This Pattaya Trader edition of the column is designed to vary from the regular editions that feature in the Pattaya Today newspaper and on the internet via www.baronbonk.com, aiming to provide a round-up of events and incidents that have taken place in Fun Town over the preceding few weeks.
For this inaugural edition, I thought it best to look back at some of the stories and events of the past year, 2003. As usual, a clutch of boozers opened, a few closed, some relocated. SARS had obvious effects earlier in the year and low season was one of the most difficult for many operators. However, come the start of November and the crowds began to make their presence felt and no doubt there’ll be a veritable host of visitors just lining up to become new bar owners. “I don’t want to make a million, just pay for my rent, food and beer,” said one starry-eyed prospect, echoing the thoughts of many who have gone before him.
On Saturday night 4 January Club Electric Blue became the 25th ogling den on or in the environs of Walking Street when the former Baby 3 opened its palatial doors with a private party. This was followed by a dance contest on 5 January.
Scootish Dave, mine host of The Kennel boozatorium (lane between Pattayaland Soi 1 and 2) snapped up the vacant Don Dero bar next door and had a special opening knees-up on Tuesday 7 January.
In early January, the Polo late night boogie barn (Walking Street) hastily changed direction, and was turned into an ogling den with a series of non-stop ‘erotic sexy’ shows. It has been a popular ogling spot ever since.
The Spicy Girls ogling den (in gender-confused Pattayaland Soi 1) celebrated its fourth birthday on Saturday night 1 February.
Polo held what it termed an Amazing Dance Show on 3 February, the first prize of 10,000 baht being taken out by the team representing Living Dolls Showcase.
The long-running Mick’s Place (Soi 8, Second Road) closed down after having problems regarding the lease.
The sexy Swede, Lasse, celebrated his fifth year at the helm of The Globetrotter noshery, boozer and sleeping palace (the Beach Road-end lane between Soi 7 and Central Road) with a party on 24 February.
The Emergency ogling den in Pattayaland Soi 2 suffered a serious coronary and closed its doors at the end of the month. The premises was later taken over by Misty’s, the play palace next door.
The Cupido bar complex was allegedly due for demolition by March or April, but although building work commenced in its immediate environs, the ‘Hangar’, as it is colloquially referred to, is taking on the same features as the seemingly never-ending 101 business saga in Walking Street. As of the end of 2003, the Hangar continues to hold out even as buildings start going up all around it.
For those who can never find, or could be bothered to look for, the G-Spot, a sports emporium and sierra tango operation by that name opened its doors in front of the Weekender sleeping palace on 1 March.
T.J., the former manager of The Dollhouse, moved into the meeting and greeting duties in the long-running Carousel ogling den (Soi Diamond) with a party on 3 March. The den has since undergone some radical, mostly welcome, changes in its format.
The Blues Factory late night boogie barn (Soi Lucky Star) celebrated its second anniversary as did the beans-means-fart Mexican nosh house Tequila Reef (Soi 7).
A new ogling den, called (and misspelled) Lolipop opened on Soi 2, just down the road from the long-running Classroom 2000. It went on to hold two dance contests, one in April and another in May, but then management and ownership problems arose, and the den eventually closed its doors.
The German-run dine and dash establishment Gang’s Pub (Soi 6) changed hands towards the end of the month, being taken over by American Tom Rosetti (of the Pattaya Accommodation Guide) and Austrian Wolfgang ‘what-do-you-mean-heap-of-rust; that’s-my-bike’.
The management of the Goldfingers (Soi 7) ogling den (formerly known simply Super-7) completed the first part of a remodelling program inside the den.
Also completing remodelling, but of a different style, were the bulldozers and earth moving equipment that just about completed the demolition of the bars and sundry dwellings down along Soi 6/1. A few short weeks later , the new clutch of boozers located just across the road and ostentatiously named Queen’s Park Plaza were opened for business.
The Silver Star on Soi 8 opened as an ogling den. Regulars to Fun Town will remember the place when it was the Paradise Club and then as Silver Street.
The famous Carousel ogling den (Soi Diamond) horse, a noble beast, which began life coloured white, and latterly was painted a Dracula-esque black, was wrenched from the revolving stage and put out to pasture.
