The DOLLHOUSE SUZY  &  CRAZY  Bar HOLLYWOOD  A-GO-GO  EAST The  CANDY  STORE (An unnamed "Rooms For Rent") LEK'S  BOOZER JANNY'S  BAR  BEER YAHOO  BAR MONICA'S LIVING  ROOM  PUB (A BEER BAR with no name) ( --closed--  ) ''CHECKPOINT''  CHARLIE'S The  WHITE HOUSE  A-Go-Go TIVOLI  Bar & Grill TOP  SECRET BILL'S Coffee Shop & Top Down Grill The WIND MILL YOU  &  ME HAPPY  PROSPER  Beer Bar BUSH  GARDEN  Coffee Shop THERMAE  Coffee Shop * CLICK *  To Return To MAPS & HISTORY *  CLICK *  To VIEW AREA MAP  GPS       Coordinates :

   N  13º   44'  21.2''
   E  100º  33'  27.0''
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Thumbnail History - Clinton Plaza

1998 - 7 June 2003

Updated April 2002
- Richard D. Hartman

     The bank building lying between the now extinct Thermae massage parlor /coffee shop and the new Thermae coffee shop had been dormant for many months.      In the latter part of 1998 a few outdoor ‘bar beers’ appeared at the rear of the main building near the unused warehouse at the back of the premises.      The area was poorly lit, and the ‘bar beers’ were only occasionally occupied by small groups of Thai customers.

These bar beers were unnoticeable to all except those using the abandoned warehouse in the rear as an expedient parking lot.      Because of the location, between old and new Thermae, this area was referred to as "Thermae Annex".

From those inauspicious beginnings in 1998, there had been considerable growth during the first six months.      By February 1999, the area already sported 10 ‘bar beers’ with two more under construction; the new bars were creeping around from behind the main building in both directions toward Sukhumvit Road.      In January 1999, the entertainment area's developers,"Case" and Charlie decided to call the compound 'Entertainment Plaza' , and in February of that year, the sign was put up at the side of the main building (where Monica’s now stands).

In June of 1999, another new sign went up, replacing the old ‘Entertainment Plaza’ sign.  From that time forward, ‘Entertainment Plaza’ officially became ‘Clinton Plaza’ .  -As in Bill Clinton , the ex-president was to be the unofficial theme.      Several of the bars were named after either Clinton himself ( Bill’s Coffee Shop ) or people or places relating to his administration (Monica’s, The White House...)

The beer bars at the newly renamed ‘Clinton Plaza’ slowly gained in popularity among expat imbibers, so at the beginning of the new millennium, Case decided the time was right to try an A-Go-Go bar.      He began renovations on his indoor/outdoor Nuch Snack Bar in February 2000.      By the end of March, Flowers A-Go-Go opened its doors to the public.      It was an immediate, if modest, success.      And while it has changed hands and changed its name ( to The Candy Store ), it proved to be the seminal bar for Clinton Plaza , as several more a-go-go bars have opened over the following two years.      If a date were to be cited for Clinton Plaza coming of age and entering the mainstream of Bangkok’s nighttime entertainment scene, it would have to be March 2000.

In August, 2001, contractual disputes between the a-go-go bar owners and the lessors in Clinton Plaza nearly caused a terminal implosion.      All of the a-go-go bars except the Doll House closed down virtually overnight.      This dispute coincided with a government crackdown on the night entertainment industry, and it looked like Clinton Plaza was to be relegated back to the minor leagues of beer bars and noodle stands.      But by the New Year, 2002, most of the problems had been resolved, and only the Rock Hard had not reopened.

Although Clinton Plaza came into being shortly after the economic collapse in 1997, and stands on land said to be originally destined for redevelopment, there is a good chance Clinton Plaza could be around for the long haul; long-term lease problems seem to have been rectified, and the establishments in the main building (Delifrance, Tivoli, Living Room Pub) appear to be thriving.     Although Clinton Plaza doesn’t appear to have critical mass of its own, i.e., it doesn’t appear to have enough draw-cards to be a self-sustaining entertainment hub, being located next door to the perennial Thermae Coffee Shop gives it more than enough of a leg-up.     Barring further intervention by the current government’s left-footed, heavy-handed Purachiian moralists, Clinton Plaza should establish itself as a permanent fixture on the night entertainment landscape.

As a footnote: of those original trail-blazers, the ‘bar beers’ that were there before it became “Clinton Plaza”, only Top Secret, Happy Prosper Beer Bar, Chan's Corner , Lek’s Boozer and Charlie's own Check Point Charlie's (which he originally called "Exhibition") are still in existence today.

The Living Room officially closed on 07 June 2003

© 2001, Bangkok Eyes /
* With grateful acknowledgement to Zootramp Publications for exclusive use of their historical database.