Well mongers, the great Prayut has spoken. Sort of. News outlets reporting the whole spectrum—from “Thailand will reopen Nov 1” to “Thailand might reopen Nov 1.” And restaurants can serve beer starting Dec 1. Cue the Pavlovian salivating. Is it great news? No. But it’s better than bad news. Someone should think of a word for that.
The rumor among gogo dancers is, Red-Lights will reopen a month after, on New Year’s. My first instinct is, it’s the universe punching us in the balls again. Just another Lucy waiting to pull the football away when ole Charlie makes a run at her. But logically, it makes sense. The Thai govt likes to do things in stages. Curfew extended as of yesterday, then tourists in November, then booze ban over in December. They can’t open the gogos on the same day. It has to feel meted out, like benevolent masters hand-feeding tiny bits of normalcy to their loyal servants. I’m not fussed. As long as I can once again smoke a Cuban on the Shenanigan’s terrace with a bottle of wine before Christmas, I’ll be happy. Plus we’ve already endured—how long now? Six months with no gogos. What’s another two months? Actually now that I see it in print, that does seem like a long-ass time. Well, shit.
Speaking of stages, the bars along upper Suk have started to come out of hibernation and stretch their legs. Staples like Red Lion and Sportsman on Soi 13 never closed, but with each passing day they have more company. I can’t speak to the nightlife because I’m trapped in my apartment with a harem girl every day from 18.00. I call it “perv immunity.” All my chickies are either vaxxed or had Covid already. I’m hedged in by my gonads. Insulated by my liaisons. But I’ve heard certain sois that used to be popular are—ahem! Quietly still popular, interspersed with cursory (“interspursory” for short, copyright BKK7) visits from the police. What I can speak to is the increasing number of daytime spots. Some little places on Soi 7/1 are buzzing with activity as early as 9 am. The Game is open from 11 daily. I swung by at noon on Thursday and was the only customer. Meanwhile Red Lion is rammed. I think it’s because most folks don’t know The Game’s reopened. Their advertising seems to be limited to a sign out front. ‘Tis a shame. Their 3-egg omelet and home fries skillet was outstanding.
Soi 8 is partially open, with a few joints cleaned, spritzed, and playing music, enticing customers to come in and take a load off. On Thursday afternoon, Viva was busy, and inVite was open but empty. Apparently once the sun goes down, the soi perks up Prohibition style, like it’s America circa 1920. Soi Nana has The Blackout, Chequers, and Hillary 2 open and waiting for customers. Several of the big boys—Hooters, Morning-Night, Stumble Inn, and BigDogs are all getting facelifts, presumably in preparation for reopening. Bus Stop appeared to be open but with no customers inside.
Patpong/Silom is still in a miserable state, but it’s improving. There are wild rumors of certain Thai-owned joints opening November 1st. I guess they might’ve made deals with the cops. G’s continuous to turn out awesome German fare seemingly effortlessly. I’m trying to steer away from the jaeger-schnitzel because it’s just too much food. These days I opt for the hand-made pork sausage, sauerkraut and potatoes. Next to G’s, there’s a new joint—Korean food, I think, called Silver Sand. They got a lotta hi-so customers, from what I can tell. Next to Sunrise is another new place—Lakehouse Nua. I think it’s Thai food. Nice décor. Other than that, my neighborhood remains ghostly quiet. Foodland is the only open business on Patpong Soi 2. Even the cop’s bar is closed. Round the corner, though, Roadhouse has come back to life–although only partially, as they’re definitively not selling alcohol. So expect them to re-close in short order–at least until December.
There are also rumors of a potential new owner in talks to take over Glamour on Soi 2 and Superstar on Soi 1. More on that as it develops. And I’ve some sad news out of Patpong. Kiss Bar–a staple of the Pong since before I was born–has closed for good. Tan, the owner–who also owns Superstar and the Patpong Cafe–has cashed in his Kiss Bar chips. It’s being gutted as we speak, to make room for…who know what? The thing that was the behemoth of Patpong has yet to reveal what monstrosity or curiosity it might metamorphize into. We can only wait and witness the carnage.
And just in the last few hours, word has come down that Bada Bing–a stalwart fixture on Patpong Soi 2–will relocate to Soi 1 once the bars reopen, in the spot where Radio City is now. That bar was completely renovated and poised to open when the pandemic hit. Everything in there is brand spanking new. No news yet as to what will replace the old Bada Bing location, but fingers crossed it’ll be a new gogo bar.
And so, with a few hiccups, things are slowly starting to turn around. If Prayut keeps his non-promise, it means we’re finally on the downslope of this shit pile. Meanwhile, Nuchy and Lalita continue to send me pics of their out-of-work antics, which I’m passing on to you below. No idea what’s going on with those weird bunny ears slash…stockings? Who the fuck knows.
And between now and next week, keep your beer cold, your fingers crossed, and here’s to a cautiously hopeful peak at a distant light at the end of this years-long Covid colon that we might finally be on the verge of escaping. Cheers, everyone.