Possibly one of the shortest-lived nosheries in Pattaya history, the Simply Blues Café (Walking Street) was closed down by Big Andy and re-opened as Hooty’s ogling den. As a chrome pole palace it quickly gained a reputation for interesting shows.
On 30 May, the intriguingly-named Old Speckled Hen boozer/noshery/nod-off joint opened for business in Jomtien, Soi 9. Named after a brand of Pommy beer, it is run by the Elephant Man, formerly a partner in the Spicy Girls ogling den.
The former Pretty Girl ogling den Walking Street became Nui’s 2. Meanwhile, down in the wilds of Soi Yamato, the Playpen ogling den was sold to a Frenchman and turned out the lights. It was remodelled and later opened as a beer boozer and affordable ‘get out’ (that’s Thai-speak for guest house).
The X late night boogie barn (Soi Marine Plaza) closed its doors after being unable to compete with the likes of Tony’s and Marine.
Yet another clutch of beer boozers was opened for business, this lot on Central Road, opposite the Nova Lodge sleeping palace and across the alley from the Krung Thai ATM machine.
The Winchester sierra tango boozer in Soi Watch My Bum, Jomtien changed its name to the Blind Beggar (yes, definitely an ‘e’ after the capital ‘B’ and not a ‘u’) after original owner Big Bill was politely asked to leave Muang Thai before he was thrown out.
Another to undergo a name change was the Lucifer’s late night boogie barn (Walking Street) which became the equally devilish Diablo.
The highly popular Peppermint ogling den (Walking Street) re-opened its doors to the paying public on 19 July after an enforced closure during one of the many crackdowns conducted by government officials.
The Far East Rock ogling den (Soi Post Office), which had been closed since December 2002, re-opened its doors in the middle of the month.
The Stars munching den, located atop the Pattaya Hill Resort (Pratamnak Road), changed hands.
The Frozen, Big Willies (Soi Diamond) and Marilyn’s (Beach Road) ogling dens were closed down for varying periods by the plod when they were caught permitting their dancing damsels to show a little bit too much leg during one of Deputy Interior Minister (DIM) Preacher Malcontent’s crackdowns.
In Soi Skaw Beach, the Tippy’s beer boozer moved down the road from its old location. However, this proved only temporary and it later moved on yet again (like a meandering gypsy) to digs in Soi Chaiyapoon.
Not only did the Lolipop ogling den (Soi 2) close its doors, but the Zebra Complex in which it was housed was also closed down and the entire structure was bulldozed into oblivion.
Around the corner, on Second Road, the Elvis Pub changed hands and the Elvis impersonation shows ceased.
On 19 September, the former Frozen ogling den (Soi Diamond) re-opened with a new name: The Sea. No, I don’t know why.
The management’s of the Crazy Dave noshery and boozer in Soi Chaiyapoon and the Nervous Wreck beer boozer in Soi Yamato, teamed up and celebrated their new partnership with a party on 2 October.
The management of the Polo non-stop show den (Walking Street) took over the running of the Palladium late night boogie barn (Second Road, just past Big C) with a launch party on 3 October.
On 19 October the Diamond ogling den (Soi Diamond) celebrated its fourth anniversary.
The first Pattaya A-Go-Go Calendar was released, featuring 12 young dancing damsels from a dozen ogling dens.
The Simon Centre Drinking Street on Second Road, past Big C, opened the first of its clutch of 44 beer boozers.
The Red Cat hide-the-props-where-the-sun-don’t-shine den (Soi Diamond) closed its doors. It later re-opened as a show boozer with the meat and two veg. women of the second category as the attraction.
Stan Fry, the former owner of the Classroom and Orchid Trading, who had skipped the country allegedly owing a lot of money earlier in the year, returned to Thailand and was promptly arrested by authorities. He was arraigned to appear before the beak the following month to answer a raft of charges.
The Giligin’s ogling den (Pattayaland Soi 1) closed its doors as did the Sana noshery and the Watering Hole beer boozer, both in Soi Skaw Beach. The latter re-opened shortly after as the New Inn.
