***, and suggested that it might do well with a shorter nickname.   He replied only with a smile.   We suspect that unless he has a catchy name up his sleeve, most of the regular denizens of the night will be referring to it as just "Soi 1".   When we asked, Khun Tome said that the new construction completion date would be 5 October - one month earlier than originally scheduled.   Given that this is so, it probably will be about New Year, 2005 before we see whether Soi 1 will join the ranks as a fully fledged Night Entertainment Area.   MIDNITE HOUR will be keeping an eye open, and will keep all informed of developments (or non-developments), and we wish Khun Tome the best of business successes in any case.
Useless Historical Trivia.......

      THE LONGEST...
      The "award", or perhaps, the "distinction", of having the longest name of any Night Entertainment Area in Bangkok goes to what is now "Soi Zero".   Back in April 1997 it became "Bangkok Night Plaza Bar Beer Center & Night Market".   (It reverted to Buckskin Joe Village after two years.)


Watch 'em come and watch 'em go
With only one thing in common
They got the fire down below

      Bob Seger
      The Fire Down Below

         Although the religious holiday is actually tomorrow, the Government made an eleventh-hour decision that today would also be 'dry' - that means all of Bangkok's  Night Entertainment Venues will have to close tonight as well.   But the casual observer walking down Soi Ginza this evening might think otherwise - several of the bars have their own bevy of well-dressed young women standing, sitting, waiting out along the footpath and in the doorways -as is usual- for Japanese custom.   With the house lights dimmed and the neon turned off, a likely assumption would be that they are having a closed-door party upstairs - away from prying eyes.   However this is not the scene, at least not tonight.   Nor did the young women mistakenly show up for work, unaware of this last-minute extra day off.   Should the casual observer -a non-player- find himself on that soi, he would notice that, almost without exception, each of the girls is awaiting her pre-arranged buy-out - her customer.

         Many of the Japanese cruise into Soi Ginza in their chauffeur-driven limos, not even seeing a need to get out - the chauffeur opens the door and the young lady steps in.   Kerb-service.   Others park nearby and come -sometimes in groups of two or three- and accompany their 'escorts' back to the waiting cars.   The casual observer would find it difficult not to notice - difficult not to 'watch 'em come and watch 'em go'.

  • SOI GINZA (Soi Thaniya) - July 2004 • 

Related Stories:
A Holiday Surprise

         The very word "holiday" comes from "holy" and "day", so the Khao Phansa full-moon Buddhist holiday is not only universally understood, but it is also enjoyed by everyone.   Those expats fortunate enough to have Thai friends have surely, on occasion, been invited to their favorite wat to walk clockwise around the main sala three times with their thoop-thien aflame - or at least smoldering.   Also fully understood and appreciated is the Government's edict to close those local establishments serving alcohol on this and other holy days.
         However, it remains a mystery why the Powers-That-Be would implement -virtually without warning- an additional day's closure of Bangkok's Night Entertainment Venues - as was done on Saturday, 31 July this year.   
         The surprise closure of Bangkok's entire Night Scene had many Night Venue employees showing up for work, only to be told to go home again.   Tourists and expat residents, for the large part, found out the same way.   
         MIDNITE HOUR thought it might be interesting to take a whirl-wind tour of the expat Night Entertainment Areas on this "surprise" holiday, and see just exactly what went down.   The first thing we noted was that compliance was not entirely uniform - each of the main expat Night Entertainment Areas had one or perhaps two venues that were in "lights-out, doors locked" mode, allowing only 'safe' customers in.   We hesitate to list these more adventurous venues on the microscopic chance that Bangkok's Finest would seize upon this tidbit of 'intel' and use it as a pretext for further cracking down.   
          Other Night Entertainment Venues were remaining open because of a difference in licensing - those registered as 'restaurants' were not considered entertainment venues, and allowed to remain open.   Again, there were one or two of these venues to be found in each expat Night Entertainment Area.
         But it was a field day for street touts and taxi touts, who were out in force, both in and around the entrances to all the Night Entertainment Areas.   "All bar close tonight - I take you good bar.   Massage?   I take you free, you no pay me money," was a common harassment - do they all have the same English teacher?   Certainly, any administration sincere in their efforts to improve the image of this Kingdom (and not just into making form-over-substance gestures) would rid the city once and for all of this obnoxious street trash - wouldn't they?   Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaah...
         But in the end, it is Tourism that suffers, and all these high-profile administrative machinations are seen for what they really are - the incumbent lot of administrators attempting to demonstrate to their constituencies and the world at large how much they 'care' about the nation's face.   Thinly disguised is the current regime's tiny-minded vindictive mentality that intends to be seen 'teaching a lesson' to "bad' Night Entertainment Venues.   But even more sub-rosa is their greedhead desire and frustration, as they try to find an acceptable way to tap into the recently reported 11 percent of the GNP that the Night Scene and other forms of the "underground economy" represent.   We have no intention of even trying to measure how hypocritical this is.
The AIDS Conference

