Bangkok's best secret bars
Sukhumvit Soi 11 is notorious for its crowded dance clubs and raucous sports bars—not exactly the ideal destination for serious cocktail appreciation. But the four Asian superstar bartenders behind the popular #Findthelockerroom in Thonglor are looking to change the area’s reputation with the opening of a new speakeasy that, this time, is hidden behind a photo booth.
The brainchild of four award-winning Asian bartenders—Colin Chia of Singapore’s Nutmeg & Clove, Hidetsugu Ueno of Tokyo’s Bar High Five, Nick Wu of Taipei’s East End and our own Ronnaporn “Neung” Kanivichaporn of Backstage Cocktail Bar—this bar takes the speakeasy theme very seriously, not only with its hidden location, but also the fact that it doesn’t even have a name. Rather, the bar is identified by a call-to-action hashtag: #findthelockerroom.
Nestled on the third floor of an abandoned-looking building that sits behind a spirit house, Ku is the brainchild of Anupas “Kong” Premanuwat (an alum of famous NYC speakeasy Angel’s Share and a pupil of the barmaster Shingo Gokan) and Elaine Sun, a former barista and a wine enthusiast. This hidden den strikes a charming balance between comfort and mystery.
Located behind a wooden door next to Ainu Japanese restaurant, Rabbit Hole is a three-story bar that retains the rustic structure of its converted shop house shell but revels in a luxurious renovation involving polished copper and brass.
Q&A serves innovative cocktails within a setting reminiscent of a vintage train carriage. The bar is nestled inside a little alley on Sukhumvit Soi 21 with just a little sign above a green marble wall to give you a hint.
Situated on party street, Sukhumvit Soi 11, Havana Social keeps itself unseen, hiding behind a telephone booth and requiring a secret code to get in. The interior presents an interpretation of pre-revolution Cuba in the ′40s, said to have been the “Las Vegas of the Caribbean” at that time. Vintage furniture, a worn-out ceiling and clothes hanging from the ceiling add to the curious vibe, and so do live music from a Colombian band and various DJs.