On 8 November, the former Feigling Pub and X late night boogie barn (Soi Marina Plaza) re-opened for business as Party Zone.
Attempting to make it into the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest ogling den in Pattaya, the New Star chrome pole palace opened for business next door to The Sea in Soi Diamond.
Pattayaland Soi 2’s longest-running ogling den, Classroom, had its 10th anniversary on 1 December.
Fun Town’s 51st ogling den opened for business: the Susie chrome pole palace at the corner of Soi 4 and Beach Road.
The second edition of the Pattaya A-Go-Go Calendar was produced. The first edition sold out and has now become a collector’s item.
The X-Ray ogling den (Soi Zero) had its first anniversary on 12 December, while the former Top Secret sierra tango establishment in Soi B.J. re-opened as the B.J. Fun boozer and sports emporium on the 15th.
The FLB lounge lizard libation room (Walking Street) notched its fifth year of operation on 24 December.
Diamond ogling den Dance Contests: Results
1st What’s Up (Soi 15, Walking Street)
2nd What’s Up (Soi 15, Walking Street)
3rd What’s Up (Soi 15, Walking Street)
4th Kitten Club (Pattayaland Soi 2)
5th Honey (Walking Street)
6th Diamond (Soi Diamond, Walking Street)
7th Diamond (Soi Diamond, Walking Street)
8th Diamond (Soi Diamond, Walking Street)
9th What’s Up (Soi 15, Walking Street)
10th Diamond (Soi Diamond, Walking Street)
11th What’s Up (Soi 15, Walking Street)
12th Living Dolls (Walking Street)
13th Diamond (Soi Diamond, Walking Street)
At the end of 2003, Fun Town was now blessed, or cursed -depending on your point of view- with no less than 51 chrome pole palaces, almost half of them located in, on or around Walking Street.
Due to the nature of the chrome pole palace business it is my belief that it is unfair to bundle them all into the one basket. For example, Peppermint will always be a superior den to, say, Susie. The latter can never hope to attract the same number and quality of dancing maidens that cavort around the chrome poles of Peppermint. This is due to location and the amount of money the management can afford to pay.
Therefore, I believe it’s more appropriate to divide the ogling dens of Fun Town into two separate divisions. The first group we’ll call the Premier division; the rest we’ll classify as the Second division.
It’s probably superfluous to say that the Premier division should be made up of the 25 ogling dens currently operating in and around Walking Street. The Second division consists of the other 26 spread the length and breadth of Fun Town.
Walking Street: Amazon, Big Willies, Carousel, Champion, Club Electric Blue, Diamond, Happy, Honey, Hooty’s, Living Dolls, Living Dolls Showcase, New Star, Nui’s, Nui’s 2, Paris, Paris Pigalle, Peppermint, Polo, Super Baby, Super Girl, The Dollhouse, The Sea, TQ 2, Vixens, What’s Up
2. Super Baby
3. Living Dolls Showcase
5. Club Electric Blue
10. Super Girl
Pratamnak Rd: Freeway; Pattayaland Soi 2: All Girls, Bubbles, Classroom, Kitten Club, Lipstick, Misty’s, Planet Rock, Rodeo; Pattayaland Soi 1: Spicy Girls, Spicy Girls Too; Soi 8: Sexxy, Silver Star; Soi Post Office: Club Nevada, Far East Rock, Hot and Cold; Soi Yamato:
Nice N Ezy, Stringfellows; Soi 7: Goldfingers; Beach Road: Tahitian Queen, World Wide;
Second Road: Tim; Soi 4: Susie; Soi 2: Classroom 2000; Soi Zero: X-Ray; Naklua:
1. Classroom 2000
2. Silver Star
4. Spicy Girls
5. Spicy Girls Too
6. Tahitian Queen
PUBLIC OPINION POLL: The above ratings list is my opinion only. Given that everyone has different tastes, it would be interesting to receive the opinions of our readers.
Therefore, we would be happy to have your Top 10 for both the Premier and Second Divisions. No reasons for your ratings are necessary, simply e-mail your personal top 10 to firstname.lastname@example.org before the 20th of this month.