        Perhaps the indicator of how much would be actually accomplished at this year's XV International AIDS Conference was foretold on T-shirts being worn at the annual American Independence Day celebrations earlier in the month.   The T-shirts depicted this year's AIDS Conference symbol of three elephants, however it had been parodied.   The symbol was changed to make it appear that the last two elephants were having sex.
          Once the Conference got under way, the Press were apparently afraid NOT to report each and every item of minutiae on their front pages each day.   Likewise, local radio and television stations broadcast speech after speech of every inane "VIP" speaker who was able to make it to a microphone.   MIDNITE HOUR tuned in on the first day to hear someone in an impassioned, quavering voice telling us we "...must wear condoms for each and every 'special occasion'....."   As he never explained, we assume we will have to start wearing condoms to funerals and children's birthday parties as well...   Or perhaps there are times when we can dispense with stupid euphemisms?   Nevertheless, this speech set the general tone of the Conference for the next six days.
         MIDNITE HOUR had high hopes that something meaningful would come out of the conference, and that the Night Entertainment Industry's problems would be specifically addressed.   What we got were a large number of delegates rushing around in chaffeur-driven limos, being taken back and forth to their 5-star hotels, and the usual regurgitated palaver heard one, two, and three years ago, to include the usual updated recital of poorly documented WHO statistics on the disease.   End of story, folks, that was it.
         One of the bigger mysteries was a full page ad taken out in the Bangkok Post by someone calling themselves "AIDS Responsibility Project".   (The advertisement must have cost them a huge hunk of change.)   While ostensibly claiming to seek better AIDS treatment for the world's poor, they appeared to be holding a private vendetta against someone or something called CIPLA, without bothering to explain who or what CIPLA might be - one of those things Bangkok's reading public would just have to know.   They claimed that the XV AIDS Conference should have, instead, served as an occasion for promotion of other agendas such as infrastructure development and property rights.   Ho-boy, wingnuts to the right of us, wingnuts to the left of us...
          On the Conference's closing day the Bangkok Post ran an editorial by Walden Bello, Executive Director of Focus On The Global South and self-styled CEO of Asia's NGO/Anti-globalization movement (read: Global Governance).   His editorial was against the pharmaceutical companies that are overcharging for vital AIDS medicines.   Probably for the first time in his public career, he did not try to put a radical spin on what he was saying, and in the process, and perhaps in spite of himself, he made sense.   He called for a new Research & Development paradigm, and his recommendation was that a new "Manhattan Project" be mobilized for its implementation.   His choice of the Manhattan Project was probably the most inept, regrettable example he could have found, in that this particular project introduced humanity to the terrors of nuclear war - nevertheless he made his point, and we give the Devil his due.
          Bello's presentation, while statistically interesting, was as might be heard in British parliamentary debate, a good point poorly taken.   But it wasn't only Bello; other NGOs and 'human rights' organizations had just as difficult a time hitting the nail on the head.   How hard is it to simply say that no rational human society can place the wealth and comfort of a few individuals over saving the lives of millions of it's people?   It should be self-evident to the point of not needing discussion.   Patent laws impeding the fight against a pandemic killer disease is as irrational as, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it," from the Vietnam War era.   Any individual, corporation, administration and /or government that doesn't see this as bold-print self-evident is dangerously, ...nay, suicidally dysfunctional.   And there is just no other way to say that.

A Sidebar...
         We also note as an aside that these same pharmaceutical companies have not singled out AIDS medicines as their sole source of unreasonable profits.   Another illustrative example is cancer medicines.   Cancer, now much more able to be beaten, has likewise become a disease only the rich can afford.   We personally know of many examples of individuals fleeing the USA in search of the identical treatment and medicines for a quarter or a fifth the cost they would have to pay back home.   Even more regrettable, these exorbitant drug prices are driving many more to try quack cures, homeopathic remedies, etc.
         In a similar vein, if it were not so tragic, one could laugh at the lack of attention these selfsame pharmaceutical companies and governments are giving other such international killers - such as malaria.   The next time you are on the web, Google in "malaria" and see for yourself just how many more hundreds of thousands die of malaria than AIDS.   When was the last we saw the international Press providing the same level of hype for an International Malaria Conference ?

         An attempt at relevance, to highlight the AIDS problem as it relates to the Night Entertainment Industry came from Empower who threw a "Bad Night Party" at Nana Plaza's Carnival bar on 13 July.   Although their hearts were in the right place, we feel that Empower holding a Bad Night Party is the equivalent to Barry Manilow hosting a Hell's Angels roundup.   The promise of an underwhelming evening kept a good many expats away, while the 500 baht entry fee, according to sources on the ground at Nana Plaza, was too close to a one-evening escort fee at any of the adjoining bars.   Just the same, we give them high marks for trying - the below was circulated by them on the Internet -

Network of Sex Workers Project,
Asia Pacific Network Of sex Workers
and Empower Foundation
is happy to invite you to join in a

"Bad Night Party"
to be held in Carnival Bar
Soi Nana Sukhumvit Bangkok
13th July
during the International Aids Conference.
The Bad Night begins at 9pm

Dress as "Bad" as you please or as fancy! (Prizes!)
Expect shows, dancing, laughter and the unexpected!
Tickets will be available for 500 Baht at Bangkok
A-Go Go Bar in the Global Village. (Ticket price
includes entry to the party, two drinks and

Contact Empower :

          In summation, the XV International AIDS Conference did as much for the AIDS problem in general, and the Night Entertainment Industry specifically, as selling "Save The Whales" T-shirts has done for keeping Japanese harpoons out of the backs of whales.   MIDNITE HOUR stands in awe - despite AIDS becoming an Universal cause cιlθbre and a political pawn (What have you done -publicly- for AIDS lately?) - so little of that which could be done has actually been done.   But hey, what a boondoggle for all those "delegates" and "representatives" and "VIPs" - we hope they all had a wonderful Bangkok holiday.

"Rumor Of The Month"

Where there's  

      "Rumor" is defined as "no-fault confabulation, chain-reaction speculation...."    Nevertheless MIDNITE HOUR again presents the most outrageous / prevalent rumor to cross our desks this past month:

       "August 1st, being Khao Phansa, a religious national holiday, Night Entertainment Areas will be closed on Saturday, 31 July, as well as both 01 August and 02 August".

MIDNITE HOUR includes as part of our Rumor Of The Month an ongoing evaluation as to the accuracy of said rumors since the inception of the award.

As of 01 August 2004, the Rumor Accuracy Quotient remains at -

See our Archived Rumors at their worst : click HERE.

August's Follies
begin here

      MIDNITE HOUR presents the NEWS on the Bangkok Night Scene; - the 'history-in-the-making' for all major Night Entertainment Areas  - for the month ending  1 AUGUST, 2004 :

  • PATPONG  I • .
           The King's Castle I was undergoing fevered minor renovations when we passed by last night, nevertheless, the foreman, referring me to their hand-printed holiday schedule posted at the door, said he would have no problem finishing in time for a 2 August reopening.     • PATPONG I • 

  • PATPONG  II • .
           The Side Walk Cafe Bar opened almost early enough to make into our last month's issue - it's British owner exuding all the optimism of someone never having owned a bar before.   The hostesses in their silver lamι bib-tops were attractive, indeed.   They opened in the old Blue Sky Bar digs, which had been under wraps for a little more than a month while renovations proceeded.   Welcome to the wargames.     • PATPONG II • 

  • NANA  PLAZA • .
           The only soldier standing at Nana Plaza last night (31 July) -in spite of the Government-enforced extra night off- was Woodstock Rock & Roll Pub & Restaurant.   Last night they were leaning heavily on the "Restaurant" part.   Business as usual, sans booze, at least in any flagrant way.

Rock'n'Roll Immortalized

This month's prize for 'Best Door Art' goes to Woodstock - but this is more than just "door art", the above photo shows only a small section of a 20 meter mural celebrating Rock'n'Roll.   For the benefit of those youngsters raised on Techno and Rap, Rock'n'Roll is what came before.   It was called, "music" - back in the days when the recording industry produced such.
  • NANA PLAZA • August 2004


Decks of Deks

Residents and return visitors had for years remained convinced they had seen just about everything Bangkok's Night Entertainment Industry had to offer at least once.   Nevertheless, in January of 2001 the Baccara on Soi Cowboy brought something new to town - Bangkok's first double-decker Plexiglass floor A-Go-Go stage.   Several other bars have followed suit, however, it took the Mandarin Lounge in Nana Plaza to perfect it - customers on the 2nd and 3rd floors have a clear view of both levels of A-Go-Go dancers through the supersized Plexiglass upper deck.

  • SOI  COWBOY • .
            Thonglor's Finest have been dispensing a little extra-judicial street justice once again, this time at the expense (quite literally) of the Midnite Bar.   It seems their A-Go-Go dancers were exposing body parts only allowed to be viewed in the National Museum, the National Geographic and the Fashion Channel.   Our stringer, the Duke of Yenakat advises that they were warned five days in advance that they would be closed down on 2 July because of such conduct, but they chose instead to ignore this, and continued to outrage the national modesty right up until the last minute.   Taken in it's most serious light, conduct such as this could only be considered downright naughty.
         Nevertheless, as this is not the Midnite Bar's first falling from grace - they could have drawn the full 90 day banishment to the tiger cages, where they would have been encouraged to contemplate the severity of their sins.   As it was, they drew another 30-day shut-down.   Nevertheless, their time has been well spent in making minor renovations - mostly consisting of black paint, by the look of things - and they say all works will be completed several days before the official reopening on 2 August (tomorrow).
         But when push comes to shove, to "show", or not to "show" is a purely financial decision, and as with any financial decision, there are always risks.      And there are always those who will risk more to make more.   
         Bangkok's A-Go-Go bar owners are all big boys and girls - each is well aware that "showing" brings the cash monkeys, and getting caught brings consequences.   Unfortunately, as long as the current Autocratic Regime remains, the risks and the consequences are higher than they have ever been - as has recently been made abundantly clear by the Authorities' real need to make regular, public examples of Expat Night Entertainment Venues.   • SOI COWBOY • 

            The second bar to be publicly pilloried by Men-In-Tan from the Thonglor Soh-Noh was Sheba's, which also landed themselves a 30-day sentence.   Signs on the doors indicating the staff dancers are now to be found at other venues.     • SOI COWBOY • 

            Likewise, the Men in Too-Tight Uniforms stung the New Agogo Duck (most of us call it 'Shark') with identical arbitrary justice.   And likewise, their dancers are temporarily located at another bar for the remainder of the 30-day wrist-slap.    • SOI COWBOY • 

Breakfast at the Oasis

            Shunning the cool interior and the tables and chairs, the three young women sit outside on the bare porch tiles - now warmed by the late morning sun.   A few plastic bags and two melamine bowls hold the morning's breakfast, the khao neaw, the laap pla duk, the kaeng som khai ban, a whole pla khem thot with another pla som thot right beside it; the freshly prepared phak tom.    -A finger-food banquet fit for any a Lao Princess, delivered moments ago by push-cart vendors plying the soi.   They share a can of Coke and a plastic bottle of water.   Bee is still in her sleeveless soi pyjamas and Keng is in shorts and a too-large Harley-Davidson tee-shirt.   Only Aye is in slacks and maroon knit tank-top, her new shoes carefully set aside with the others' flip-flops.   Aye no longer lives above the bar with the other two - she has landed a Farang and she now stays with him, not 200 meters from Soi Cowboy.
            Aye and the other two eat and talk of the previous night's goings-on; of who is now in Phu Khet with a customer; of who has gone to work in Pattaya.   None of the three is from the same village, but they have become close friends since coming to dance at Our Place.   They only occasionally mention their families, who for the most part, want them to send more money for this or that.   They speak almost entirely in Isaan - oblivious to my presence, certain I cannot understand that Northeastern dialect.   Aye is bored, she says, and although she "likes" her new English boyfriend, there is really nothing to do all day - and little to do at night.   He is too young, she explains confidentially to her friends.
            The two, Bee and Keng plan an early afternoon trip to Mah Boon Krong, asking Aye to accompany them.   There they will go shopping and maybe even take in the latest nang pee at the new upstairs cinema.   Together they will beat the boredom that stalks them each day until opening time.
            They ask me if I would like some laap?   Some Coke?    I decline, saying I must be on my way.    The three return to their own world, their own food, their own language, their own microcosmic Isaan oasis - their home away from home for the foreseeable future.

  • SOI COWBOY • July 2004
    • SOI COWBOY • 

          Since their new sign went up, they are now Joy Nguyn Bar, instead of just plain old Joy Bar.   The new sign is looking good, and is in keeping with the Soi's current megawattage trend - read, 'super bright'.     • SOI COWBOY • 

           The Latifah Bar, the first Arab bar to open in an Expat Night Entertainment Area has answered Darwin's harsh call - survival is for the fit, after all.   After struggling valiantly for two months, it now lies in an unmarked grave deep within the archives, not really having even made a dent in the collective memory.   .   • COWBOY ANNEX • 

            Gone but not gone is the Richiy Bar, which it seems was just temporarily leasing it's real estate to the now defunct Latifah Bar.   Welcome back to the night games.    • COWBOY ANNEX • 

           Also popping up, most unexpectedly, out of it's coffin is the Oh ! Yes bar, which had apparently thrown in it's hand last month.   The beat goes on. .   • COWBOY ANNEX • 

           As anticipated, Spanky's Bar 1 has called it an evening - with virtually no customers even able to find their way back to that obscure corner, there was no financial reason to stick around.   They still have Spanky'Bar 3 and (as mentioned last month) their new venue, Mike's Place on Patpong II to keep them fully occupied.   • COWBOY ANNEX • 

            The O.S. Salon, which was functionally a bar beer last month, has gone back to being a beauty salon.   Their staff have returned to the above mentioned Oh ! Yes bar - so this isn't really 'good-bye' so much as it is some quiet, incomprehensible game of musical chairs...   • COWBOY ANNEX • 

  • SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS  (Soi 33) • .
            The Upstairs Club, while being a very well-appointed lounge, just couldn't draw a crowd - even on a weekend.   They have called it a night - their staff and management moving a couple of doors down to the Oliver reed's club, which is doing much better these days.   • SOI DEAD ARTISTS  (Soi 33) • 

            Dali Pool, taking over The Upstairs Club's facilities, has a bright, not easily missed sign, beckoning one and all upstairs for pool and beer.   'Pool Bar', of course, being the modus operandi.   Welcome to the briar patch.   • SOI DEAD ARTISTS  (Soi 33) •   

            Forget what you heard, the new Jina 33 Club is not a Japanese bar, but rather an 'International Karaoke' - even we Gaijin are welcome.   They had their staff orientation night on 29 July, when we walked in thinking they were open.   However, they had a proper 'soft opening' the following night.   They are located on the Sub-Soi 33/2, next door to Mojo's.   We welcome them to these neon sois.   • SOI DEAD ARTISTS  (Soi 33) • 

            Call it  .   The Casablanca Karaoke has a sign above the door which reads just that.   However the newer sign overhanging the sidewalk spells it 'Casablanka' with a 'K'.    - Which (?) is the 'legal' name, we wonder, as there are other "Casablanca's" in this City Of Angels...   • SOI DEAD ARTISTS  (Soi 33) • 

            The Mariι Japanese karaoke has bid it's final "sayonara" - even the sign has been torn down and hauled away.   (Second floor, Peep Inn Park.)   • SOI DEAD ARTISTS  (Soi 33) • 

  • EASY  SQUARE • .
            With the Ocean's Bar's roller-shutters down and padlocked to the concrete deck, only cold steel greets the passing denizens of the night.      One rumor was that it was going to reopen again by the following weekend, but until that happens, we have scrubbed it from the rolls.     • EASY SQUARE • 

            The 4 U Bar has shrunk from it's original five loc to three.   It was rumored that the remaining two loc were up for grabs as a sub-lease, but don't hang your hat on that one - seeing is believing.     • EASY SQUARE • 

            The Easy Square Muay Thai Arena looked like it was hit by a Kansas tornado.   As we arrived late, we asked security personnel whether or not we had missed all the action.   He advised that there hadn't been any boxing for several days.   He explained, "No boxers, no people."   It looks as though Easy Square's second muay Thai boxing arena has also bitten the dust.   We don't normally say 'we told you so', but, "We told you so."   Muay Thai in Expat Night Entertainment Areas has never succeeded - they all fail sooner than later - and sooner is better than later, considering the sleaze that accompanies this activity.   (-We're not referring to boxers, of course, but rather the gamblers and the 'would-be' boxers, etc.)     • EASY SQUARE • 

            The Thai Boxing Bar, which was immediately adjacent to the Easy Square Muay Thai Arena has likewise turned to vapor - gone without a trace.   They were - as previously mentioned in these pages - part of the 4 U Bar hoon, which is going through a major contraction at this time.     • EASY SQUARE • 

            For the record, were it not for four bars currently under construction at Easy Square, we at MIDNITE HOUR would have little choice but to consider this group of Night Venues no longer qualified as a self-sustaining Night Entertainment Area.   We will continue to monitor Easy Square, along with the other major areas, and keep you advised.     • EASY SQUARE • 

  • " SOI  KATOEY " • .
            Separating the Night Venues that qualify as "pub - restaurants" and those claiming only "bar" status was quite easy last night, due to the extra one-day close-down for the Khao Phansa Buddhist holiday.   Remaining open, but serving in subdued light, -also sans grog- were Pharaoh's Music Bar Karaoke , the Sphinx Restaurant & Pub, the Telephone Pub & Restaurant, the Roxy Bar & Club, and The Balcony.   With all that activity, it was almost business as usual.     • SOI KATOEY • 

            The Morenice (More Nice) has sold out, lock, stock and chrome barstool to the brand new Nuna's Bar.   The smiling staff welcoming one and all passers-by.   Bar beer remains the prime agendum.   Welcome to the night-circus.     • QUEEN'S PARK PLAZA • 

            Last month we noted the closing of Sweethearts, and that Paddy's Irish Bar had taken over the reins.   Well, what goes around, comes around - this month, Paddy's is nowhere to be found, and Sweethearts has reappeared - rocking and rolling full-tilt like they had never left.   The only change we noted were a couple of brand-new red, white and blue signs.   Welcome back to the sharkpool.     • QUEEN'S PARK PLAZA • 

            The Sugar Shak - the large Pool Bar in the back of the compound - is getting ready to pull up stakes and move to Phu Khet.   A handwritten sign out front advertises 'For Sale'.   Any one interested should inquire within - as they remain open for the present.     • QUEEN'S PARK PLAZA • 

            The Banana Bar, closed last December for a month, is closed again.   We will be keeping an eye open - who knows, they may pop back up out of their coffin again.   We will advise next month - either they resurrect, or they are history.     • QUEEN'S PARK PLAZA • 

            Apropos temporary closures, our fears were unfounded last month when we passed by the Happiness and saw only dark shadows through the tinted windows.   Things are once again back full-throttle.     • QUEEN'S PARK PLAZA • 

            We mentioned we would keep an eye on the Crystal Bar -which closed in June- as they had a history of temporary closures.   We thought they might spring back to life yet again, but it just didn't happen - old leaves and windblown scraps of paper litter their steps and porch.   Although it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they will give it another try, they are -for the historical record- officially MIA.     • WASHINGTON  SQUARE • 

  • TOBACCO  ROAD  •  .
            The Friend's Bar finally got that new neon shingle nailed up, but it now reads Dog / V Bar Pool.   They get an "A" for originality, an "F" for marketing sense.   But it's the same gentle folk behind and in front of the bar.   We wish them constancy.     • TOBACCO  ROAD • 

            It looks like the Noi Pool Bar has put it's last chit in the cup.   Only darkness shines out from within.   They opened only last April - with the highest of expectations.   Too bad - reality always seems to hold higher cards than expectations.     • TOBACCO  ROAD • 

  • THERMΖ  & "13  NIGHT  MARKET" • .
            This week, the Thermae Bar & Coffee Shop has been feeling the long arm of the law - as it gropes under their table.   The Men In Too-Tight Uniforms have been coming in just before 01:00 hrs and telling the management to "wrap it up and go home - don't hurry, but don't take longer than 15 minutes."   Up until last week they were allowed to stay open until 02:00 hrs.     • THERMAE & 13 NIGHT MARKET • 

            A new bar beer, the You & I, has opened in the Night Market side.   If they ever make any money they are going to buy a sign...   We wish them luck as they cast their dice against the pitted wall of chance.     • THERMAE & 13 NIGHT MARKET • 

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